Guaymas Valley Mission

Updated: November 28, 2004

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Guaymas Valley is located near the seaport town of Guaymas (external link) in the northwestern state of Sonora in the republic of Mexico.

This mission was established in 1981 by three missionary families under the sponsorship, direction and authority of Bible Mennonite Fellowship. These families were James and Noreen Roth and daughter Karen, Joe and Nancy Mast and children Vivian and Lindsey Mast, and Mark and Ruby Roth (Mark is son to James and Noreen).

In the ensuing years, numerous other long-term missionaries have served here: Marvin and Esther Boss and son Reuben, Margaret Miller, Karen Roth and James Kropf. Shorter term workers have included Steve and Judy Headings, Rosana Roth and Brian Smucker.

From October 1994 through June 1996, the mission was basically shut down, efforts having failed to procure and place workers. In mid-December 1995, Bible Mennonite Fellowship turned over the mission operation to Hopewell Mennonite Church.

Hopewell sent her former deacon and his family to serve in Santa María for at least two years. And who is that former deacon? One of the original team: Joe Mast. Joe and Nancy's family has grown to include Travis, Shaphan and Holly in addition to Vivian and Lindsey, who served in Guaymas Valley but now live in Oregon. Joes arrived in Guaymas Valley on September 3, 1996. Prior to their leaving Oregon, Joe was ordained minister.

In addition to sending the Masts to Santa María, Hope Mennonite Missions also sent down David and Betty Smucker and their two young children: Benjamin and Melisa.

The Smucker family moved to the town of Lázaro Cárdenas, about 13 miles north of Santa María. The new-to-us mission house there was purchased on March 24, 1997. The Smuckers moved on May 10, 1997. In August 1999, God gave them another son, Otoniel.

Joe Mast and his family unexpectedly needed to terminate their service in Mexico. They left on October 5, 2000. David's role was expanded to include that of mission field director as well as advisor to the congregation in Santa María.

Margaret Miller returned to service in Guaymas Valley in November 2003. The Mission Board established its field companions program to ensure that Margaret does not live and serve alone. Participants so far include James and Orpha Smucker, Wayne and Reba Miller and family, and Peter and Vivian (Mast) Turner.

Presently, the most visible result of this missionary effort is the Emanuel Mennonite Church in the village of Santa María.

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