--MO September 9, 1972 NO.178—LTA
P.O. Box 31, London WC2E 7LX, England or GPO Box 3141, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936
THE VISION, NEED AND JOB OF BORDER BASES
Dear Ben and Ruth and Team—and All Other Border-Based Shepherds, Shepherdesses and Sheep!
1. GREETINGS IN JESUS' PRECIOUS NAME! THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR NICE PICTURES YOU'VE SENT US AND YOUR GOOD REPORTS on your activities! God bless you for doing such a good job both where you are now and in the past. You pioneered the Northeast when it was still virgin territory, and the faith the Lord gave you there, and the rapid progress you made there at that time in the beginning, finding housing and gaining disciples, caused us all to praise the Lord! A few mistakes were made‚ but that is how we all learn what not to do next time! God bless you!
2. PROBABLY ONE OF YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS while in New York was helping to handle and make possible the beginning of our move into Europe, taking care of the out-going personnel and arranging their passage and reservations, transportation, finances, etc., and acting as a procuring agent for some of their needs, including equipment, free air freight, passports, etc., etc.; also the handling of communications between Europe and Dallas at the time.
3. THEREFORE, I CERTAINLY CONSIDER YOUR PRESENT LOCATION IN EL PASO‚ ONE OF THE MAJOR GATEWAYS TO MEXICO, CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA, to be a definite leading of the Lord and a part of his marvelous wisdom and overall design. For if I have ever heard missionaries in those areas thank God for anything‚ it has been for the little border stations which help them en route to and from the field with temporary housing and hospitality, transfer, transportation and information regarding fares, lines, reservations, routes, baggage, transshipment, immigration, visas, customs, etc., etc.—all the myriad of important services which are so essential and vital to out-going missionaries and those already in the field.
4. BECAUSE OF THE UNCERTAINTY OF THE SECURITY OF MAIL and packages posted unto those Latin countries‚ most of the missionaries I knew even received their mail at one of these border mission stations just within the U.S. border, such as El Paso and Brownsville‚ in order to be sure that they got it, and because the rifling of mail, opening of letters and removal of money within the Latin countries was so common. Therefore, they established a regular courier system servicing the stations within Mexico by means of outgoing and incoming missionaries, who, on their frequent trips to renew visas, etc., could pick up their mail at the border once or twice a month and deliver it in person directly into the hands of the missionaries on the field when they returned.
5. THE SAME WAS TRUE OF PACKAGES AND OTHER EVEN LARGER ITEMS such as equipment, refrigerators, furniture, clothing, etc., which was hard to get in Mexico and yet unsafe to transship into the country. These items therefore‚ were requested to be shipped or transported by their friends to the border mission stations within the U.S., or even procured or purchased by them for the missionary, and collected and stored at the border mission stations until the missionary was able to come up with his truck or vehicle to pick them up personally. This was by far the safest and surest way of getting them.
6. SO THESE BORDER STATIONS ACT AS AGENCIES FOR THE MISSIONARIES within the country and are a tremendous asset and essential aid to their continuing activities, like New York has been to Europe.
7. AS YOU MAY RECALL, I TOLD THE LEADERS AT THE TIME that we were planning the pioneering of Europe‚ that New York would be an absolutely essential, homeland base for such an operation, as it has so plainly proven in the subsequent months. Our invasion of Europe would never have been possible without your establishment of the New York base.
8. SO I HAVE SAID ALL THAT TO SAY THIS: That I believe it would be an irreparable loss to abandon the EL Paso base, which I so long advocated and was instrumental in getting started by insisting that we would be needing such a springboard for our activities in Mexico and beyond. The same is true of Brownsville and Miami, Burlington and Detroit, etc. These are the gateways to their respective countries.
9. —AND I FEEL THEY MUST BE KEPT OPEN, including Montreal and New York, as tunnels leading to higher ground and without the assistance of which it would be very difficult, if not impossible‚ to carry on the work of these respective fields without these home bases of operations until such time, if ever, we become strong enough in these foreign fields to do without them.
10. EVEN CHICAGO COULD BE INCLUDED as one of these as a major transportation center and port of embarkation, as many foreign ships call there and the air fares are cheaper from Chicago to London than by way of New York. The Los Angeles and San Francisco and Seattle areas also act as the same in servicing the Pacific and the Orient.
