What is SER ministries?

In 1990, when the Harmans were starting the ministry among the children living in poverty in the city of Juarez, Mexico they set several goals.  These were to reach the kids with the Salvation message, encourage and help them to get a better education and become responsible Christians.

The word SER in Spanish is the infinitive of the permanent verb “TO BE”.

S means to be Saved.  This is the first and most important goal.

E means to be Educated.  Educated in the Bible and also secular education.

R means to be Responsible.  Responsible Christians in every area of their lives.

 

The first ministry was built among the children living on the Juarez city dump.  This soon became a church. Soon after, another ministry was started in a former communist neighborhood.  The Harmans moved to Del Rio, Texas where SER ministries were built in the town of Ciudad Acuna.

During this time, Ernie was invited to speak in some churches in the southern part of Chihuahua and Coahuila states.  Soon, the SER program was used to start other children’s ministries,  help other churches to grow and build new churches. 

The SER Program has been used in the states of Chihuahua, Durango, Coahuila, Zacatecas, and Veracruz.

Today, the SER team is using the program to reach the unreached in the mountains, in the deserts, in villages, and in impoverished areas in big cities.

The Harmans came to work in Mexico in August, 1972. The first church they build was in Diaz Ordaz, Tamaulipas in 1974. They then helped Miguel Enquiquez build a Church in Ojinaga, Mexico. During theis time they also did eveangelism in the village in the Chihuahua Desert.

The Harmans are missionaries with Bread of Life Baptist Missions, Inc.        In June, 1989, Ernie and Donna Harman moved to El Paso, Texas to help Bro. Carlos Demarest establish a follow-up program for Bearing Precious Seeds Ministry. The following spring, they began a ministry with the children of Ciudad Juarez. While working with the kids, the basics of the S.E.R program were developed. Soon, another children’s ministry was established in an ex-communist neighborhood. After working in Juarez for 10 years, the Harmans moved to Del Rio, Texas to start ministries in the colonias of Ciudad Acuna.

The ministries in Acuna grew so fast, the Harmans knew they needed help. Ernie reached out to an old friend living in the Fort Worth area, Tom Duncan. Tom had a wealth of knowledge of missions and had made many trips to Mexico and was familiar with the ministry of the Harmans. In the spring of 2000, Ernie, Paul Ray, and Tom Duncan met in San Angelo and discussed how these ministries could be better organized. Tom went back to Ft Worth with many notes and started laying the foundation of what would become S.E.R International Ministries.

After several months, several visits and many phone calls, Tom called a meeting to be held in their church in Ft. Worth. Ernie invited several people who had made trips to Mexico and had shown a genuine interest in the ministry. Dale Arrington said there was an attorney in their church in Mesquite who could handle the legal work. Over the next several months S.E.R Ministries was formed. Tom Duncan was the first president until he went home to be with the Lord in 2002. Dale Arrington has been president since then.

On December 11, 2005 Donna went home to be with the Lord.

BE PART OF THIS MINISTRY

Children's Ministry

Every ministry working with SER is encouraged to use the SER children’s program. This is a structured method and opens more doors to reach children with the gospel.  This program can be adapted to every church.  Many new ministries are started using the SER program.

Scholarships

The Tom Duncan Memorial Scholarship Fund was started to help the children of the nationals who are working with the SER program.  It has helped young people go to universities, colleges, trade schools, high and middle schools.  It was named in honor of Brother Tom because so much of his life was dedicated to teaching others.

Church Planting

Every ministry is started with the goal of building a church.  Most new ministries are started either in a vacant lot, a back yard or someone’s patio.  Once a congregation is established, then they acquire a lot and a church building is built. 

Hot meals

Some of the ministries are in extremely poor neighborhoods.  In these locations, the ones doing the SER program are encouraged to prepare hot meals for the kids.  Some only prepare sandwiches or light snacks.

Evangelism

Every national church that teams-up with SER is expected to evangelize the villages and neighborhoods near them.  Some of these are close, but others require a lot of driving in the desert or mountains.  Almost all new locations today are by invitation.  This opens a lot of doors.

Building Churches

Building Church Buildings…. When a new ministry has matured to a point where they are ready for their own building (usually 5 or 6 years), SER helps them.  In the past teams were brought from the US to do most of the building.  Today, we have a team in Mexico that does most of the building.  Teams from the US are still needed to do a lot of finish work.  It is always a blessing to see the American Christians working beside the Mexicans.  Lifelong friendships are started.

Leadership

All of the SER ministries south of the American border are led by the nationals.  SER has a field director who lives in Saltillo.  He is a national pastor.  Every year, usually in May, there is a worker’s conference where each leader presents their ministries.  There is also a computer app where they correspond with each other every day. The ministries are their ministries, our objective is to help them improve on their leadership skills.

Food for the ones in need

In December 2020, the Mexican leaders decided that because of the Covid-19 shutdown so many were without income and needed the basic necessities, it would be best to use some of the Christmas funds to buy food.  Each of the leaders were sent $100 to purchase food to give to needy families.  S.E.R had enough for three months.  Some special offerings came in and the food program is going to this date.  The 20th of every month this money goes out.  The leaders send pictures each month of the food being given out.  The reports from Mexico have been very positive.

Christmas Toy's

Because Christmas is such a large celebration in Mexico, it presents a great opportunity to reach more kids with the gospel.  Every Autumn, SER has a toy drive.  This started over 30 years ago when the Harmans were working in Juarez.  Churches and individual Christians gather toys and either the Harmans make a “toy run” and pick them up or a friend brings them to the border. Some ship them.  Instead of shoeboxes, one gallon plastic bags work better for transporting to remote areas. Fill a plastic bag with small toys, candy and Spanish tracts.  The Mexican workers take these bags of toys, a pinata and some food and go back into villages and neighborhoods and have a Christmas “fiesta”.

School Supplies

In the public school system in Mexico, every child is given a list of supplies needed for that school year. Such as; 6 spiral notebooks, pencils, rulers, etc. plus a backpack.  This is a large burden for a poor family with several kids in school.  A number of churches and individual Christians help gather these needed supplies. Some send money, which helps buy lacking items and sometimes pay tuition.  Every kid has to pay a small amount each semester to keep their kid in school. 

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