Alvaro’s mom got an international phone call from a morgue in Mexico: “Your son is dead. We’ll be sending the body back to Honduras.”

Alvaro had been making his sixteenth attempt to cross the border into the U.S. to stay permanently. Previous attempts had varying degrees of success, but he always got caught and deported. This time, June 2014, would be his last time. In the border town of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, the small group was taken captive by the Zeta drug cartel in order to hold them for ransom until a family member paid for their release. When the group of 23 people tried to escape, they were mercilessly gunned down. Alvaro received six gunshot wounds and was taken to the morgue where he was pronounced dead. As they were processing his
body, an observant worker realized that he was still alive–barely. He was rushed to the hospital where he received life-saving surgery. One of the bullets lodged in his knee could not be removed.

Fast forward four years to the present. A team traveling with Medical Missions Outreach was assisting our local church to reach into the community and share the gospel. We met Alvaro with a swollen, infected knee on Saturday during pre-op evaluations. The orthopedic doctors were able to open the knee, clean the infection, and remove the 9mm bullet (pictured right).

Alvaro wept when he awoke from surgery and we told him that the bullet
had been removed. He was moved by God’s mercy and sovereign hand in guiding him to meet us, where he saw the love of Jesus in physical form. Alvaro committed his life to Christ and to His service. That next Sunday he came to church with his family, and continues to attend. Pray for him and his family as they grow in grace.

— As told to MMO Host and Missionary Matt Goins by Alvaro Ordoñez