Faith Ministry/Ministerio de Fe, Inc. was founded in 1994 in McAllen, Texas, by Deantin Guerra to address the needs of the “poorest of the poor” in Mexico while providing ministry and service opportunities for groups in the U.S.
Deantin realized that the ocean of people who were trapped in a failed economy and faced barriers because of lack of education or opportunities was made up of individuals. His load lightened as he focused on lives and souls one at a time, instead of a mass condition.
“When I came here for the first time to do mission work, I was culture-shocked. I couldn’t understand why God had made a river, and on one side of the river, everything was okay, and on the other side, people didn’t have anything.
I decided to come back to do mission work in the name of Jesus Christ, one house at a time, one family at a time, one patient at a time at the clinics, one child with the scholarships, and one family and one soul with the church. We do everything in His name and for His glory, one at a time.”
One of the ministry’s first activities was the establishment of a medical clinic to treat the basic needs of colonia residents who were receiving no medical care. Housing was then provided to families who were living in shanties. Facilities were added in Reynosa and Miguel Alemán to host visiting teams, and churches were built to address spiritual needs. Child educational sponsorships were established soon after.
From 1994 to 2006, Deantin led the ministry in the position of executive director and formed lifelong relationships in Reynosa and Miguel Alemán. He brought in teams from across the U.S., built a local staff in Mexico and was involved every single day in the ministry’s operations, driving daily from Brownsville to be onsite. We estimated that in his 12 years in this position, he drove over 400,000 miles, the equivalent of 16 times around the world.
Deantin became the emeritus director in 2006, and former associate director David Rodriguez was promoted to executive director and has been leading the ministry in that role ever since.
In 2009, Faith Ministry started to feel the effects of the downfall of the U.S. economy, the scare brought on by the swine flu, and the uptick of violence in the border region, what David often calls “the perfect storm.” Virtually overnight, the ministry went from building 110 houses a year to 10 houses a year. That “perfect storm” was devastating to the ministry; it not only took a hit financially, but it also took a hit on the morale and well-being of the local staff, volunteers and families who had formed friendships with people and were used to groups coming to work with them week after week.
Little by little, situations started improving, and the ministry began to transition from “emergency mode” to being stable once again. Groups started coming back, friends were reunited, and things were looking up.
Since then, we have moved from stability to growth, adding more programs to best meet the needs of the families in our community. We have added staff, welcomed more teams and are continuing to make a difference, one at a time.
On October 25, 2018, Deantin went home to the Lord. He was an inspiration to his staff, the groups he worked with and the families he served in Mexico. He had a vision in 1994 to start Faith Ministry, and that vision carries on in the work the ministry continues to do today.