Greetings from the border region, where houses are being built and God is at work! Here’s an update on the work of Faith Ministry:
So far this year we’ve built 14 houses – 11 in Reynosa and three in Miguel Alemán. Among our most recent teams was Myers Park United Methodist from Charlotte, who sent 40 youth to build three houses! Our goal this year is 32 houses. So far, we have 10 additional teams scheduled to visit, and we’re hoping through a matching program to build four others. That will leave us four houses short, but hey, the year is young!
Next team up is Winter Park Baptist. They’re going to Miguel Aleman.
We’ve asked Pastor Castillo to lead the church at Reynosa and continue his work at Naranjito. The two churches came together to celebrate recently. The churches are an important part of Faith Ministry’s work. Families in the region need homes, but they also need a community of Christians among whom to live, work and worship.
Feeding the Children
Board member Rick Casey and his daughter spent a week in Reynosa this month to help improve our work with some 50 children who eat breakfast with us each morning (35 in Reynosa and 15 in Miguel Alemán). Rick and Rachel presented classes on diabetes and nutrition for 50 people and explored ways to improve the menu. For some of the children, the meal with us is sometimes all they get to eat that day.
Two Matching Challenges
Two donors have stepped forward and agreed to fund two houses if the rest of us will match their donations. Meet the four families who will get houses if we can raise the money:
Clockwise, from top left:
- In Reynosa: Jose and Bartola have two grandchildren for whom they care, Michelle (age 5) and Bryan (age 4). They sell Mexican smoothies (ice with sweet flavors). Their house is falling apart little by little.
- In Reynosa: Jose and Maria have two children, Anahi (age 15) and Cecilia (age 10). They currently live in a very hot wooden house. Every team member who has visited Reynosa knows Maria’s brother, Julio.
- In Miguel Alemán: Fidel and Roxana have three children, Juan (age 22), Sandra (age 18) and Victor (age 10). Fidel works part-time on a farm near the town. They are in the congregation at the Miguel Alemán church.
- In Miguel Alemán: Ricardo and Olga have three children, Olga (age 17), Ana (age 16) and Alondra (age 13). Ricardo paints houses for a living. They’ve been waiting for a house for a long time.
We’ll find someone to build the houses if we can raise the money for them. We need $6,000 for each house. If you’d like to contribute, you may either send a check to our office at PO Box 756, McAllen, TX 78505, or use the secure link from our website at www.faithministry.org.
Watch the progress of these four houses on the Faith Ministry Facebook page (facebook.com/
Speaking of Facebook, we asked “likers” why they volunteer with Faith Ministry. Here are the responses:
- Karen Galambos: “I love worshipping together in Spanish with my Mexican brothers and sisters!”
- Kristin S. Jones: “I volunteer with Faith Ministry because it is where I feel his spirit the strongest and the fellowship is AMAZING!”
- Phyllis McKoin Collins: “Love.”
- Matthew Helveston: “The work is hard and painful at times, yet only temporary, where the relationships, understanding, and memories last forever.”
- Renie Smith Mills: “Faith Ministry is my home away from home, and I have many special friends, like family, there.”
- Eric Schmeckpeper: “To make a difference in the lives of some very special people.”
- Lisa Mitchell Utter: “The people of the colonias will change your life.”
- Stephen Howard: “To understand the have and the have nots and be grateful for all things!”
- Michael Williams: “Why I volunteer first to see what Faith Ministry was about. But when I got to where I was going things changed in me. I had a clear understanding of what is important and that is making a different in some one else’s life. I now love working beside my Mexican brother and sisters.”
- Timothy Witek: “Because there is no investment greater than one’s soul, and the friendships developed are lifelong!”
- Mary Zuverink Rueff: “Love.”