The Beginnings of the Work of VitW Ministries in Cd. Valles

Dr. Carl Heinlein sits with Ezequiel and Veronica in their house (circa 1998)

Pastors Ezequiel Hernendez, and his wife Veronica Feria serve in Cd. Valles with the Assemblies of God denomination. They have been ministering in this region of Mexico for over thirty years. Although there was a great move of God being witnessed under their direction, there were also needs. Many villages and colonias throughout the Huasteca region where they ministered were closed to the Gospel because of their hatred and distrust of the evangelical church. The "traditional" witnessing approach did not work in these areas, and people rejected the Gospel because of their indoctrination in Roman Catholicism, idolatry, and witchcraft.

September 1998 God lead two missionaries to Cd. Valles to begin working with Pastor Ezequiel and his wife Veronica. Dr. Carl Heinlein had previously been a medical missionary doctor in Guatemala for many years. Steven Frey was a nurse, and had served in short-term missions in the past. Dr. Heinlein had committed to training Steven in medical mission work. Upon arriving in Cd. Valles it quickly became evident that God had opened a door very wide, and that they should walk through it. They asked pastors Ezequiel and Veronica if they could work with them in their vision for local evangelism, and their offer was quickly accepted as being directed by God. Arrangements were made to have several rooms built onto the roof of the church building as mission housing for Steven and Dr. Heinlein's use.

Over the following years a medical missions ministry developed into the poorer and more destitute areas of the region as an evangelistic arm of the local national church. This immediately began to open doors which had been so tightly closed before. Through the demonstration of love and caring for the practical and physical needs of these people, their hearts began to soften to the One in whose name they were being served. Hearts previously hardened and closed began to open to the Gospel through the use of the tool of medical clinics. Soon another need became evident as well, and a food distribution ministry began for the poor out of the local church, as an evangelistic outreach through the home fellowships.

The beginnings of the work in Cd. Valles under Dr. Heinlein and Steven Frey was funded by donations from churches and Christian friends across the United States, and received through a nonprofit organization founded by Dr. Heinlein called Earthen Vessels. In October 1998 Listowel Community Church in Listowel, Ontario was asked by Steven Frey if they would cover the ministry in Mexico from Canada, and in effect, become his Canadian home base. This legally took place in October 1999 and the outreach of Listowel Community Church in Mexico began, thus allowing charitable donations to be received from Canada as well. In 2002 the name Voice in the Wilderness Ministries was adopted for the on-going ministry in Mexico.

In 2004 Newsong Church in Grove, Oklahoma became the spiritual and legal covering in the United States for the work of Voice in the Wilderness Ministries (U.S.), while Listowel Community Church continues to cover the work of Voice in the Wilderness Ministries (Canada).

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