Praying for the Machete Wielding Chief

By Ron Mouser

What are you doing here?” barked the angry village chief with a machete in his hand.

I was with a group of our mis­sion school stu­dents in a small remote vil­lage that can only be reached by boat. On the way, we had been regaled with sto­ries of how the locals in this region are prone to take the law into their own hands… and how they don’t take kind­ly to strangers. We heard sto­ries about machete attacks, indi­vid­u­als being tied up… and how wood was stacked around one woman to set her on fire. Honestly, I had heard sim­i­lar scary sto­ries before about oth­er vil­lages where I worked with my fam­i­ly. In fact, that was exact­ly why I brought the stu­dents. Because sim­ply mem­o­riz­ing infor­ma­tion about how to make peace­ful con­tact in a poten­tial­ly vio­lent area is not the same as prac­ti­cal “hands on” expe­ri­ence. I did talk about strate­gies with the stu­dents but I am cer­tain what gal­va­nized the les­son in their minds was walk­ing through the process togeth­er in the adren­a­line of the moment. And it was effec­tive. About 10 min­utes after our fright­ful greet­ing, the machete wield­ing chief was sit­ting with his bar­ren wife and hold­ing her hand as the stu­dents and I prayed for God to give them chil­dren.

I have been in con­tact with the chief sev­er­al times since that vis­it and we are tak­ing a min­istry team to the area next month! Please keep us, the stu­dents and the school in your prayers as we push for­ward, togeth­er with your help, to obey the great com­mis­sion.


In September of 2008, Ron and Ivonne Mouser aban­doned all of their earth­ly pos­ses­sions that would not fit in a truck and moved to Arriaga Chiapas, Mexico, along with two young sons. In Arriaga, they helped in the admin­is­tra­tion of an orphan­age, shared the pas­toral respon­si­bil­i­ties of a local church, and built a thriv­ing youth min­istry. At the end of 2011, they left Arriaga to pio­neer a new work among the mar­gin­al­ized peo­ple groups liv­ing in the poor­est part of Mexico around the city of Comitan de Dominguez, Chiapas. Their cur­rent vision is to plant a youth-focused church based on a foun­da­tion of small dis­ci­ple­ship groups in homes and schools that will serve as an inter­na­tion­al train­ing ground for cross-cul­tur­al mis­sions. They now have four sons.

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