In recent days, I’ve been working more on some details of our summer trip. One of the very first and significant details is simply driving to the USA. It’s “only” 600 miles to the border and we typically drive this in one long day, especially this time of year when there is plenty of sunlight later in the day and we can even leave here relatively safely in the dark of morning if need be (and if I’m feeling up to it).
Since we have accepted an invitation to stay in McAllen, TX for about a week with missionary friends/co-workers there whom we haven’t seen in 5 years, naturally, we would ideally drive to Reynosa and cross into McAllen. If we were simply going up to Dallas as we usually do, we would cross at Nuevo Laredo and into Laredo. The distance is identical, but to get from Laredo to McAllen requires over 2.5 hours of driving on the USA side.
Unfortunately, we’ll have to do just that as in recent weeks the drug war has heated up once again in Reynosa resulting in at least 23 deaths in the past week, including shootouts right on the main roads/highways. Last Friday the government issued a “red light” for traveling in the area. Today, an “orange light” was issued. I’m not sure why they don’t call that a “yellow light” but then again…if my observations over the past decade are accurate, the significance of the colors of traffic lights in Mexico has never been completely set in concrete, and apparently never really understood by all the drivers out there.
Of course, as is almost always the case, the victims were almost certainly targeted or were involved in an active shoot-out with police/military, but obviously, flying bullets don’t really make that distinction and there’s not much sense in driving into an area where this is possible at any time. We’ll pass. We’ll have to spend a night in Laredo, but small price to pay for exercising a bit of caution and wisdom.
Here’s a video clip of one of the incidents today that has added to my earlier decision to take the long way to McAllen:
I couldn’t help but notice that it was in the news today that Mexico was considered the 2nd most dangerous country in the world by violent deaths. From the sounds of the news so far this year, Mexico could be in the running for a high place on this list again in 2017.
As always we travel in prayer and asking for prayer for safety and a trouble-free trip, especially through Mexico. God is always in control and protects us at all times as He does all of His children at all times. We would appreciate your prayers for our home assignment/representation trip not just for our Saturday drive to the border, but throughout the summer. We plan to return home from the USA around August 21 after driving from here to Texas, then to Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Indiana again, Michigan, Indiana yet again!, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and back to Texas before the final stretch home to Mexico.
Whew! I suspect this will take us about 10,000 miles to cover it all. We’re anxious to get started and anxious to get finished too!