WELCOME BACK!

Phase 2

On behalf of the Faith Ministry staff and Board of Directors, we are excited to share Phase 2 of our plan of welcoming our friends and mission work groups from the U.S. back to Reynosa, Mexico! The objective of Phase 2 is to take another step closer to our normal activities in Mexico and revitalize the fellowship between our friends in the U.S. and our staff and community in Mexico with the health and safety of everyone involved as our number one priority.

Click here to view Phase 1.

This plan is subject to change or be put on hold due to circumstances beyond our control, including a spike in COVID-19 cases, more restrictions recommended from the CDC or local government, etc. This could mean cancelling scheduled trips; however, we will continue to make decisions that put the health and safety of everyone involved first.

Start Date:

September 1, 2021

Requirements:

  • The maximum size of the group is 12-15 people (an ideal-sized group would not exceed 12 people, but we can accept groups of up to 15 people).
  • All members of the group must be fully vaccinated* and will be asked to provide proof prior to arrival.
    *At least two weeks have passed since the member’s second dose of a two-dose series such as Pfizer or Moderna, or at least two weeks have passed since the member received a single-dose vaccine such as Johnson & Johnson.
  • All members must be 12 years old or older.
  • In accordance with recommendations from Mexico’s health authorities, all members must wear masks and practice social distancing at all times in Mexico when Faith Ministry staff, local volunteers, or anyone from the local community are present; this includes at Faith Ministry’s facilities, including the complex and the clinic. They are also required at any places where they are required by law or by a business (traveling, in stores, etc.).
  • Anyone who has a fever or who has any symptoms related to COVID-19, or who has been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last fifteen days, will be asked to stay home.
  • All members of the group will sign a covenant agreeing to the above requirements before they arrive. Anyone who does not sign the covenant will be asked to stay home, and anyone who disobeys the covenant during their visit will be asked to stay on the Texas side of the border for the remainder of their group’s stay (click here to view the group member covenant; click here to view the group leader covenant).

Trip Details:

  • Groups will stay at the complex dorms.
  • We will create and carry out a cleaning protocol that will be used prior to and following the group’s stay.
  • Groups will have access to use a Faith Ministry van. The McAllen staff will create and carry out a cleaning protocol that will be used prior to and following the group’s use.
  • While in Mexico, the groups will only interact with Faith Ministry staff, the limited local volunteers, and the family they are building for (if applicable). If they would like to see a friend from the local community, we will schedule and arrange for that to happen safely.

Projects & Scheduling:

  • In a return to the traditional mission work group week, groups will be primarily working on the houses that they are funding. They may also have the opportunity to participate in other programs as resources and safety protocols allow, including the garden, the Deantin community center, and the children’s nutrition program.
  • Until further notice, we will not be accepting volunteers to assist in the medical clinic.
  • There will be no overlap of groups; only one group will be working in Mexico per week.

Safety:

In addition to our COVID-19 safety protocol of masks, social distancing, and sanitation, we will continue to abide by our safety guidelines concerning violence in the area. Groups will always be accompanied by a Faith Ministry staff member, they will not leave the facilities after dark, and there will be someone from the staff at the facilities at all times, including overnight.

Thank you all in advance for your understanding and your willingness to protect yourselves and our loved ones here in Mexico. We know that by working together, we can continue making a difference and changing lives, in the safest way possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the Faith Ministry staff vaccinated?

All three of the Faith Ministry staff in McAllen, including David and Colleen, are fully vaccinated. By July 31, 2021, the nine staff members in Mexico who are aged 18 to 39 years old will have received their first doses of the vaccine. The remaining staff in Mexico is fully vaccinated.

I don’t want to get the vaccine. Can I still come to Mexico if I show a negative COVID-19 test?

At this time, you must be fully vaccinated to come work with Faith Ministry in order to protect the health and safety of our staff and local community who do not have access to the vaccine yet.

Why do I still have to wear my mask around people in Mexico if I’m vaccinated?

The percentage of the population in Mexico that is fully vaccinated is significantly lower than in the United States, so health authorities in Mexico still recommend wearing a mask, even for those who are fully vaccinated. We will continue to follow the recommendations from Mexico’s health authorities, as well as listen to our staff and the community in Mexico regarding their comfort level. Groups are free to remove their masks when they are in the group’s areas, such as the upstairs kitchen, deck, bathrooms, and dorms, and not in contact with local staff or volunteers.

Can I give my friend in Mexico a hug if I’m wearing my mask?

As much as we miss all of your hugs, the answer for right now is no. But we will accept fist bumps and air hugs!

Can I still take pictures while I’m in Mexico?

Of course! All we ask is that you do not remove your mask for photos with your friends from Mexico. As much as we love your smiling faces, your health and safety, and that of our Mexican friends, is more important right now.

Why are there so many rules?

Our Faith Ministry staff and Board of Directors put a great amount of thought and consideration into how we could begin welcoming back visitors while also protecting our staff and community in Mexico. A lot of the people that we work with in Mexico are at higher risk for COVID-19 because of underlying conditions, and they also do not have the same access to healthcare as we do in the U.S. During the summer of 2020, we unfortunately saw the devastating impact of how quickly COVID-19 can spread and do damage when it hit close to home and we lost one of our own staff. Every rule we are putting in place is done out of an abundance of love and care not only for you, but for our vulnerable loved ones in Mexico. Thank you for understanding and for doing your part!

Questions? Want to schedule a trip?

If you have any questions about Phase 2 of our plan, feel free to reach to our executive director David Rodriguez (956-227-1545; david@faithministry.org) or our communications coordinator Colleen Cook (919-606-9361; colleen@faithministry.org).

If you’d like to schedule a visit to come see us, or book a full week with a group, check out our calendar to see available dates and contact Colleen (colleen@faithministry.org).

Click here to download the plan, FAQs, and covenants in PDF form.