Mark & Linda Russell: – When I was 10 years old I was called to prepare for the missionary ministry, however I didn’t want to accept the calling. I had lived my life as a missionaries kid and didn’t want to accept the responsibility. My father was absent a lot of my childhood, doing his ministry, and I had decided that I did not want the kind of lifestyle that would keep me gone all the time. Maybe I didn’t understand what it meant to be in ministry, but God still had a plan for me .
When I became of age to work I entered the retail business world. I met my wife to be in early 1979 and later that year we were married. Linda was from Vera Cruz, Mexico and didn’t speak much English. We brought two boys into this world, Robby in 1980 and Scott in 1982. Linda and I went through some major struggles in our marriage, but God brought us through every situation.
We moved to Seguin, TX in 1990 and I began working for a large farm and ranch store there. I thought I was moving far enough away so that God would for- get me but that was not the case. We began attending a church in Seguin and everyone accepted us with open arms. What I didn’t think about was that I myself was opening the door for God to continue dealing with me again. One Sunday night a visiting evangelist called me out of the crowd and said that God had a word for me. God`s word was strong and I was broken in two. God said that if I would be faithful, then He would restore the calling that I had as a child. As anybody knows, when God speaks to you in discipline, it sometimes feels like a 4×4 has hit you in the head. At any rate, I was broken and the Lord began showing me what I should do.
To make a long story short, Linda and I, with our two sons, moved back to the valley in 1992 to join Missions to Mexico and begin my missionary training.. We moved to the Benito Juarez Children`s Home in Reynosa, MX. in 1993 to begin our work. Looking back on our ministry life , we have seen many children come to Christ. It has been a joy to see the transformation of these children.
We have changed the look of our the children`s home over the past 20 years. Many who come to visit can see the changes and they know that we want these kiddos to have the best place to live that God can give them. Linda and I live in Texas now and I travel back and forth to make sure the vision continues. We have good Christian people running the day to day operations and that is a great blessing. Many people are frightened about Mexico, but we know that God is in control and His ministry will be accomplished.