U.S. and Mexican authorities are investigating the killing of a U.S. missionary in Mexico, even as mission groups in Texas are re-evaluating the risks of working in the country.
Fifty-nine-year-old Nancy Davis had ministered in Mexico for 40 years. Her husband said they were about 70 miles south of the border when gunmen in a pick-up truck tried to stop them. When Mr. Davis sped up, they opened fire, wounding Nancy in the head.
“The gunshot wound would have happened in the interior of Mexico as they traveled from Mexico towards the United States,” Pharr, Texas Police Chief Ruben Villescas said.
Authorities said the shooting happened in one of the most dangerous areas of the country. The area is controlled by the Zetas drug cartel, a fact the Davises probably knew already.
Friends said they spent a lifetime in Mexico helping start new churches.
Mission groups in south Texas said her death is yet another wake-up call to the dangers of ministry in Mexico, and they are re-assessing their travel policies.
“Right now we haven’t officially sat down to say what is our policy but our informal policy is, ‘Don’t just abandon these people, they need help, maybe now more than ever,'” said Mark Rotramel, moderator for the Rio Grande Valley Baptists Association.
“But it is dangerous, so if they go, they must be very careful,” he continued. “And yet we’re not really encouraging wholesale going across like we have in the past.”
After the shooting, Mr. Davis said he drove to the border at top speed to outrun the gunmen. His wife died of her wounds about an hour later in a south Texas hospital.
CBN News Senior Producer Stan Jeter tells Charisma News that Christian persecution is on the rise in Mexico. Jeter interviewed Mexican human rights lawyer Oscar Moha on CBNNewsChannel.com’s noon broadcast. Moha says three pastors were killed in Mexico last month.
“Some churches have been forced to close. Others have cancelled afternoon or evening meetings. And there are more attempts of extortion against churches,” Jeter tells Charisma. “So far, however, we’ve heard no evidence that the murder of this missionary was anything more than attempted robbery or kidnapping.”