In 1957 Charlene and Allen Ehlers met and married in Japan. Charlene was a missionary with her parents; Allen was in the Air Force. They returned to the USA and completed his Air Force commitment. Afterwards, they moved to Seattle while going to Bible School. They also had their own business and started a family with their son, Timothy Ray.

At that time Allen had an opportunity to visit Mexico and Trinidad with the Bible School Dean. He thought, at the time, that this was just a one-time chance to see the mission field there. Returning to Seattle, however, Allen found he could not get Mexico out of his heart. After much prayer and struggling we felt that the Lord wanted us to sell our business and our home and head towards Mexico by faith to see what God would do. Charlene was six months pregnant with Robert who was born in Laredo, TX and passed away just shortly afterwards.

Shortly afterwards we went into Mexico for about six months. Not knowing the language was difficult so we came out to study three years of college Spanish in nine months. We then returned to a primitive Mexican village near Cd. Victoria wh the people didn’t even use money. We lived in a one-room house without electricity, water or bathroom. Our windows were wooden shutters. During this time of living here we met and won a local young man to the Lord named Julian Moreno who to this very day (40 years later) is a pastor in this same area.

Timothy and Allen both almost died of typhoid fever, Allen contracted hepatitis and amoebic dysentery. Because of all that happened we returned to the States very discouraged. While on our way to Nogales, Arizona, making one more attempt at missionary work we had four flat tires right out of Del Rio, TX. Limping into Del Rio to fix the tires (2 of which were under warranty), being told that it would only take a few days, having the new tire delivery delayed daily, a wise pastor said to us, “Maybe God is trying to say something to you so park your little trailer in my trailer park, fast and pray, and see what God says.”

This we did and during this time, we were invited to Cd. Acuna, Mexico by another missionary. One of the nights we were in Cd. Acuna a broken-hearted mother brought her little son to us saying, “My son is dying; pray for him,” which we did, with all our hearts having lost a son of our own. We did not know at the time that the baby only needed a little bit of food; he was dying of starvation. That night the baby went on to Jesus. Our hearts were broken; we had been too late. God spoke at that time to Allen, “No child or anyone should die of starvation.” We were to reach out to these people to meet the needs of the whole man.

Thus Faith Mission was started in November of 1963. Our heart’s desire and purpose was to touch these people with the Gospel and to make a real difference in their lives spiritually and physically so that Robert’s and this other Mexican baby’s death would not have been in vain. For all of these years we know that many elderly, widows, handicapped, and children have been kept healthy and alive today because we have been here as Jesus’ hands extended. Out of this has come many areas of ministry which you can see elsewhere on this website. It has been and is a great journey that we are on for the Lord.

Note: While on the mission field to the people of Cd. Acuna, Mexico, another child was born to the Ehlers, Sheryl Mae on February 14, 1966. Her birth was an answer to prayer and finished up our small family. We worked, played, served, and ministered together. She was a great part of Faith Mission and truly loved Jesus and the Mexican people. Her desire was to make a difference in every person she met, and that she did! Sheryl recently went on to be with the Lord on December 27, 2002, after a courageous battle with cancer.