Thanksgiving 2021 Trip Review
What an amazing Thanksgiving trip the Lord enabled! Truly, everything went very smoothly and everyone on the trip (Cory's family, Sandra, Stella, and Scott) was immensely blessed. Thanks to everyone who enabled the work via your prayers, your financial support and your donations. We are blessed to share with you all the ministry that happened, and all the needs that were highlighted during our time in Reynosa.
Collecting all the donations and Crossing them at the Border
Preparing for a trip is an undertaking. We collected coats, blankets, and gifts for the kids. The response (your response) was tremendous. We filled the three vehicles going on the trip (two minivans and an SUV) to the brim!
Collecting items is one thing, but getting them across the border is another. The customs officials on the Mexican side have rules and regulations they must follow in regards to the items permitted to cross the border and the quantities of those items. The law states that each person is allowed $75 of purchases to cross without paying a 19% tax (that is right, 19%). Clothing items, beyond personal use, are prohibited in order to prevent used clothing flooding the retail market in Mexico. Thus, crossing coats is always a challenge.
But God was so faithful. The customs officials were generous and only charged us $100 tax on the $1100 worth of new toys we crossed, saving us $120. In all, we made 6 trips across the border and brought nearly all the items donated across. Thank you for your prayers as this is a massive part of any trip and always is a huge challenge.
Saturday on the Canal
Scott and Cory headed down on Saturday, November 20th, and spent the afternoon on the canal. We met with the President of the Nopelera community and discussed replacing the some of the classrooms there, as they are in a state of utter disrepair. Currently, classes are meeting 3 days a week for 2-3 hours a day. But the hope is that classes will resume as normal after the holiday break. At this point in the process, we are pricing the cost of a 2 classroom building, that will be a replica of the building in La Union for the high school. There is concern that the cost of materials has escalated substantially. Once we get a handle on the costs, we will make a project proposal and hope to get started in early Spring.
After the meeting in Nopelera, Scott, Cory and David went to La Union and tried to make some repairs there, as the electricity in one of the buildings wasn't working and there is a clog in the water line. However, because the power was completely out, not as many repairs as we hoped were able to be accomplished.
Finally, we went to 23rd of March, where we are planning to connect their two water tanks to the Rohi well in Nopelera. Previously, the community had a truck bring water to fill their tanks, but this past summer most homes went without getting regular refills for 5 months. We are hoping by connecting the tanks to the well, we can ensure the community always has access to water.
Serving at Casa Hogar Ninos de Los Angeles de Dios
Scott and Cory arrived at Casa Hogar Ninos de Los Angeles de Dios on Sunday morning. It is located about an hour from Reynosa, towards Matamoras. Jaime Mayorga, who previously ran Melody Orphanage, is transitioning to be the new director. In the last newsletter, we detailed our plans for this visit, but we had a limited number of participants and thus decided to focus on helping Jaime with the transition, blessing the kids and the staff via preparing a Thanksgiving dinner, and having a science day activity (rocket launching). We also brought down Christmas gifts for the kids and staff, as well as coats.
Sandra Thompson, and her daughter Stella, joined the team Sunday afternoon, and Cory's family (Tony, Holly and Anthony) Monday afternoon. Monday, the team mainly focused on helping prepare a Thanksgiving meal and wrapping the gifts. Scott and Cory also had planning meetings with Jaime and staff. Tuesday, Cory's family prepared for the science day and Scott and Cory continued with the planning meetings. In the afternoon, the group launched 9 rockets, explaining the science behind it with the translation help of Armando (a staff member).
It was a short but sweet visit to the casa hogar and we were blessed to be a blessing!
Gift Distribution to the Tutoring Classes
Our tutoring classes in the La Union 2 apartments (run by the Garcias) and in 23rd of March (run by the Esquivels) each had a Christmas celebration where we distributed gifts to each of our 50 students based on the wish list the teachers had sent. We were also able to give each student in the La Union 2 class a jacket and each student in 23rd of March class a backpack (donated by
DressWell GiveWell). These celebrations were truly a joy and the kids were really thrilled.
We are so grateful for all the donations and support. Truly it was our great blessing to be the ones to bring them. If you would like to give towards the support of our tutoring programs, which right now are the only in-person instruction available to these children due to the pandemic, please click
Food and Blanket Distribution to Migrants at the Plaza
On Wednesday afternoon, Cory joined Pastor Mauro Esquivel to do distribute donated blankets (thanks so much!) at the plaza where migrants are awaiting their asylum hearings. Many churches and NGOs partner together to provide water, shelter (tents), meals, medical care, blankets and other needed items to the thousands who are seeking to declare asylum in the United States. Most migrants are from Central America. They often spend months living in the plaza before getting their asylum hearings. During this time, those serving have the opportunity to share the Gospel in both word and deed.
If you would like to partner with us in this ministry, they have some specific needs. Pastor Mauro pays the rental for 12 of the 30 port-a-potties. It costs $75 a month per potty. Mauro is also in the process of purchasing hundreds of blankets from a Mexican manufacturer to help the migrants stay warm during the winter months. Finally, Mauro also needs help paying for the food and disposable plates/silverware that are used each day to feed the thousands of migrants. If you feel called to help with these costs, click HERE.
DressWell GiveWell Gift Distribution
Our friends at DressWell GiveWell wanted to encourage our partners in ministry and donated gift bundles with several new clothing items. It was such a joy to deliver a blessing to those who work so hard to be a blessing each day.