Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Missionary vows return to Mexico after wife killed

Sunday, February 13, 2011 |



By LINDA STEWART BALL
Associated Press

Sam Davis and his wife Nancy worked tirelessly as missionaries, building churches and medical clinics in Mexico before she was killed by suspected drug smugglers. Though returning would be dangerous - maybe fatal, he admits - Davis wants to continue the work to which his beloved "Nanz" dedicated her life.

Speaking by phone to The Associated Press two weeks after he and his wife were ambushed in their pickup truck, Davis said Wednesday that he doubts his wife's attackers will be brought to justice. But he prays for them.

"I miss her terribly, but those people who killed her need to be saved," Davis said from his home in South Texas. "I pray for them, that God will have mercy on them and help them to know him."

"Only God knows why I made it through," he said later. "It's been the most horrible experience of my life."

Davis believes the gunmen wanted his truck and weren't targeting him and his wife, a registered nurse who helped deliver newborns in clinics they built through their Gospel Proclaimers Missionary Association. But now, after speaking publicly about the shootings, Davis said he knows he's a target.

He said a friend called earlier Wednesday to tell him that his home in Mexico was being watched by drug cartel members. A Mexican prosecutor plans to interview Davis on Friday.

"I know it's the drug cartel and the Zetas and the guys who shot at us, shot up my truck and killed my wife," Davis said. "They know who I am."

The couple was returning from a visit to one of their churches when they encountered an illegal roadblock Jan. 26, on a highway just south of the border city of Reynosa. The couple had been pursued 15 times before during their years in Mexico, and Sam Davis decided not to stop.

He then heard gunfire from semiautomatic weapons.

The back window of the truck shattered - and the woman he married more than 38 years ago, whom he described as perfect, fell motionless.

"I felt and heard the impact of the bullet that hit her in the back of her head," Davis said. "She instantly slumped over unconscious ... blood began pouring out all over the console and seat. I laid my hand on her neck and could feel her heart was still beating. But I still had over 70 miles to get to the border."

He drove 137 mph, "but it still seemed like forever" before they made it to Texas. Nancy was pronounced dead at a hospital. She was 59.

Earlier that day, the couple had talked about what they would do if they were ever kidnapped. After hearing about recent violence - tortures, rapes, beheadings - they agreed "we were not going to stop and surrender without fighting. That's why I did what I did," Davis said.

Because of escalating violence, Davis was able to convince his wife to stay behind for the last few weeks when he went into some remote villages to check on their pastors and congregations. After his last trip, his wife told him she couldn't stand being without him. They'd been working in Mexico together for nearly four decades.

"We've been together through thick and thin. She said, 'please let me go, take me with you,'" Davis recalled. Granting that request, he said, is something he'll always regret.

He acknowledged that the shooting "was simply one more in a long chain" of drug-related violence in Mexico. If he could go back in time, Davis said, he maybe would have packed up his family and fled Mexico with other missionaries, then waited for the violence to quell before returning to their work. Through donations, their Gospel Proclaimers Missionary Association supports some 15 churches along a 2,000-mile-long circuit through Mexico.

"We had counted the cost and were very aware that it was going to take our lives, but I didn't know what that would mean," he said.

He has found some solace speaking with Tiffany Hartley, the Colorado woman whose husband was shot by pirates as the couple rode Jet-Skis on a Texas-Mexico border lake. His body was never found.

"To know and sense what we've been through, the trauma of watching your mate be killed, the suffering of that. The agony is beyond words," Davis said.

Yet he wants to continue the mission for which his wife died. The couple has two adult sons and seven grandchildren, and Davis said both his sons have decided to help.

Davis has established a memorial fund to build a new church honoring his wife. He has seen lives transformed as people come to embrace faith, and he wants to keep experiencing that beauty.

"I am not angry with God that my wife is gone," Davis said. "I don't understand why he took her. But I know that he has a plan that is working out and it's part of that plan. And so, I remain committed and surrender to his will even though my heart is hurting and I'm grieving."





Special thanks for the link to: Buela Chivis

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30 Borderland Beat Comments:

''lito'brito said...

..even though i see this man as foolhardy..

fools go where angels fear to tread...his bravery is undeniable

Mexicans could use a dose of this same kind of dedication and courage

too bad they aren't as valiant in working towards a decent country

i am not trying to preach...but jesus said

greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his brother

by returning to Mexico this man is certainly laying down his life

i only hope for him that his end is quick and painless...

Ernest1 said...

I'm sorry, but the fact that all the Looney Tunes Ministries are so attracted to running down to historically Catholic Latin America to battle it out supposedly for God just means didley squat to most people. Their success at 'spreading the word' makes me nauseous at the thought even.

'i only hope for him that his end is quick and painless...'

Yeah, Brito, but what about the unfortunate folk that have to put up with these types arriving into their neighborhoods? These folk just give Mexican kids just another incentive to sign up with one cartel gang or the other. Just don't let it be 'Vacation Bible School'! ... PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

if you return to mex, yer dummer than a friggin tree.. let the corn eaters stew in their own mess..

Buela said...

