Category: Creative ideas of giving
In the dry dessert-like conditions of the city of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua (bordering with El Paso, Texas) a small group of young adults, five Amor Ministry pastors, three El Paso team members and me held our annual outreach in one of the communities. Along with two wonderful volunteers from Lone Tree High Adventure Camps we played, sang, prayed, preached, and loved on the people of the community of Granjas de Desierto.
The great story about this particular community was the connection one of our Amor pastors did with this community. This community is a newly established colonia which many families from all over Mexico come to buy land and build a simple home. Work is becoming scarce and building materials are very expensive. Many families build precarious homes of scrape wood or with anything that they can find. This family made up of a father, mother and five children worked hard to give their children food, clothing and schooling, but the house was inadequate. What a blessing to get the news that they qualified for a home!
Pastor Felipe from Amor Ministries mentioned that he has been evangelizing in this community for some time now and was excited to have the outreach in this community.
So after connecting with an awesome group who built this family their house they also went a step further and sponsored the community outreach. Plus, as an added bonus we held the outreach right on the land of the family the group had just built for!
We had games for the kids to play and win prizes. Music to fill the air with Praise. A message of hope from an Amor pastor and plenty of Bibles to give to the people. After we all shared a simple lunch. Everyone was filled both physically and spiritually. It was a wonderful celebration of hope!
If you are interested in finding out how you can help proclaim God's goodness please come to our website at www.amor.org . Also, we are in need of school supplies and Spanish Bibles... You can also donate toward those supplies just follow the links to the gift page. Thank you!
The following are pictures taken at the outreach. Enjoy!
Ruben, a friend of the ministry, brought down with him two young people from Cerritos, California. He was bringing donations with him and the kids wanted to see what we at Amor Ministries was all about. What was so amazing is the earnest desire to help.
Dion (about 12 years old) was so excited to learn more about the ministry in Mexico. He asked different questions like..."Do they need more books in Spanish?"..."Can they use the shoes and clothes I out grew?"... He was so stirred up that he said that next time his school had a book fair he was going to get Spanish books so he can give them to ministry. Also he made a list of all the shirts and toys that he wanted to donate. What a kid!
His sister wasn't to far behind. Brionne (about 13 years old) stared at me amazed at the fact that people could use the clothes she brought down with her. I explained to her that families at times have a hard time putting food on the table let alone buying nice clothes for their kids. She loved that fact that she too could participant in helping others.
Here is Dion and Brionne Joyner smiling as they give their donations.
Amor gave them a T-Shirt to remind them of their little trip.
Here they are witrh their aunt Naomi.
Ruben Ruiz's "giving family" has increased. Ruben, Naomi and the kids.
Ruben brought in some more school supplies and also some very cute shoes and socks. Just right for a little child with out any new shoes of his own.
Thanks again to all the donors who continualy support our efforts to give "Love" to many adults and children in Mexico!
We have had such an awesome response to the "Back to School" program! I love how people come to action when presented with a need. It's like taking a lighted torch in a olympic event. One person carries it so far then another person takes it even a bit further until it reaches it's ultimate goal.
One person has taken the initiative to use the "Back to School" program for their Vacation Bible School, another one has made his goal to go to retailers in his city and tell them about the need and how they can help and still another person, who is a school teacher, has the wonderful idea of not receiving gifts for Christmas, but have her students bring school supplies to give to the needy children of Mexico and this goes on and on. Until the ultimate goal of having over 200 backpacks to give to the children of Mexico! Even our volunteers that come and help at our office get involved by stuffing the supplies inside the backpacks. It's such an inspiration to me when I see the excitement in giving.
"I love Amor Ministries! I have over 100 packages of school supplies to give to the kids of Mexico. I enjoy shopping because it gives me an opportunity to meet managers and owners of different stores that catch the vision of Amor." Quote from Ruben R. of Cerritos, California.
"Boy, are you going to have your work cut out for you! Friday was our last day at VBS and we totaled up the supplies and I have the numbers for you. We had a total of 135 kids participate in VBS and they were all so excited about collecting supplies for kids that really needed them. The parents thought that it was an amazing ministries and really easy to do! Here goes! We collected:
82 packs of loose paper
14 packs of graph paper
193 spiral notebooks
8 3-ring binders
59 packs of index cards
114 bottles of glue
126 boxes of crayons
80 boxes of pencils
45 boxes of colored pencils
51 pairs of scissors
9 boxes of markers
29 boxes of pens
122 pencils sharperns
4 pencils boxes
1 pack of highliters
1 large pack of contruction paper
and 31 backpacks
"Isn't that amazing!" Katie H. from Washington.
