T.I.M.E. For Christ
Medical Ministries
(formerly Mexico Ministries)

Mexico Ministries Beginning


Between 1965 and 1969, Castle Hills First Baptist (CHFBC) members Dr. Ernest Gregory and wife Valna; Dr. Harry Stephens and wife Dianne; and Jerry Virden were introduced to medical missions work in Mexico working with the Christian Medical Society of USA in Galeana, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. This involved staying in Galeana and going out to a different village each day with a medical/dental and evangelical team. Surgery was performed in a hospital in Galeana. This included Dianne Stephens and Jerry Virden sponsoring 21 young people from CHFBC to Galeana in 1968 and Jerry sponsoring 7 young people to Tepic and Guadalajara in 1969. Jerry Virden ran his first camp on a hillside out of Tepic.


By 1969 the Christian Medical Society of the USA had quit going to Mexico because of the complicated permission to get medical supplies across the border. In the spring of 1970 Dr. Gregory and Jerry Virden went to a Mexican Christian Medical Society meeting in Monterrey, Mexico, and met Dr. Efrain Contreras, a Christian pediatric physician from Puebla, who had been leading medical caravans in the State of Chiapas, Mexico. Through this acquaintance and friendship our first Medical Mission Caravan was organized in San Antonio and conducted with Dr. Contreras and his Christian associates in the Summer of 1970 in the village of Santa Maria, Guerrero, Mexico.

( Side Note)

It is a story in itself as how a guy named Chuck Prinzen came into Dr. Gregory’s office in San Antonio and wanted us to go to Santa Maria, which we did not know was in the heart of the marijuana growing hills of Guerrero. On our first day going into Santa Maria we were surrounded by the Mexican police at midnight with bullets in their guns. There was no time for us to say, “we’ll pray about it.” We had to get on our knees in prayer and decide if we were real missionaries or just “Sunday drivers.” We stayed and you can see how the Lord has blessed us.

Our Local Helpers

In 1971 we went to two villages in the summer: Dr. Gregory went to Azho and Dr. Stephens led a group to an island in the middle of Lake Patzcuaro.

The Mexico medical ministry and several other ministries were growing and we realized that we needed a legal Non-Profit organization to conduct tax deductible ministries under. A Non-Profit 501(c)(3) corporation in the State of Texas was established under the name of “TIME For Christ, Inc” and we received our Certificate of Incorporation on February 11, 1972. Several other ministries then and now operate under this legal Non-Profit organization. Each one is administratively and financially independent of each other.

Families have dedicated their whole lives around the Mexico work and there is a story in each of them.

Dr. Tim Rutz and wife Nancy moved to San Antonio, after military service, just to do the medical (surgery) mission work. Their home has space specially designed to process and prepare all the surgical supplies and equipment.

The home of Dr. Harry & Dianne Stephens was designed with a large room where donated medicines were inventoried and stored between trips, plus two out-buildings housed medical supplies.  It has a drug/medicine room and two buildings outside to process the donated and purchased medicines. Sunday school class members and friends met weekly to sort and prepare the medicines. Changes in Mexican laws now require all medicines to be purchased and packaged in original containers, so the work of volunteers is limited to sorting sheets, blankets, and other patient supplies prior to each trip.  Their home also was designed with an open area for meeting and gathering prior to departure on the caravans. The caravans to Mexico departed from their home.

Recovery Room

Mike and Lena Adams moved from Florida to be a part of the ministry. For many years, Lena organized and prepared the recovery room supplies. They lead in our prayer support.

Scotta Kelly Williams moved from Iowa in 1987 to become our self supporting missionary Executive Secretary for 15 years.

We started off by putting our medicine, food and equipment in pickups, but as time and experience and different people got involved, they said “I can do this”, “this is available”, “let’s get this and that”. Eventually, the caravans included an equipped clinic, pharmacy, three operating table surgical capability, Pre-Op, Post-Op/recovery, x-ray, lab, five chair dental, audio/visual evangelist equipment, children’s work, kitchen equipment to feed 175 three times a day, and camp maintenance.

Transportation moved from a few pick-up trucks to:

One MCI bus (registered as a motor home) for carrying medicines, post-op/recovery supplies, generators, water, audio/visual equipment, children’s work supplies, and five people. One surgery supply vehicle (Ford F-800, registered as a motor home) with a custom 20’ box designed to carry operating tables, surgery lights, anesthesia machines, surgical supplies, etc. One food and camp supply vehicle (Ford F Series, registered as a motor home) with potable water tanks, freezer, refrigerator, built-in generator, cots, water purifier, stoves, kitchen utensils, etc.  One four wheel drive crew cab pickup, with winch, to carry the dental and x-ray equipment and also used to help other vehicles out of trouble.

Following the winter 2009 caravan, it became clear that Mexican authorities would no longer authorize the use of these vehicles for cargo transportation.  Additional cargo trailers were purchased to haul the supplies and equipment and, for the time being, are being pulled by rented vans.

A typical caravan would have 12 - 15 vehicles.

Surgery

We work with local Mexico missionaries to locate villages and to oversee the follow up by Mexican evangelists. Larry and Doris Puckett, now living in San Antonio, spent 40 years in Mexico with Unevangelized Field Missions and Larry served as our Evangelism Director for almost twenty years.  Jonathan Rath, who moved into that position when Larry retired, communicating with the missionaries in Mexico and coordinating the outreach program  has been our Evangelism Director until recently.

Although the medical caravans to Mexico have been suspended, our support of the Mexican Nationals who work in areas where caravans have been held continues.  Four men receive monthly assistance from TIME to help them cover their travel expenses to return to villages for ministry. Your are encouraged to keep these men and their families in your prayers, and if you are so led, your financial contributions will be accepted.

We have always worked with the Sociedad Medica Cristiana of Puebla and under the authority of a properly licensed Mexico medical doctor.  Their assistance through the years has been a tremendous blessing to the teams.

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