Santa Maria pastor 'retunes' missionary plans in Mexico
Fri, 28 Jan 2011 05:01:39 GMT —
Music, much like Pastor Billy Schwarz TMs missionary work, comes from the heart.
But unlike the notes he can freely play on his guitar, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Santa Maria knows the cartels in Mexico limit his ability to do good for others across the border.
"These people have no scruples, Pastor Billy Schwarz said. These people don't care who they kill."
Fellow Rio Grande Valley missionary Nancy Davis was killed Wednesday in Mexico.
The 59-year-old Monte Alto woman was shot in the head during a botched carjacking on a highway 70 miles south of the border near San Fernando.
And while the pastor called Davis' death senseless, Schwarz said the violence is a fact of life
"It was something that was just waiting to happen," he said.
That TMs why his church had to change tactics.
"Now a-days... here comes the Zetas to our churches across the border on Sunday morning and they want the offering... not only do they want the offering Ryan... but next week they want you to have a thousand dollars," Schwarz said.
Refugees of cartel-controlled Cuidad Mier back in December received three tons of food, clothes and tents from his church.
Missionaries never crossed the border for that relief work.
"Why would we want to cross the border if we can set a pipeline across and we didn't have to, he asked?
Six months ago he started work on live internet worship services. It enables Pastor Schwarz to safely preach from the pulpit while still reaching the masses.
Reporter: Is the drug cartel winning because you're not having that physical presence that you're used to in Mexico?"
Pastor: That doesn't mean we're losing. They may have won the battle or two... but they're not winning... they will never win."
It's a retuned approach to missionary work in light of the violence across the border.