In the summer of 1978, Alex and Julie Palomares met for the first time when Julie traveled with some high school classmates from the United States to Mexico. Alex’s brother, Pablo was the group's tour guide and he invited Alex to a party being held in honor of the visiting Americans. It didn’t take long for Alex and Julie to spot each other at the party. Despite the fact that Alex didn’t speak English and Julie only spoke high school level Spanish, Alex asked Julie to dance. The two formed a lasting bond that afternoon and three years later they were married.
The newlyweds chose to reside in Puebla, Mexico. While living there, God surrounded the couple with born again believers, including some missionaries, whom the Lord used to draw Alex and Julie to Himself. The two had been raised in Catholic homes, but both came to the realization that they were missing a personal relationship with God. In 1982, their friends brought them to a church service where they gave their hearts to Jesus. A short time later, the couple went to a home bible study and received the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
It was not long before Alex and Julie had the opportunity to go on their first missionary trip. The two visited a small mountain community in Mexico; it was there that they fell in love with mission work and ministry in particular. Separately, each asked the Lord to prepare them for ministry, but to their surprise, He redirected the Palomares to move to the U.S. to focus on their marriage and raising a family. They did so feeling assured that God would show them the right time to step out into ministry.
Fast forward nearly twenty-six years, three children and eleven relocations later, to a regular morning in March of 2008. Julie was watching Andrew’s Gospel Truth program on television, and although she had seen the program and the promotions for Charis Bible College (CBC) hundreds of times, this morning was different. Julie felt led to order the CBC correspondence courses, and when she discussed her idea with Alex, she found that he too wanted to take the courses.
By August first, they had completed the first year program, and had also decided to sell their home and move to Colorado Springs to begin their second year at CBC. All CBC students are required to go on a foreign mission trip during their second year, and the Palomares mission trip brought them back to Mexico. It was during this trip that the Lord began to prepare them to return to Mexico, to begin their ministry in the same country where they had found each other and God three decades earlier.
The Lord continued to speak to Alex and Julie about the timing being right to begin their ministry. During their third year at CBC, they focused their apprenticeship project on the research of three cities in Mexico. They found the city of Querétaro to be a good fit for their ministry base, and in January 2010, the two decided to visit the city. They believed that God would confirm the leading they felt during their visit.
Querétaro is a lovely colonial city of about 800,000 people. It is clean, safe and situated approximately two and a half hours northwest of Mexico City. It is also an area that is home to many international companies and a number of educational institutions. It is the number one non-beach tourist destination in Mexico. Beyond these facts, God confirmed to the couple that Querétaro was in need of hearing the message of God’s unconditional love and grace.
“The time we spent walking the streets of Querétaro and praying confirmed to us that this was where we needed to be. We met a young pastor and his wife who moved to Querétaro three years ago to start a church. They graciously showed us around the area and picked us up for their church service the next day. Over lunch we were able to tell them about our desire to begin a discipleship program that we believe will grow into a Bible college. They were very interested in our plans, assuring us that there is great need in Querétaro and a lot of work to be done. We returned to Colorado knowing that the Lord prepared us as He said He would many years ago," said Julie.
Alex and Julie were ordained by Andrew and the CBC staff following their third year apprenticeship, and they began to make preparations to move to Querétaro. They moved to Mexico in September 2010, and soon after their arrival began teaching Discipleship Evangelism in León, Guanajuato, about two hours northwest of Querétaro. A short time later, the couple began teaching a second discipleship group at a local church in Querétaro. They continue to lead these groups and teach at other meetings by invitation.
Each group of hungry hearts has received an abundance of revelation from the lessons that Alex and Julie present each week. Participants have received a clear understanding of water baptism, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, their authority as believers and so much more. “DE training doesn’t just give people discipleship materials to share with others. It allows a person to experience the Grace of God through a systematic study of basic Bible topics and then they share what they have experienced ﬁrsthand with others," Alex explained.
The Palomares are thrilled to see God’s word changing so many lives in Mexico, and also find joy in sharing their testimony of God’s faithfulness in their lives, as an encouragement to all who God puts in their path. “What a precious moment it is when you realize that you are in the right place at the right time,” Julie said.
To learn more about their journey and their ministry visit the Palomares Ministries website.