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Hispanic family to return to Mexico

April 01, 2002|BY MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

More than 20 years ago, Melesio Rodriguez left his native Mexico and began a fateful journey that first brought him to America and much later to God.

Now, Rodriguez is returning to Mexico with his Hagerstown-born wife, Tammy, and their 12-year-old son, Miguel, to pave the way for others to find Christianity as Rodriguez did many years ago.

"We are very excited but we are going to have our work cut out for us," said Rodriguez from his home in Falling Waters, W.Va.

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This bold move is a dream for Rodriguez, who is determined to plant 10 new churches in the next 10 years in the Durango state in Mexico. "Everywhere is poor in Mexico but in Durango, it is not too bad," Rodriguez said.

With funds donated by New Covenant Fellowship in Sharpsburg and Zion Assembly of God in Maugansville, Rodriguez said he believes the goal can be met.

The Rodriguez family is leaving Wednesday and will be back at least once a year to visit family and friends in the United States.

Since locating in Hagerstown, Rodriguez has been working in construction, first full time and later part time after he began doing more ministry to Spanish-speaking people in Washington County.

Five years ago, Pastor Joe Quesenberry and some members of his congregation at Zion Assembly of God started a Spanish Bible study in a garage.

Soon Rodriguez came to that Bible study at Zion and ever since, Zion Assembly has had a weekly service for Spanish-speaking parishioners.

Rodriguez not only handled services at the church but went to migrant labor camps in the Tri-State area to minister to people whose only language was Spanish.

"Now that Melesio is leaving, we have a couple from Charles Town, W.Va., who will be conducting our services," Quesenberry said.

For more information on Zion Assembly of God Church's Spanish services, call 301-739-3888.

Also in Hagerstown, the Hagerstown Latino Church of the Nazarene shares a building with the Church of the Nazarene at 141 N. Edgewood Drive. Services are in Spanish. Sunday school is at 1:30 p.m. and worship begins at 2:30 p.m. on Sundays.

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