"I returned to the Chicago area last night after spending a short week in Tijuana with Amor and my group from Community Christian Church.
This was my first ever mission trip, and I was so deeply stirred by the conditions these people live in. I know I will work in Tijuana again, and I am thankful for the work your organization does.
I have a favor to ask, and if I have not chosen the correct person to contact, I would hope you would send this email on. At the end of our week, the families of the "3rd of October" neighborhood/street served us lunch on the school grounds.
I teach fifth grade here and, so, was interested in seeing the school's classrooms. Though I understand school was not in session, I was upset (of all things, this caused me to cry) by the condition of the classroom and the materials.
I teach fifth grade in Batavia IL, and each year my students give me gifts at Christmas. Because there's nothing I need, and because I live in a small home, I usually ask that they just write a card or give a gift to the classroom. This year I may suggest they give a gift to the school I visited on my mission trip last week. I also have some access to quality paperback books in Spanish through Scholastic Book Clubs, so I will start collecting those.When I went to Mexico last week, I brought with me two tablets of paper and two packs of markers. I watched the kids during the week, and hard as it was, I selected two to quietly give this small gift to. They treated them like gold, and they ran home to keep them safe, so I asked my interpreter to ask if they liked to draw. They both smiled and nodded their heads and said, "Very much." Markers will be on the list!" Ellen from Chicago
"God can do anything, you know - far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!" Ephesians 3:20 MSG
Forrest told me about a family that a group was building a home for in Cerro Colorado III. He told me that this family was very friendly and so grateful for the new house they were building them. Forrest explained to me how this family was living on the very top of the community of Cerro Colorado and that our material vendor could not get up there to leave the materials. So, the materials were left at the bottom of the hill and the family carried all the material (even the sand and gravel) to the very top! I spoke with Alma and Fernando Ayala Duarte about their experience with having a house built for them. Luis Millan, our Mexican Staff Representative, drove me to the family and our, Seasonal Staff Member, "TJ" met me there. He is working with the group from San Mateo, California.
Lydia: Alma, how has this experience affected your family?
Alma: (crying) I am just amazed on the dedication and careful work these workers are doing on my house. They are taking it seriously and I admire their details. I see the results of a safe and secure home for my family and words cannot describe my gratitude to God and them. It's been a wonderful experience.
L: I see that you children are involved and your husband is working hard to help the group.
A: Yes, even though my two younger boys are deaf they fit in well with the group. My middle son Eduardo has been waking up early to be ready with his carpenter apron on and his gloves in hand to go to work.
L: I can see that each one has his part in the process.
A: I am grateful to the group for that because it's difficult to raise two deaf boys and at their age everything is like a new adventure. The group has been very receptive.
L: Fernando, how have you felt about the whole process?
Fernando: I am very happy.
A: My husband is a man of a few words.
L: Fernando, what has stood out more in this experience in receiving a house?
F: Just to see how my kids have reacted to the whole process...Well, it's just...(his voice broke and tears came into his eyes).
Lydia: Enough said I can see how much it has touched your heart.
Lydia: Alma, on behalf of the church I have brought you donations. Here is a new blanket, cooking pot, and utensils for your family.
Alma: I was totally satisfied with just receiving a house...now this! (she was brought to tears again!)
Lydia: Yes, this is from donors that support Amor Ministries.A: Wonderful blessings! Even my sons don't want to sleep anymore in the old house. Plus, they have been mapping out where everything is going to be. I hope that they leave room for mom and dad.
Lydia: You can tell that God made this all happen for all of you!
A: Funny that you said that because it was a up hill battle to get this house. When we first qualified for a house a representative came to my house, but I had an emergency and had to leave to go to my mother's funeral. I missed my opportunity to get a house. I cried so much and my husband asked me what was wrong. I told him that because I had to leave to my mother's funeral we missed the chance to get a house. Later that week the representative came by again and said to me that in fact they were going to build my house. He also told me that the materials were being delivered I wondered how we were going to get the materials way up here, but God touched the hearts of the community and many people helped us take the material one by one to the top. Then here I go again crying back home when my husband said, "What's wrong with you now?" I excitedly told him that we were going to get a house after all! No words can explain how God's mercy and grace has been shown to us.
L: I can see that your whole family is just enjoying the process and look forward to the future.
