Coming “Home” to Mexico

The following was adapted from an update by Alliance international workers Robert and Cheryl Fugate; Tim Greenfield, team leader for Guadalajara, also contributed to this article.

In July 1984, Robert and Cheryl Fugate drove 2,700 miles to Mexico with a youth missions team from Valley Church (Alliance) in Renton, Washington. Their destination was Jomulco, a small town 75 miles north of Guadalajara. For the 14 teens and 5 adults on the trip, it was a life-changing experience.

Members of Strong Tower Church (Alliance) at a Bible study.

Although no one on the team spoke Spanish, members saw God work in and through them. “When we showed the JESUS film, families filled the plaza,” the Fugates said. “We also helped with vacation Bible school. So many children attended each day that we had to lock the door and turn kids away.”

Now, 30 years later—and after 24 years of ministry in Chile—the Fugates have returned to Mexico to join the Alliance team in Guadalajara, a city of six million people.

The Alliance entered Mexico in 1954. Today, the Alliance national church consists of 32 organized churches and 7,600 inclusive members. In Guadalajara, where fewer than 3 of every 100 people profess to be Christians, Alliance team members have planted three churches. About half of Guadalajara’s residents are from the middle and upper classes.

Spiritual Blindness

Several women study the Bible with Janice Greenfield.

“Ministry in Mexico requires an understanding of the historic blend of Indian traditions and superstitions, along with the Catholic Church’s deep roots in the culture and practice of the people,” said Tim Greenfield. “With that in mind, one always ministers in the power of the Holy Spirit, knowing the resistance is great.

“The reality here is spiritual blindness,” Tim added. “Even though the majority of people devotedly follow their religious practices, they do not have peace and purpose in their lives. Living with generational insecurity about [the afterlife], they try to earn merit with God by good works and completing certain rituals, hoping they get to heaven.”

But God has been at work through outreaches such as friendship evangelism, Bible studies, Women’s Encounter, and vacation Bible school. “Praise the Lord!” said Tim. “Many eyes have been opened and hearts have been changed during the 20 years of Alliance ministry in Guadalajara.”

Explosive Growth

Tim Greenfield teaches a music lesson.

As Alliance staff in Guadalajara prayed and studied about where to plant the next church, they focused on Tlajomulco, fastest-growing borough in Guadalajara with a population of more than 400,000.

“We were immediately struck by the similarity to the name of the town where we first ministered in this country many years ago,” the Fugates said. “It reminded us that God is present even in the smallest details of our lives. So now, we throw ourselves into the task of planting a church in Tlajomulco.”

Moving Forward

Children's outreaches have been successful.

“Our focus in Chile was on planting self-sustaining, multiplying churches to evangelize the professional class of Santiago,” said Robert and Cheryl. During 24 years of ministry, the Fugates saw five churches built or remodeled; 14 orphanages and schools constructed under Vision for Chile, an Alliance partner organization; and 30 work/ministry teams from the United States serve alongside Alliance international workers.

“As we transition to Mexico, we know God’s hand is in this new adventure, and we rely on Him to guide us in each step,” they said.

“Our goal is to set up our office and house as quickly as possible. The Alliance pays our salary, health care, rental costs, and visa and travel expenses. You can support us in Mexico by giving to our general Alliance fund, the Great Commission Fund.”

“Thank you for your faithful support and prayers to make our ministry possible. Pray that we will find local contacts to form a small prayer group and also begin an evangelistic meeting in our home before year’s end.”


The prayers of God’s people strengthen Alliance workers to live and serve across the globe. Use our weekly Alliance Prayer Requests to join the worldwide Alliance family in praying for them.


Give to the Great Commission Fund (GCF) and support Alliance global team members, like the Fugates, who are providing access to the gospel as they introduce lost people to the light of Jesus.

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Learn More

Eighty-two percent of Alliance global staff are located in parts of the world with little or no access to the gospel. Watch this year’s Missions Conference video, which celebrates the joy we share in having access to the good news of Jesus and carrying His message to parts of our country and areas of our world with little or no gospel access.


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