11. SO PLEASE, FOLKS, YOU AT THESE BORDER STATIONS, PLEASE DON'T GIVE UP THE SHIP YET! We still need you until such time as we are all safely ashore or on higher ground! Please keep these tunnels open! We need them! They are our escape routes, and we need you to man them and to help your fellow workers get through them.
MO'S BORDER BASE WAS WHERE THIS WORK STARTED
12. THIS IS THE WAY OUR WORK FIRST STARTED PERSONALLY IN MIAMI, TRAINING AND HELPING MISSIONARIES TO GO ABROAD through our little station there. We acted as their agent, information and procuring centre, transportation and communication centre‚ temporary housing, receiving, processing and distribution centre. These can also act as an indoctrination centre giving outgoing missionaries helpful hints, suggestions and advice about their deportment under the customs of a strange culture and a new country. I believe I already recommended all of this in the letter, "Operation P.A.C.C."
13. I REMEMBER AN ELDERLY COUPLE IN MIAMI, retired missionaries who could no longer serve abroad, who opened their home and spent their full time serving missionaries abroad and living by faith and calling their vitally needed service operation "Serving Missions Overseas". In fact, they were some of the few friends we had in Miami, and who appreciated what we were doing there along the same line, and we used to cooperate a great deal exchanging information, material and services, and housing each other's overflow. That was in a day when the Soul Clinic was hated almost as much as the Children of God are today! So these friends were very precious to us. We used to help each other share surpluses of material, etc., anything useful and of service to missionaries passing through bound for strange lands.
14. SO I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW IMPORTANT these border stations can be. But maybe this will help give you some idea. If you do not already appreciate their necessity, you soon will, and so will the missionaries and mission stations in the interior that you service. So PLEASE DO NOT ABANDON THESE VITAL BASES, SO ESSENTIAL FOR SERVICING AND SUPPLYING OUR BELOVED FELLOW SOLDIERS IN THE FIELD!
RECOMMENDED PLACES FOR BORDER BASES, AND WHY
15. EVEN DALLAS, HOUSTON, LAREDO AND NEW ORLEANS COULD BE COUNTED as some of these in these days of travel by air, rail and sea. Dallas and Houston are two major international air ports serving points south of the border.—New Orleans also‚ as well as a seaport for international transportation by sea.—And I have always felt we should have a Colony in Laredo, ministering locally in this very progressive little Latin city right on the border, and the largest outside of El Paso. It would make an excellent transportation base as it is a major airport serving Mexico.
16. AND NUEVO LAREDO, JUST A SHORT WALK OVER THE BRIDGE, is both an air, rail and bus terminal for all those Mexican state-owned transportation facilities whose rates are so low! I don't know why I can never interest anybody in Laredo! I always loved that little town, and once thought of living there myself!
17. THE TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES FROM LAREDO SOUTH ARE BETTER than from any city along the border, including EL Paso or Brownsville‚ being near to the largest, most modern city of northern Mexico, Monterrey.
18. HOUSING AND THE COST OF LIVING THERE ARE ALSO VERY LOW.—And, when I last used to make the trips about ten years ago, the first class, air conditioned rail fare from Laredo to Mexico City was only ten dollars for the twenty-four-hour trip, plus only about two dollars each for an overnight private roomette for good sleeping for two! Even the meals on the train were inexpensive. And of course the air fare from there to Mexico City was only about thirty-five dollars‚ and only took about four hours.
19. SO WHO WANTS TO OPEN LAREDO AS ONE OF THE BEST TUNNELS on the border?—And please keep the others open! Having several keeps too much traffic from flowing through the same port, which might cause certain difficulties.—And it is sometimes very advantageous, as you know‚ to have alternative ports of entry in case there are any problems or problem cases.
20. SO GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU BORDER STATIONS! KEEP THEM ROLLING! We need you! Please don't close the doors! Please don't lock the exits! Please don't abandon the tunnels! We need everyone of you border shepherds to help get our sheep through to higher ground, and to act as liaison between them and home base.
21. WE CAN'T DO WITHOUT YOU! GOD BLESS AND KEEP YOU and continue to make you a blessing! We love and pray for you. Gratefully yours in His Service.—Your Father in the Lord,—Love, MO.