Tuesday, November 22, 2011

'Messenger Angels' Spread a Message of Peace





Rafael Romo, CNN

The transformation begins by pulling their hair back, slowly and at times painfully. The process requires a good amount of gel. Putting white make up on their faces like a mime is the second step. Then come the angelic, white robes; and for the final touch, wide, feathered wings.

They call themselves "messenger angels." The young evangelical Christians take a message of peace to intersections and public places in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico's most violent city across the border from El Paso, Texas.

The city with a population of 1.3 million in the state of Chihuahua has had more than 9,000 murders in the last three-and-a-half years.

"We get people's attention because instead of doing bad things, like other young people, we are doing this because we want Juarez to change," says Cynthia Gutierrez, one of the messenger angels.

The youth all attend the Psalm 100 Church in Juarez's Tierra Nueva (New Land) neighborhood, an economically challenged area with more than its share of violence and crime. Carlos Mayorga, a preacher and youth minister at the church, says the idea came about during a meeting last year in September.

"The kids chose 25 strategic locations throughout the city that they wanted to target," Mayorga says. "We do not share information about our church because we want the message of peace to be universal."

The messenger angels only meet on weekends, when they're off from school. The messages they have painted on the signs they carry are very telling: "corrupt police officer: seek God," "Authorities: nothing can be done without Christ," are among the messages that they show to the public.

On a recent weekend, a messenger angel stood near a busy intersection by an underpass in Ciudad Juarez with a message directed at thousands of hit men who work for drug cartels that terrorize Mexicans. "Believe and repent," the sign she was holding said.

The sign caught the attention of Nora Ramos, a Ciudad Juarez resident who happened to be in the area. "I was passing by and I thought it was beautiful to see young people with a positive message. They're doing something to change all of the bad things happening here in Juarez," Ramos said.

Nineteen-year-old Daniel Diaz is one of 25 messenger angels. He lives in an impoverished neighborhood of Ciudad Juarez and says he used to steal to get money for drugs. His new faith in Christ, he says, has changed his life.

"When I told my friends about my change, they wouldn't believe me. They thought I was joking. They told me I was crazy because no one can change overnight. But when you set your mind to change, it can happen," Diaz said.

The young messenger angels, all between the ages of 15 and 22, go out at night as well. They risk their lives by standing at crime scenes, places where there have been shootouts or where decapitated bodies have been found.

Messenger angel Edgar Sanchez says their messages are directed at both people who have chosen the wrong path and those suffering for different reasons. "The main goal for us angels is to send a warning to corrupt politicians, [a message of hope] to a woman suffering from cancer or other disease and compassion to dysfunctional families," Sanchez says.

Even though they go to some of the most dangerous places in the border town, including neighborhoods controlled by violent gangs, so far no one has been attacked or injured. But they recently had a problem with the police.

While standing outside of a police station, youth minister Mayorga and one of the youth were momentarily detained and taken inside the building. "They realized that we were only trying to send a message of peace in a public place and exercising our free speech rights," Mayorga said. "They released us shortly after our conversation."

There was also resistance from parents of some of the youth who objected to their children going to risky places. Mayorga says he and the youth convinced the adults with a "powerful" argument. "God is with us," he says. "After a period of prayer and fasting, we decided to move ahead with our plan."

17 comments:

  1. Aaand this is the moment when people are going completely nuts. Something that does not exist does not impact anything. Not enough that you are brainwashing your kids into religion, no...you idiots now make em dress up like toothfairies with banners? You people have lost your minds. Parents, get your kids off the street...it's dangerous out there. this is obviously a bunchg of people not having a clue about criminals.

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  2. These activities are not taught in the Bible. Nowhere in the Bible does it say to paint yourself like a ghost. Until Christians in Mexico start to take the Bible seriously and break the chains of the Roman Catholic Church, Mexico will continue to decline...

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  3. While I can certainly agree with their message of peace..I think their approach is dangerous especially allowing children to attend gruesome crime scenes. Plus, it's one thing to be religious but when you start doing and acting bizarre..like dressing up like angels, fasting, and overly preaching, well you wind up being labeled a religious zealot! Which then leads to everyone ignoring your message because they think your a nut or freak.

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  4. I just hope "God" keeps these kids safe,their heart is in the right place and i never want to see gentle people getting hurt.Anyway i hope they don't get hurt.

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  5. WTF-people trying to do good things in a very bad place and they get bashed here on this board. Do not understand.

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  6. I am an active us zeta and I would not harm these kids

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  7. I am not a religious man but I certainly am a spiritual person. I say this openly. These kids are showing courage and are doing something they believe in. They are doing what they can to change a city that has more evil than any of us could ever imagine. Evil is on every corner and in every alley. These children are making a stand for what they believe in and for a city that has very little good ever happen in it. I am truly impressed at what they are doing because each and every one of them knows evil could take them at any moment. Gangsters have kids too and sometimes strong voices come from our little people.

    9:58 AM...I am sorry you have no God. I will share mine with you.
    11:49 AM...Being spiritual and believing something more powerful than man can change things is a good thing and it has nothing to do with what is taught in a structured religion.
    11:55 AM...Maybe these kids have made a decision to have faith and trust in what they believe and want to make a stand for what is right, good, and just, no matter what the dangers and consequences are.

    These kids have already done more for change in Mexico than you cowardly key board haters will do in a life time. I feel for you children knowing that their father has no balls.

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  8. At least when they get to the other side and nothing is there they won't know it. True, parents will grieve but in less than an eye blink of planetary time they will be nowhere also.

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  9. Lying ass fool most zetas at least in California are afraid to admit they are zetas....... and for those of you that think cartels are the shit or untouchable here in Cali la pelan cuz they all afraid of homies taxing that ass lmao

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  10. ...Psalms 8; O Lord our Lord. How excelent is Thy name in all the earth!. Who hast set Thy glory above the heavens.
    ...Out of mouth of babes and sucklings hast Thou ordained strenth. Because of Thine enemies, That mightest still the enemy and the avenger...

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  11. 40 dont kill angels this has been ordered

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  12. One of them will get shot soon and they will all leave. Watch.

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  13. ...@Nov 9:58...1Corintians 1:27 But God has chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong...
    ...@Nov 22 1:50 and Nov 22 11:21 and others...Rev 17:17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled....
    ... In the face of EVIL, Strength, REAL STRENGTH IN GOOD CHARACTER, IS BEST DISPLAYED IN GOODNESS, HUMILITY AND GRACE (undeserving favor),....

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  14. I just hope the angels are armed. Until, like the urban gangs learned during prohibition, the cartels learn that that there is more than enough money to go around without gang wars, those advocating peace, law, and order will be in danger for merely disagreeing with the cartels.

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  15. People stop talking shit,this is not about some imaginary god.I hope these kids don't get hurt by people.God isn't gonna do shit,cause there is no god,you live,you die,you go in the ground or burned?So people,try not to hurt them,cause they kids,and they tryin to do something and they are not hurting anyone.Fuckers with guns,fair enough.

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  16. @ 8:28
    you right most cartel members dont say they are from a certain cartel, but i dont think its because of afraid of getting taxed. are u kidding me, if any mexican cartel really wanted to they could demolish 99% of any cali street gang.first of all they supply cali street gangs.so they are nothing without cartels supplying work.

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  17. Please support the page I created on facebook for this very brave group
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Angels-of-Ciudad-Juarez/280559765322932#!/pages/Angels-of-Ciudad-Juarez/280559765322932

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