Reuniting with Friends
This month, we were able to have more visits with friends that we had not seen in months! Our friend and former Board member Darren visited us in Reynosa, as well as a new friend Jack from Myers Park United Methodist in Charlotte, NC. We also had a special visit from our good friends Kathy and Doug from Raleigh, NC, and David and Colleen made a trip over to Brownsville to reunite with Lidia, our late founder Deantin’s wife, and his daughter Annette. After 15 months of not having many visitors, it’s been such a joy to reunite with friends down here in Mexico!
Here is Kathy’s reflection of her visit back to Reynosa:
Waiting is so very difficult. We have all been waiting. Waiting for hugs, waiting for friends, waiting for gatherings, waiting for family dinners….waiting to get back to Mexico to be with our brothers and sisters and to work with them again.
After more than a year of waiting through lockdowns, Facebook updates, remote visits, and cancelled construction trips, Doug and I found ourselves at the familiar site of the Mexico border as we crossed into Reynosa. The sites and smells were so familiar and so sweet. As we finally saw the precious site of the church complex with its white walls and bright blue trim, we said a little prayer of thanks. Thanks to God for bringing us back.
Through the gates and out of the SUV, we were once again greeted with the love and faces of Jesus that we treasure so deeply. Smiles were abundant in our eyes as masks covered our faces. We missed Angel’s smile but felt his spirit and legacy. Elbow hugs and fist bumps were a temporary substitute for the usual hugs. The delightful smell of Marisela’s tamales filled the air as we circled up for the blessing (and yes, we all clapped). Eating Mexican food prepared with loving hands and struggling through language barriers to catch up with friends and family is the best.
Spending time in Mexico fills my heart and grounds me. My family is there and I love them so much. I am grateful for the vaccines that have been developed that enabled the ministry leadership to allow visitors.
The wait is over and there is work to be done. We didn’t need to wait for our work group to be there again. Neither do you! Gloria a Dios!
Two More Houses Under Construction
This month, we are building Casa #5 and Casa #6 in Reynosa, both provided by churches that were unable to come to Mexico this year. Our construction staff is doing a great job ramping up the pace of house construction, and we are so honored to be building more houses for families in need here on the border. Our plan is to build two more houses next month and at least another seven in the fall with visiting mission work groups. God is good!
Taking Care of the Community
We continued our grocery package program this month because we are committed to making sure families in our communities are taken care of as long as this pandemic lasts. We will keep distributing these grocery packages each month in Reynosa, Miguel Alemán, and Monterrey for as long as families are impacted by the pandemic. All of your support has made this program possible!
It is always devastating for us to have to share news like what happened this month in Reynosa, but our commitment is to always keep you informed, be transparent, and make sure we are serving our community and our staff in Mexico in the safest way possible.
As you may have seen in the news, there were multiple shootings by armed civilians in Reynosa over Father’s Day weekend that resulted in the death of at least 14 innocent individuals. These shootings happened toward the exit to Rio Bravo, near the Pharr bridge, about 15 minutes from our main complex. Since then, police have captured several of the people responsible.
Our staff in Reynosa was safe, and the families that we we serve were also safe. In order to protect our staff and the people we work with, we took several precautions during the following week, including pausing activities that involved going out into the community and pausing any border crossings for U.S. staff.
Thankfully, after a tense week, the situation improved enough that we were able to resume normal activities, and the construction staff picked up where they left off building Casa #5 and Casa #6.
We are still being cautious and taking all the security measures that we need to, but we are thankful for the sense of calm that is slowly but surely returning to the city. We appreciate all of your prayers, and keep on praying for the families in Reynosa and for continued peace in the city.
For ongoing updates about ministry activities, safety, and more, follow us on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/FaithministryinMexico.
Read our full statement regarding the tragic incident here: https://faithministry.org/blog/message-executive-director-2021.
We believe in the power of prayer, so please join us in praying for:
- Peace and safety in Reynosa and Miguel Alemán and for our staff and the families that live there
- Praise! After feeling under the weather last month, Luz and Agueda, two of our staff in Miguel Alemán, are feeling much better.
- Marisela, our cook and caretaker in Reynosa, who has been feeling sick this week. Pray for her continued healing.
- The health and safety of our staff, volunteers, Board of Directors, and friends around the world
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
Staff Vaccine Update
This month, we were thrilled when Mexico announced that the vaccine distribution would be ramped up along the border and when registration for the vaccine began for anyone 18 years and older. That means that all of our remaining staff in Mexico has been registered for their COVID-19 vaccine!
The 50 to 59 age group is waiting on their second dose, but that should be happening in the next couple weeks, and after that, we expect that they will begin vaccinating everyone 18 years and older. This is a big step in the right direction!
Here’s an update on the vaccine status of our staff in McAllen, Reynosa, and Miguel Alemán:
Thank you for everything you do to support Faith Ministry! We appreciate your donations, your prayers, and your dedication to the ministry.