I agree with you E1...I have seen some ridiculous stuff and abuse in the name of religion. But honestly this lady was a fine woman. She ran a clinic for poor Mexicans, had a mobile clinic and was a mid wife to the mountian indigenous women. she did did great work! We have to respect that. at least I do.

But..........there is something about the husband that has never set well with me. He creeps me out and his story is all over the place...the truth stands alone, what happened happened...

I mean I know NO ONE in Mx that has been chased by narcos multiple times! give us a friggin break! and he says 19 times???? I simply do not believe him. I think perhaps he is ready to go back to Mx to get a fine senorita to help him find jesus...

I know, I know...but as always JUST my dos centavos

Ernest1 said...

Well I worked for a year in Laredo with an White White Evangelical lady from Iowa who came down because of religion. She was one of the sweetest people I have ever known. So I hear what you're saying, Buela... It's best not to generalize negatively perhaps about almost any group of people.

''lito'brito said...

well ernie you could always go along with him and spread YOUR message

you got inlaws it Tamps. right?

''lito'brito said...

Beee...

fine senorita.....beee...shame on you ..

you know us gringos aint attracted to them fine figured, sweet smile,, long haired, little feet, musical laughter, dancing around all the time Mexican girls ...nooo...


you got to stop watchin them dern telenovelas B..jajaja

Anonymous said...

The medical clinics were a good thing but do not treat people in the name of a fake being created only to control the masses. I am sick of people giving praise to something that does not exist. These people had the right intentions but their basis for giving aid was baseless. The book they use says that "the wages of sin is death" Guess what, everybody dies. It is called aging. I guess Mother Teresa was a closet porn queen because she died. All the popes have died. All the televangelists who beg and cry for money then go out and have sex with hookers and kids and do drugs die. There is no savior for sin. Jesus was a man who got his ass whipped for not getting with the program and was made a martyr of. We are powerless spots of carbon, phosphorus, calcium and the like. Nothing more. All of these "quotes" and "passages" were written by man. Nothing more. If Benny Hinn said sucking his dick would save the world, people would form a line. Get over yourselves. Only weak people who are afraid to kill and too weak to be an alpha believe in this horseshit.

Anonymous said...

She was also a nurse who delivered babies for the poor free of charge. I know doctors, dentists and assistants in Texas who have told their worried spouses that they will cease their volunteer programs in Mexico until it is safe to resume.

''lito'brito said...

ernie ..seriously ..are you ok..you are getting down right sorta nice here lately...

and yes hell has frozen over ..

i actually am starting to enjoy some of your insights...

ya just need ta branch out a little and let people know what you think about OTHER topics sometimes...

you got a lot o knowledge there old bean...broaden the focus of yer raps ..and i am all ears

you ain't gettin struck on B now are you?..jajajja

Buela said...

Behave Brito! Me and E1 just taking a breather..You always want to stir the pot of caca.

@ My beloved E1....jaja just messing E1 don't throw up. You are so correct and I hope I was not generalizing, just speaking from my exp. I really do not want to list the abuses but one can imagine.

My entire point was simplistic:
Helping those in need should not be conditional.
period
simple
over
out

Anonymous said...

11;55 LOOKS LIKE THERES AN ALPHA SOCIO-PATH ON LINE.

Buela said...

@ 11:55
So lets say there is no God.
I would rather live in a neghborhood filled with those who "believe" than do not.
Must I say why? Because they know they should live within certain morals, and beatitudes, and even fear.

Once in a while a family will ask me to join them in prayer, and it truly is a beautiful thing because they requested it and felt comfortable enough with me to ask. Many Mexicans are 85% catholic but also have Jews, Jehovans, Mormonsm Islami, Buddhism Seventh Day etc. Mexico City has the largest number of Jews outside Israel, and NL has many Islamic followers. In Jalisco the birthplace of my Maya has the fewest Catholics, not surprisingly.

I don't care what religion a person believes in or practices, I simply hope that people can believe in making the world a better place by doing acts small and large. This lady was amazing, the works she did humble me, I gave her huge props.

Her husband...reminds me of those evangelistic come to Jesus pastors you are talking about. I may be wrong but why can't he keep his story straight?

Anonymous said...

Lito Brito says it best!! "i only hope for him that his end is quick and painless..."

Stupid is as stupid does!!! I can't believe his own family will not talk sense into him and tell him to lay it down. This sin is bigger than you!!

Anonymous said...

@ come on 11;55. dont you think it's time to let what happened to you when your were young rest.......forgive the man that represented himself falsely, and used his religious front to hurt others.......forgive yourself...you were young and innocent.....forgive yourself....if you don't, your soul will never rest.... you carry too much pain and hurt......don't you think it's time to let it go....you have suffered enough, haven't you...let it go..!!!!

Anonymous said...

@b

largest number of jews outside of Israel,i would have guessed New York city are you sure about that?

''lito'brito said...

hey i am all for civilized debate and getting along...erny is good to go with me anytime he wants to be ..i like to joke around and have a little fun..

have you noticed how nice i have been lately?

Anonymous said...

