Greetings from the border region of Mexico where God is still at work through the ministry among families of Reynosa and Miguel Alemán.
Activity Around the Border
Continued sporadic incidents of violence between drug cartel members and the Mexican government have forced us to increase vigilance and set some policies in place to ensure safety for teams visiting to build houses. We’re optimistic that most visits in the coming year can proceed as planned, but the Board of Directors has developed a backup plan and is limiting volunteer work to where it’s as safe as possible. For now, this means in the Reynosa area; trips to Miguel Alemán are suspended until at least December, and teams that usually work there may be asked to work in Reynosa next year. Faith Ministry volunteers in Reynosa have encountered no trouble to date, but we think it’s wise for caution and extra attention to details, such as where and when teams travel. Our staff will work with team leaders to ensure the safest and most effective plans.
To address the reduction in the number of visiting teams that has happened, Faith Ministry has reduced its staff in both cities. We’re still building houses – we’ve built 18 as of the end of August, and we’re expecting seven teams to visit and build seven or eight houses in next two months – but many teams canceled in 2010, and our work has been a fraction of normal. We are very grateful that some 30 teams that weren’t able to visit sent all or part of the money needed so that our staff in Mexico and local volunteers could build houses anyway. The $5,500 covers the cost of block, mortar, windows and doors and helps a little to subsidize other programs such as the medical clinic and nutrition program.
Despite sometimes bleak news coming from the border, we’re happy to report a very thriving church in Miguel Alemán. Lay pastor Benito has assumed leadership of the church we know and love and in a service this month, added 18 new members. Five young adults and five children were baptized at an event attended by more than 85 people.
Strong work continues through the medical clinic in Reynosa. Some 600 patients are seen each month, and a nutrition program that serves 200 people, primarily children, continues.
Approximately 100 children are receiving educational sponsorships, thanks to the generosity of the Faith Ministry family. We have approximately 50 other children on a waiting list. The cost to sponsor a child for a year is:
- Elementary age – $450
- Middle school age – $550
- High school or Vocational – $650
The costs cover a $25 administration fee that helps us work through families to ensure children who need the money get what they need. If you’d like to sponsor a child, contact director David Rodriguez in the McAllen office at (956) 631-3567 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember Our Friends in Miguel Alemán
Although the level of violence keeps us from sending mission work groups to Miguel Alemán, it does not keep us from missing our friends there. They miss us as well, but your monetary gifts for houses and scholarships give them hope during these dark times. Send letters and pictures to your friends in Miguel Aleman to let them know you have not forgotten them! Send them in care of Faith Ministry, PO Box 756, McAllen,TX 78505. We ask for your continued prayers and financial support. Even small donations, easily made on our website at www.faithministry.org, help us continue the demonstration of God’s love among the poorest of the poor. This is your ministry. May we continue to keep faith in the One who sustains us.