Good News – January 2020

Good News Newsletter Headline


The 31st Commission to Mexico (COM2MEX), sponsored by Southern Nazarene University, took place from December 27, 2019 to January 2, 2020 with 129 team members participating. Our Church of the Nazarene global missionaries, Rev. Roberto and Rhesa Rodriguez, who direct the Nazarene Border Initiative (NBI) in El Paso, Texas, facilitated the hundreds of details and logistics of the mission – from border to border – resulting in a tremendously successful experience for not only the team members, but also the local pastors and the people they served in the metropolis of Chihuahua, Mexico.

Rev. Rodriguez summed up the impact of this year’s trip, saying, “Chihuahua, Mexico is a place that seems to be forgotten by many. It has gone from a once thriving place, having up to 8 active churches, to a place that now has only has 2 organized churches and 2 missions.” “As we prepared for COM2MEX and met with the local pastors, we kept hearing about how long they have waited for someone to come and help them. We even heard several of the pastors say that they did not truly believe we would come. God used our united efforts, American and Mexican, to bring new life and excitement to our local churches.”

With NBI’s advance work ensuring maximum effectiveness, teams served at four worksites – three churches and an educational center – in construction, neighborhood outreach, VBS, soccer and basketball, and free medical clinics. Rev. Rodriguez reported, “The smallest of our worksites, which had a large team, was almost able to have a completed construction project, while at the other sites, much work was completed, leaving a good start to the work that will continue.” “Medical clinics provided primary care for over 170 patients, and this year they had the added bonus of a bilingual pastor who could also provide spiritual care.”

A unique aspect of COM2MEX is the “mission trip for all ages” emphasis – and this year’s team was no exception. Families, church groups and young people came from across the South Central Region and beyond – from ten months of age to senior adults – from South Texas to Ohio. SNU’s Vice President for Church Relations, Dr. Terry Toler, is pictured with some of the more than two dozen mid-high, high school and college students who participated this year. Dr. Toler said, “It was a great joy to get to know these students – many of whom are great prospects to become part of the SNU family – and to spend time with our current SNU students who chose to spend their Christmas break in missions work.”

When asked about the impact of this year’s trip, Rev. Rodriguez said, “We feel it is a privilege to see what God does in the midst of His people. During these trips, we watch as God stitches his family – American and Mexican – together, through fellowship and service.” He summed up the trip’s true mission when he said, “We always say, it’s not about the work, it’s about the relationships! What a day it will be when we are all reunited in heaven!”


December 7, 2019 was a milestone day in the lives of more than three hundred Southern Nazarene University students as they walked across the stage of the Sawyer Center on the campus of SNU to receive their degree. SNU’s president, Dr. Keith Newman, presented diplomas to 160 who received their Bachelor’s degree, and 170 who earned Master’s degrees. Students from the Professional and Graduate Studies programs made up the majority of the graduates, and scores of them had spouses, children and extended family in attendance for the celebration of their achievement.

Commencement speaker was Mr. Greg Hall, alumnus of the Class of 1993, who serves as the Senior Vice President of Private Brands for Grocery at Walmart. Greg received his bachelor’s degree in Marketing from SNU and his MBA from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University. Greg and his wife, Frisa (Boulet), also a graduate of SNU, have two college age sons.

To learn more about the Professional and Graduate Studies programs at SNU, visit For more information about becoming part of the SNU campus family, visit To view the Winter Commencement, visit and select the “On Demand” tab.

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