Wasn't there a dude when BB first reported on this story by the name of M1 that claimed he was from the Gulf Cartel n he said it was them but it was accident because Sam Davis didn't stop? But Sam Davis is saying it was the Zetas. Regardless on wheter or not Sam is stupid for going back I respect his balls n his belief for doing what he's doing.

Buela said...

You know I am not sure, Usually I have my facts verifed but I took the word of Isreli friends stopping in SoCal on their way to DF for a conference. Let me do some checking. Then there is always is it numbers or % game...

Sorry I should of checked first..whatever I find the number is huge.

Anonymous said...

Invade. Kill. Take Command. End Violence. Problem solved.

Buela said...

@ 5:43

I stand corrected and you are absolutely right! NYC has 30-35K more Jews. and IS the 2nd most outside Jerusalem or Israel. DF has the largest number in Mx at 40-50K but Guadalajara also has a large number. and is the country that will most increase in numbers outside Israel.

Thanks for keeping it real..sorry about the goof

''lito'brito said...

wow..that is a lot...especially considering the history of spanish repression...

i did know the founder of Monterrey diego montemayor was burned by the pendejos for being a crypto

Anonymous said...

alpha
mouth uh , alpha mouth uh, christians afraid to kill, you are pretty stupid ,you know that, ever hear of the crusades or the knights templar?, probably hard to hear with your head all the way up your ass to your shoulders

Anonymous said...

Once again Buela, your comments woefully uninformed..this is just not your night. A little too much generalizing....

As a gringo, who has lived in Mty for more than 12 years, I have been chased 4 times in the past 3 years and this is a regular occurrence for those of us that travel in the border areas. In fact, the only reason I haven't been chased more is that after it started, I told my company I refused to drive to the offices in Texas and they would have to pay to fly me.

On the rare occasion that we do drive (to load up on shopping), we ONLY drive during daylight and straight into McAllen so we are out of the frontier as quickly as possible.

These are the facts of everyday life in Northern Mexico. I'm astounded that you don't know ANYONE who has experienced multiple chases.

Oh, and by the way, he didn't say 19 times, he said 15. But even if he is exaggerating, isn't 1 or 2 or 5 times too much?

I have a tremendous respect for these people for putting their lives on the line to make the lives of others better. Shame on any of you for saying anything negative. R.I.P. Nancy. You did not deserve to die.

Buela said...

Hey Mr Mty
I live and have my offices in a mx border state. and until recently had a apt in mty. so I know what I am talking about. this is my exp. isn't it amazing that you were chased 4 times and the narcos did not get you? wow you should teach classes. I repeat NO ONE i know has been chased mulitple times...NO ONE. I drove the 6 hrs to mty 2-3 times a month, or saltillo. sometimes alone. Been harassed once by narcos, I stopped they tore apart my car and let us go. I have never been chased and honestly don't know which is the right thing to do. stop or not.

so in the chase, they did not shoot? yeah right. he did say 19 times...and he siad 7 times and he said 15 times that is the problem I have with this guy, the truth is patent just tell it and you don't have to have a great memory.

This is what I know to be true. plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

If the Creepy husband knew they only wanted his truck he should have given it to them instead of getting his wife killed!
What a selfish asshole!! The story always changes. Thought there was a narco roadblock?

Anonymous said...

09:30, I agree with you on the insult that people show that they are offended that these people were Christian, and they helped people in the name of Christianity. If the minisiter is not lying about 15 or so chases, it's possible that the ones that were chasing them were the very people they helped when they were kids. So, they reconized them and stopped. I have a friend and they also go to mexico in groups to help people with food, toys, construction work for some old-folks home, and medical help. What's wrong with that??? If any of you believe in God.!! it's one thing loving your family and friends, but a complete stranger, that's another story. Many people are taught that you don't take anything when you die. That's a lie. You take your goood and bad. The righteous acts you do here in earth are the linen you wear in heaven. any mention of christianity is a insult anymore. wow.!!! They did these for the glory of what Christ's represents, and others do it for their own glory.!!

Anonymous said...

All you idiots that think this missionary is stupid for going back....he is doing what he believe is God's will for his life. He is not in Mexico to do harm, but good will....let it be known that " the fool has said in his heart that there is no God". Look at the creation all around you. Yes, there is God who will bring justice on HIS own time

Anonymous said...

I think the picture of the 2 with "Pray for and Partner with us to Reach lost souls for Jesus" Speaks a thousand words and tells the whole story! Nothing was ever for free!
Convert or fuck -off!
SAD SAD SAD :(((((((

Anonymous said...

buela, theres a man by the name of dell sanchez, and in his web-site, you will find that the reason there are alot of jews in mexico, is because they came from spain. alot of spanish names have hidden symbols in them, and..the jews used trees, flowers, mother nature to identiy themselves... and the symbols are lost in the names themselves. theres a book thirdteenth tribe, by arthur koestler, this book declares how fake-tribe of people inflitrated the jewish nation, and intermixed with the tribes of israel, 12, so you can sometimes identify these fake-jews by their personal appearances. and also their real agenda.

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