In 1988, while attending Spanish language school in McAllen, Texas, we, Roland and Carolyn Ashby, saw families living under plastic bags and cardboard boxes just over the border in Reynosa, Mexico. These families lived in and around a garbage dump. The community living near the “dump” was not only poor but many people that lived there were physically and emotionally challenged. Some were addicted to alcohol and drugs, others prostituted their bodies to provide food for their children and practically all rummaged through the garbage for food, clothes or anything of value to use or sell. The scene was difficult to process.
We began to pray and asked God what could be done. We felt that God answered immediately and said, “You can do SOMETHING”! What was the SOMETHING we could do?
I am a 15-year veteran of the insurance industry. Carolyn is a registered nurse. Sharing the desperate conditions we had seen with pastors and others God began to touch the hearts of those who listened. Pastors encouraged their flock to go as a team and reach out in practical ways to touch these people. A simple house plan to provide dry shelter was drawn. This house can be built in three days. This was the SOMETHING we felt we could begin to do. Strategic Alliance is a network of teams and individuals helping hurting people in practical ways.
Today people from all walks of life and all ages come. Some come as families. Moms and Dads bring their kids. American kids play with the Mexican kids while teams paint and build the homes. More important than the homes is the love of Jesus that is shared both ways…..Americans embrace the Mexicans and the Mexicans love us back.
The comment heard most from our American teams is that they can’t believe how happy and content the Mexicans are despite the poverty in which they live. God blesses both ways!
Since the beginning hundreds of homes have been built. Tons of food and clothes have been given away. Teams of doctors and nurses have treated the sick. Hairdressers have cut hair. Everyone brings their God given gift and shares it in a practical and creative way. Best of all, God’s Kingdom is expanded as people give their life to Christ!
In 2010 the Rio Grande River flooded and 800+ homes had 1 to 12 feet of water in them for 2 months! Strategic Alliance supplied materials and organized American teams to teach the Mexicans how to clean and repair their homes after the water receded.
During the flood the people lived on a narrow levee. Food, water and personal supplies were provided by Strategic Alliance. We asked what their greatest need was and they all agreed that without money to provide for school fees, test fees, backpacks, school supplies, new uniforms and new shoes their children would not be able to attend school. If they missed a year most likely they would not return. An education is one way they can escape the challenge of living in the dump.
A pastor from San Antonio partnered with Strategic Alliance to sponsor 405 children to attend school the first year. Today, other churches and individuals have joined us to sponsor students. That “SOMETHING" is now called ¡Escuela Viva! (School Alive!) Today, hundreds of children are sponsored! God is faithful!
We continue to take teams to Reynosa. Much is being reported about the war among the cartels fighting for turf leading into the United States. The safety of our teams is of utmost importance. Our hope is that you pray about joining us as we reach out in compassion to the “least of these”. More importantly, please pray for the people of Mexico.
STRATEGIC: of or pertaining to strategy.
STRATEGY: 1.) the science or art of military command as applied to the overall planning and conduct of large scale operations. 2.) a plan of action resulting from the practice of this science. 3.) Designed to destroy the military potential of the enemy!
ALLIANCE: 1.) a formal pact of union of confederation between nations in a common cause. 2.) Any union, relationship, or connection by kinship, marriage, common interest or the like.
We, the body of Christ, have a STRATEGIC ALLIANCE with Jesus! We are related by kinship, marriage and common interest and have been commissioned and given a strategic plan of action to destroy the military potential of our enemy…....Satan! The hope of this ministry is to develop “strategic alliances” with believers from many nations to destroy the works of our enemy and advance God’s Kingdom to the ends of the earth!
God’s strategy is to love people into His kingdom! Strategic Alliance does this by mobilizing teams to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, build homes for the homeless families, sponsor children to continue their education, and reach out in mercy to the migrant community. His love never fails.
Roland and Carolyn Ashby answered the call to missions in 1988. They studied Spanish in McAllen, Texas before locating in Guanajuato, Mexico where they mobilized Mexican short term mission teams.
They would recruit Mexican bible teachers, evangelists, doctors and dentists to provide medical/dental care and the Gospel to remote Indian groups in the mountains of Mexico.
In 1991 they founded an orphanage in Zacatecas, Mexico providing care for Huichol Indian babies suffering from a measles epidemic and a severe drought.
In 1992 they moved to New Braunfels, Texas. There they founded Strategic Alliance where their offices and home are today.
Roland is responsible for defining the vision and establishing and conserving the long-term goals of the ministry. Roland works diligently to ensure that the ministry stays focused and true to the vision God has given.
Since the foundation of Strategic Alliance Carolyn has provided sound counsel and advice. Her wisdom and ability to rightly divide the Word of Truth has enabled Carolyn to bless many, many people here in the United States and around the world. Her compassion towards “the least of these” is prodigious, to say the least!
Roland, Carolyn and their Strategic Alliance staff have taken thousands of people on short term mission outreaches since 1989. Since the day God told Roland that he could do something that something continues to be defined.
God’s grace is shared in abundance through their ministry.
Roland Ashby & Carolyn Ashby
Founders & Chief Officers of Strategic Alliance
Director Of Escuela Viva + Outreach Administrator
Suzanne (Suzie) is the wife of Tim Killeen and has 3 children. Suzie and her family moved to San Antonio in 2012 and in May of 2013 she joined Strategic Alliance as coordinator of Escuela Viva. Most importantly, Suzie has been a devoted follower of Jesus since 1993 and her family attends CrossBridge Community Church. She graduated from Arizona State University with a BS in Human Resource Management. She loves to read, teach in the school program for BSF and spend time with her family. You can email Suzie HERE.
Creative Director + Outreach Coordinator
Kristiana has had a heart for missions and been going on Outreach with Roland and Carolyn since she was a little girl. For those who don’t know, Kristiana is Roland and Carolyn’s grand-daughter. With a background in social media, marketing and graphic design she loves to share the stories of the people in Reynosa in a way that inspires others to be a part. Kristiana loves being a part of the ministry and seeing all that the Lord is doing in the hearts of the people! You can reach Kristiana HERE.
Alma Rosa Acevedo Pineda (Mexico Staff)
Escuela Viva & Homes for the Homeless Coordinator
Alma serves as the Administrator of Strategic Alliance’s school sponsorship program called, Escuela Viva (School Alive). She lives in Reynosa, Mexico, and works daily to disciple those in the program as well as the staff who serve the short-term teams that go with Strategic Alliance to Reynosa. Alma also works diligently to pick families who will be receiving new homes through Strategic Alliance’s short-term outreaches, called Homes For The Homeless.
Penny studied at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Over the years Penny has worked in accounting for many non-profits and has been with Strategic Alliance for the last 15+ years. She greatly enjoys getting to work with the team at Strategic Alliance. In her free time, Penny loves traveling with her husband and spending time with her precious grand-daughter.
Edrei Rodriguez (Mexico Staff)
Director of Mercy Without Borders
Edrei was raised in a Christian home, and accepted Christ as his Savior at the age of 5. At 13 he received a call to ministry on his first mission trip in a rural community. Upon finishing high school, he studied to receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Study with a focus on missions. He currently serves migrants in Reynosa, attending to their spiritual and physical needs full time. He pastors “Iglesia Misericordia Sin Fronteras, where most of the attendees are Haitian migrants.
Max has been involved with Strategic Alliance since his family moved to San Antonio in 2005. For those who don’t know, Carolyn and Roland are Max’s Aunt and Uncle. Even though his family is in the ministry, Max has a calling for what they do and always wants to be a part of God’s work that is done through Strategic Alliance.