This starts with a story. It’s just a reminder of why we do what we do.
Why We Do What We Do
The pictures that follow are of what has been Becerra Rizo’s family home for more than 15 years. It’s a room of wood and cardboard with a tin roof. There’s no indoor water – just a hose. No drainage. His wife began working in the garbage dumps and was able to bring home a fan, some furniture and even a mattress, though it was too large to put inside. He worked on construction jobs as he could find them, but has only been able to bring home barely enough money to eat. In 2009, they decided to do something different and approached the “Church of the Americans that builds houses.” They had seen proof – a neighbor who had a house built for her in 2007. In January of 2009, Pancho, the eldest son of the family, began working as a volunteer without fail. He heard the rumors that American groups were beginning to fear the border region, but was punctual and ready to work every day. He heard about the swine flu that threatened hopes, but he went every day to the church asking, “What do I do today?” Cement, block, sand and gravel arrived at their home, along with the sound of pick-axes, shovels, cement trowels, all attached to the hands of friends, who had heard their prayers and had traveled many miles to say, “Jesus loves you – don’t feel alone!” Now, a Faith Ministry house stands nearly ready for occupation, tangible evidence that God’s love can shine through his children.
2009: May It Make Us Stronger
The last team has finished its efforts in Mexico for 2009. American teams and Mexican volunteers finished the year with 32 houses constructed in Reynosa and 19 in Miguel Alemán. In addition, work progressed on the new clinic in Miguel Alemán.
If you’ve been a Faith Ministry supporter for awhile, you’ll notice the numbers are down. The publicity of violence and the swine flu hit Mexico just as many teams were finalizing their trips and resulted in more than 30 team cancellations.
These fears have pretty much subsided, and there’s every reason to believe 2010 is going to return to normal, but the impact on Faith Ministry has been heavy. We’ve tightened our belts and made some adjustments, and (praise God!) we’ve managed to provide homes for every family pretty much on schedule, but it’s become tough to meet operating expenses in the meantime.
We hope team members who are fairly new to Faith Ministry will take the next step in their love for the Mexican people and consider supporting Faith Ministry monthly, and others will increase their giving as much as you can. To continue our medical and nutrition programs, the educational sponsorships and lay the groundwork for construction next year, we must ensure Faith Ministry remains a healthy organization.
And of course, WE are Faith Ministry.
Christmas is just around the bend, and already teams are preparing to host Christmas parties in Reynosa and Miguel Alemán. The parties will be held the week of Dec. 15. Last year, some 600 children attended in Miguel Alemán and approximately 2,000 in Reynosa.
If you’d like to send money for additional toys, please contact David Rodriguez in the Faith Ministry office at (956) 631-3567. For that matter, if you’d like to join the party preparations (it’s a blast), you’d be welcome. Ever put together hundreds of bags full of candy?
Speaking of Facebook, we’re using the page to auction a wonderfully creative and beautiful quilt made of Faith Ministry t-shirts. Sara Lee of Indianapolis, IN, made the quilt. Bids are starting at $250. The auction will run until Nov. 20. To place a bid, click on the image or go here: https://www.facebook.com/FaithministryinMexico/.
Fundraiser dinners and fiestas are being held in several cities this fall. They’re a great time to focus on the mission of Faith Ministry, have some fun with other team members and churches and, yes, raise some money. Deantin Guerra, founder, and David Rodriguez, director, have been on the road for these gatherings. The next one is in Raeford, NC, on Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10. Call to reserve (910) 875-2101. David is speaking.
Thanks for all you do. For building houses and clinics and supporting families and kids. For throwing parties and holding Vacation Bible Schools. For praying and calling to say hi.