By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
Beverly and Duane Dinnel had planned to spend six months with Mexico Caravan Ministries in Tijuana. Beginning in August, 2008, they were to help the Baptist General Conference mission transition between permanent staff.
Instead, they spent a year with Caravan, returning to Wauneta this fall.
Mexico Caravan is “a missions mobilization ministry whose primary objectives are to reveal God’s heart for the world,” Beverly explained, “to present His plan for worldwide missions, and to motivate His people to take part in His global plan.”
The Dinnels first learned of Caravan through their membership in Hamlet Union Church. Members travel to Caravan each year for several weeks of mission work.
Groups from all over learn about world missions. They also build shelters in Tijuana for homeless people.
The Dinnels were asked to stay on two extra months, which extended more months until the end of July.
Duane eventually returned to Wauneta to work with his recycling business, while Beverly stayed in Tijuana to handle the administrative aspect of the ministry.
She kept books, updated the web site, and distributed cash for services rendered.
Beverly said the mission work was “one of the best years of my life. Down there I really felt like I had a purpose.”
She added that she was surprised to learn how simply a person could live and be content. “There were no ‘things.’ Everything I had was in a room abut eight feet by 16 feet, like a little studio.”
She said she just had the basics she needed to live. “You don’t have to spend the time maintaining and cleaning.” Beverly said that in addition, “We tried not to flaunt our wealth, to honor them (Mexicans).”
The Dinnels plan to continue being a part of Hamlet Union Church’s annual June trip to Caravan. They may have other plans, too.
“We are open to whatever the Lord has for us. Earlier this year we heard about a church or school building in Eastern Europe that was only half-built and needed to be completed. We are checking into that.”
Beverly is also now working as a “sender.” That’s a person who doesn’t go actively into the mission field, but stays behind and supports a missionary financially and through prayer.
She also corresponds with missionaries. Duane has also been a sender.
Through living with less “stuff” in Mexico, Beverly said she and Duane both believe they are living better than they need in this country. They’re looking to downsize their standard of living in the near future. That will enable them to support sending God’s Word to those in other countries who need to hear it.
Beverly said Americans have an average of one time per day to accept Jesus, such as through an invitation to Bible study, or a tract handed out. People in other countries, she noted, may only have one opportunity to hear the good news every 10 years.
“We want to see that change.”