By Mark Ellis —
Ed and Denise Aulie serve the Lord as missionaries in the Veracruz mountains of Mexico. A few weeks before Christmas last year, a young man named Chucho asked if he could talk to Ed after the Sunday service.
Chucho walked forward in a spirit of brokenness and repentance, with full recognition of his sins. “It has to stop,” he told Pastor Ed. “I want to be right with God more than anything.”
That evening he received Jesus as his Lord and Savior and was born again.
A few nights later, Chucho borrowed the missionaries’ Toyota truck to transport his mother and brother. He came to a place where the road was blocked by drug traffickers.
Thinking they only wanted to steal the vehicle, Chucho pulled over. He knew that trying to escape could get them all killed. Raising his arms in the air, he offered them the truck and possessions.
“A machine gun riddled him with bullets piercing his head and heart. He died instantly,” Denise recounts.
As one friend told Ed and Denise later, “Chucho believed the best of everyone. He never thought they would kill him.”
Ed found out later Chucho’s killing was a tragic mistake. “We have since learned there is one other truck in the mountains like mine and the owner is a known drug trafficker that a cartel wanted killed. What a tragic case of mistaken identity!”
“The loss is immense to us personally and to the community! Only days earlier he was earnestly giving every aspect of his life to God.”
A few weeks before the murder, Chucho´s brother, Nazareth, preached the Sunday
message. “Nazareth, a beautiful believer, was home from Mexico City for the lockdown. He knew God wanted him to use this time to reach out more than ever to his large family. Nazareth was in the truck that night, as was his now wheelchair-bound mother. They were both hit by the bullets and heard the scores of shots that killed their brother and son.”
At Chucho´s open-air funeral over a thousand people came from surrounding villages and towns. Ed gave the message.
Chucho had been a truck driver and other drivers from the region came by the hundreds to attend the service. “At one point a lead trucker said, ‘We are going to take roll.’
“One by one the names were called and the men raised their hands strong, swift and proud with the words, “¡Presente!” (Present!) but when they came to Chucho´s name there was complete, respectful silence… until one truck horn was honked, then another, then hundreds in honor of him.”
Chucho’s untimely passing provided an opening for the Gospel, the Aulies believe. “Chucho’s family knew he was changing. He was ‘putting his house in order’ without realizing that it would be his final preparation. The family and the whole town were so jolted by his murder, so that the ministering to hearts and lives lasted for days and continues.”
The Aulies are reminded of the message of Psalm 90:12:
Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.
“We are sojourners. The timing and manner of our deaths we cannot know. After last year’s heartbreaking parting of so many friends and loved ones, this truth is underlined in our hearts and spirits even more for 2021.”
We can say with the Apostle Paul, I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have complete boldness, so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. (Philippians 1:20)
If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. (Romans 14:8)
If you want to know more about a personal relationship with God, go here
To learn more about Ed and Denise’s ministry, go here