Wow! We’re used to challenges in the border region of Mexico, but this year, they hit early! We’ve already had to postpone and reschedule some work groups due to scattered incidents of drug-related violence in some border cities.
Faith Ministry Board President Renie Mills has posted an update on the situation to keep work groups informed. While we’re optimistic life in the region is returning to normal, we want to err on the side of caution. Work groups, please contact director David Rodriguez at (956) 631-3567 if you’re scheduled to work in the next month or so or if you want firsthand information on the situation as you plan your work trip.
The Faith Ministry Board of Directors just got back from its February meeting in Reynosa where it made plans for the coming year and assigned committees to tackle various issues. We hope this will translate into even better communication with house building, medical teams and other ministry supporters. We’re also excited about a renewed commitment to medical service in Reynosa and Miguel Alemán and hope to see an increase in the number of teams who visit for weeklong clinics to provide much-needed medical care.
The Board shared a meal and time of fellowship with staff members from both cities and heard a devotion from Pastor Linos Rodriguez Mendoza.
Crafty Team Visits
Faith Ministry isn’t just about house building and medical services; we’re Mexicans and U.S. residents in community. Covenant PC from Frazer, Pennsylvania, visited Reynosa, Miguel Alemán and Naranjito in February to teach families how to make scarves, appliance covers and pillow covers. They also donated six sewing machines and fabric and held Vacation Bible School for the children.
Elizabeth Bowes was on the trip and writes:
“As a child of the depression who lived well below the poverty level in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in the 1930s, I thought I’d seen everything. I thought nothing in the world would shock or surprise me. Major miscalculation! On our mission trip to Mexico, I’ve seen things that seared my heart, mind and soul and found not depression and degradation but the simple joy of living. The smiles turned on me are genuine; these people have accepted their lot and got on with the job of living. They are hardworking, grateful for what we bring them; they accept their lot with grace. I found spontaneous creativity in both children and adults. I saw a three-year-old girl busily coloring a page from a coloring book. Though the colors were garish, the finished product was charming. I saw it through a maze of tears.”
Family Gets Dream House
For 13 years, the family of Hernandez Becerra lived under a fragile roof held up by two posts and wooden walls, scavenged from the countryside. A few years ago, they were able to get electricity, and two years ago, water, but with five children, their pieced-together house was inadequate and unhealthy. Then, they heard about a ministry that was building houses. Applying required them to lose their inhibitions, and they knew there would be hard work ahead. But now their dream is coming to fruition. Theirs is one of many such stories that Faith Ministry volunteers become a part of each year.
Don’t Forget Us
Even before you visit this year, please keep Faith Ministry in mind. The need for monthly contributions is great as we work to meet the challenges of delayed and canceled work trips. Our staff continues to build houses even if teams are delayed. Our clinics serve patients each day. Our nutrition programs continue to serve children in the colonias of Reynosa and Miguel Alemán. We still provide scholarships for children who would otherwise be unable to attend school. And our churches continue to bring people into fellowship and service of God. Please consider adding Faith Ministry to your monthly giving or even if you can only contribute now and then, please do. It takes all of us working together to be tangible evidence of God’s love among the “poorest of the poor.”