My Testimony

I presented he following testimony at a Readiness 360 discussion group...

In 1961, I went to work for the U. S. Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer. I attended the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, VA, and then was assigned, as a Vice Consul, to the American Consulate General in Monterrey, Nuevo León, México. On my way to Monterrey, I stopped off in Los Angeles to marry a young woman named Jeanette. We were married in the Westchester Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), of which Jeanette was a member. I had been a member of the nearby Westchester Methodist Church.

My job at the consulate consisted of interviewing several dozen people each day who wished to immigrate to the USA. There were several other vice consuls who did the same work. It wasn’t an easy job. I felt lost in these bureaucratic surroundings. None of my co-workers seemed to be Christian believers, although the Consul General, John F. Killea, and his wife Lucy, and my immediate superior, John Keogh, were at least nominal Roman Catholics.

Jeanette and I both wanted to find a church home in our new environment. We heard that a lot of the English-speaking Protestants who lived in Monterrey attended a little non-denominational church in the suburbs near where we were going to live. We attended that church several times, but didn’t quite feel “at home” there.

Then we started attending a Mexican Methodist church, La Trinidad, in downtown Monterrey, near where I worked. We were both fluent enough in Spanish that we were able to understand most of what was going on. We soon learned that plans were underway to build another Methodist church in the suburbs, near our new home, so we started attending it.

This new church, Iglesia Metodista El Mesías, was being built about 3 kilometers, or 2 miles, from our home. We became very much involved in its ministries and activities. It helped that three of our closest neighbor families were also Methodists. Our ministers, Rev. Agapito Coronado and another man whose name I can’t remember, and an American missionary, Rev. Bob Conerly, were inspiring preachers and leaders, and the members seemed to be committed and enthusiastic believers. After our first son, David, was born, we had him baptized on St. Patrick’s Day of 1963 at El Mesías. My parents and two aunts came from California to be present. It was a wonderful occasion!

(There are some beautiful photos of El Mesías on its web site which I highly recommend visiting.)

In the Spring of 1963, we decided the Foreign Service was not for us, so I resigned my FSO commission and had myself recalled to active duty in the U. S. Navy. This was just in time for me to serve in the Viet Nam conflict aboard two different naval vessels.

While living in northern México, I also became acquainted with other Christians, such as some American missionaries from the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) who had started a little church in the neighboring state of Coahuila. All in all, our stay in México was a faith-enhancing experience which occurred in times which could have been difficult for us. We remember our days there with fondness!

Chuck Carey
November 2017
updated 2017-12-12

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