Defying cartels to share their faith

Missionaries working in Mexico are in a dangerous business. Amid open battles between the country's drug smugglers and the government, they continue to carry out their work.

I was in Mexico for five years, said Sister Therese Cunningham with La Posada Providencia. I was not afraid when I was in Mexico.

Sister Therese works at a shelter for immigrants and asylum seekers.

She says devotion to their Christian religion keeps missionaries going back.

There is risk everywhere, said Sister Therese. Risks here and risks there.

Such was the case for John and Wanda Casias.

The Texas, couple who moved to a violence-plagued area of Monterrey to run a Baptist Church, were found slain at their ransacked home Tuesday in Mexico.

Relatives of the Casias tell the Associated Press John and Wanda were well aware of the danger around them and the risks, but were so secure in their faith that they did not fear it.

Any missionary has a risk they are taking, said Sister Margeret Mertens. But that doesn't cover their whole thrust of helping people when they are called to do that. Sister Therese and Margaret said the deaths of John and Wanda Casias are sad for everyone and hope good will come from this tragedy.

Sometimes where there is a lot of suffering and people trying to overcome what is happening, said Sister Margaret. It encourages others to go into helping.

And I think maybe the whole missionary experience is going to grow.

Although the violence may be intensifying in Mexico, Sister Therese and Sister Margaret believe missionaries will continue weathering the storm to help the people.