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Dreaming of Being a Doctor
By Anita Palmer

Ana Lilia Juarez knew at age 5 that she wanted to be a doctor. But she was the oldest daughter of an impoverished pastor in Tehuantapec, Oaxaca. How could her dream come true? Oaxaca is one of the poorest states in Mexico.

Ana Lilia's father, Francisco, had been called to the ministry after committing his life to Jesus Christ 1986 through the efforts of the Mexican Christian Mission, a small nonprofit that which reaches out to areas of central Mexico that are not usually helped by US ministries.

Francisco encouraged his determined daughter, but did not have resources with which to help her reach her goal. Neither did the Mexican Christian Mission, but Stephen Motz couldn't endure the thought of saying no.

Motz is an American with a love for the poor people of Mexico. He has traveled to remote areas where the needs are the gravest, like Oaxaca. The goal is to reach those who would never attend a church on their own.

Mexican Christian Mission was founded 50 years ago as a rescue mission in Tijuana by a man named Tony Trevino. In 1966 Nova Smith expanded it to include church planting and pastoral training in numerous areas of Mexico. In 2003, Guillermo Alvarez became president and Stephen Motz took charge of operations. Motz left a position with Sony as a logistics manager to volunteer with MCM full time. "We switched our focus to large outdoor evangelism in small to mid-size communities in Mexico, along with day trips to Tijuana to help involve Rock Church members," said Motz, who attends the Rock Church.

Raising Funds

Motz, who recently had to return to paying work, was able to raise enough funds to provide Ana Lilia about $7,000 for annual tuition, rent and a portion of other expenses. Ana Lilia, who is now 21, is in her third year of medical school at Salazar University in Chiapas. She has four years to go to become a medic, then four more to be fully licensed.

"I give thanks to God because He has given me the opportunity to study a career that I so much desired. I'm so glad that He put Stephen in my way. He's been a support to me...and he's helped me with a lot of things. I also am very grateful to all the rest of the people who I don't know, who have supported me " Ana Lilia told Motz. "The purpose of studying this career is that when I finish I want to go to places where there's probably not medicines or hospitals around and I really want to help people who don't have access to good medicine and need it."

The little girl from Oaxaca is on her way to becoming a doctor, thanks to the generous supporters of the Mexican Christian Mission.

Postscript: Motz says funding is a challenge. "Most of the funding has come from myself, sale of some assets, donations to the mission. We need about $700 per month to support Ana Lilia," said Motz. He is burdened by the knowledge of so much need. "There are some other candidates we would like to support but do not have the resources. For instance, Ana Lilia's sister wants to be an attorney. But we cannot support her at this time."

For more information about the Mexican Christian Mission Ministry, click here »