A: What I look forward is that this serves as a testimony to my husband that God is real and the He really cares about him and our family. May God bless everyone at Amor Ministries and all the people who made this wonderful home!
Lydia: Like so many families I want to express my gratitude for everyone's support and prayers. Please keep the Ayala Duarte family in prayer and all the other families our ministry has touched!
I took this picture from the bottom of the hill. There are some people working on the roof of the house way up high.
From the bottom of this hill (near the truck) is where the materials were delivered and the family needed to carry the rest up the steep hill.
Picture of the community Cerro Colorado from the Ayala Duarte house.
The group from Christians of the Evangelical Faith Pentecostal of San Mateo, California working hard way up high!
The very happy Ayala Duarte family.
Even got a chance to see "TJ's" beaming smile. He mentioned that this family was one of the most awesome families he has ever met.
Brothers Eduardo and Fernando are deaf since birth, but that didn't bother them when they were helping to get there house finished! Here is Eduardo in the yellow shirt on top of the old house painting the window trim.
Here's our very own "Tool Man" (Fernando) with his mom acting goofy in front of the camera. Mom said that he would wake up early to get ready to go to work. With his carpenter apron, gloves, trowel and hammer in tow!
Fernando only 9 years-old and already a hard working man!
Another angle from the Ayala's house. Fernando showing off his muscles.
Mama Alma surprised to receive such lovely gifts. These are donations that we have received from donors and a donation program named "Gifts in Kind" (Bed, Bath and Beyond).
Alma was so happy because she mentioned that she needed forks and spoons. She said that she was so clearly satisfied with just receiving a house that these donations were a bonus.
Mom telling Eduardo in Sign Language about the gifts their family has received.
Eduardo is completly thrilled about the new house and new things.
Here dad Fernando Sr. this picture was taken right after he told he how happy he was to see his kids get the house they dreamed about. This is also after he shed some tears of joy.
This is me and Alma. I made such a connection with this family that she said once her new house is in order I needed to come back to have some coffee.
Alma's tears are just an overflow of love for all of the love and support from everyone at Amor Ministries.
"There is no limit to God's love. it is without measure and its depth cannot be sounded." Mother Teresa
As a kid it was always a heartache to hear the words...Back to School. It meant studying, classes, and oh yeah teachers. The one thing though that made things exciting was when my mom or dad would take me "Back to School" shopping. All the new clothes, notebooks, pens and pencils made my heart endure the pangs of going back to hit the books. We are so blessed to have the opportunity to buy those luxuries. Luxuries? Yes, because many children in Mexico find that it is a luxury to have school supplies.
Most parents in Mexico average around $30.00 to $50.00 a week. That covers mostly for there shelter, food, and maybe clothing. Let alone if any family member needs medicine or treatment from a doctor. What makes it even more harder is when a family has more than one child to send to school. There are registration fees, uniforms, plus all their school supplies. Multiply that by how many children are in a family that could get expensive.
That's why Amor has set up a "Back to School" program. This way we could help these families by providing their children with the basic school supplies they need to start school.
The supplies include:
3 ring binder
Currently, I am trying to start a school supply drive. Our funds for this program are not sufficient to supply the need. Please, pray with me that I will soon hear a response because these children look forward to going "Back to School".
"Not one is missing, not one forgotten. God the Father has his eye on each of you...May everything good from God be yours! 1 Peter 1:1-2 MSG"
Here are some pictures of children who modeled our lovely quilts that we received from the organization "Wrap Them In Love". Look at their beautiful faces!
A participant from the Coast Hills Church brought in a donation of school books all in Spanish. He is a teacher and he noticed that his school was about to throw out some school books. They were still in their boxes and have not been used. These books are the same books that are used in the Tijuana Schools. After working in the Spring on the "Iganacio Manuel Altamirano" school in the community of Valle Redondo. He had an opportunity to speak with and get acquainted with the principal there. His heart went out to their need and on this trip brought all the books down.
Donations can range from books to clothing to chairs to school supplies. All it needs is some imagination and a heart full of compassion for the needy in Mexico. Thank you supporters!
Awhile a go a gentleman brought to our office here in San Diego around 20 new bikes. So, we came up with the idea of having a coloring and short story contest with the kids from our pastor's board churches. Each church turned in their best pictures and we had several winners. Here are a few of those winners. Also, Canyon View Christian Fellowship of San Diego had an event at their church where the community could donate unwanted bicycles and the congregation would fix them and give them to needy kids. We were able to receive around thirty of them! It brought many smiles to many kids in Mexico.