Summer Smiles for Children in Mexico

When school let out for summer vacation in Mexico, many families struggled to find activities for their children that will give them joy and keep them away from the trouble gangs might offer to fill their time.  In Anapra outside of Ciudad Juarez, Chih., Mexico the children are especially limited in their abilities to escape the summer heat and enjoy the summer months.

This summer, YLM is once again providing opportunities for fun and learning.  In addition to Vacation Bible School and weekly gatherings for meals, pick-up basketball and soccer, Deaconess Rosy is organizing fun outings with the help of community partners and YLM sponsors.

Sertoma Club Swim Day

On July 8th, children and chaperones from YLM’s mission in Anapra “Iglesia de la Santa Biblia” participated in a swim day that was organized by the Sertoma Club of Juarez.  The club had invited orphanages and also our mission that cares for many children whose parents were killed during the years of cartel violence in Juarez (2008-2012).  A big part of our ministry in Anapra is supportive of grandparents and aunts/uncles who are raising such children.

When Deaconess Rosy mentioned the invitation and also the need for transportation, an appeal was made using Facebook and in just a few hours, funds were donated to cover the cost of a bus rental for the outing.  The children were thrilled to learn their prayers had been answered and they would be able to go swim, eat, and enjoy prizes such as soccer balls, candy, and more.

Additional Activities

The prospect of inserting joy into the lives of children who have faced terrible hardship and tragedy has appealed to many people who have contributed and and encouraged others to give.  As of the date of publication, nineteen people have donated nearly $800 toward the $1,000 goal to fund the swimming and additional activities for children this summer.  See where the giving is at now!  

Some of the comments people have posted with their contributions include:

“Ysleta is the CROSSroads of “Love God” & “Love People”. I have been at the CROSSroads and it as changed my life, like being in the presence of God.”

“I remembered all the fun times I had as a kid and all that I leaned on these type of field trips.”

“Just want these kids to have a fun and memorable day!”

“I know you all will reach your goal to rent a bus for those sweet kids!”

“Sending warm hugs to all the little ones out there!”

“YLM is such a great organization! We love the work they do in the Lord’s name.”

“I hope they have a blast!”

“For the Divine Mercy”

Easter Day Baptisms, First Communion in Mexico

On Easter Day, six children were baptized at our mission in Juarez, Iglesia Luterana Santisima Trinidad. Three girls also received their first communion.  It was a joy-filled Resurrection Day worship service for all celebrating the new, everlasting life we have in Jesus Christ.

Pastor Jose Hernandez has been pastor at Santisima Trinidad since 1999 and also serves two additional missions in the far east and far south areas of Juarez.  Mexico school scholarships from YLM, Medical Clinics, Biblical instruction, VBS, music instruction, pastoral care, worship services and more are all part of the ways Pastor Hernandez and YLM have worked to care for people in Juarez.

 

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Cardboard vs Cold Wind & Rain

The Gift of a New Home

The winter nights were cold for Juan and Alondra Flores and their two children living in the 10×10 home that they had pieced together with scrap wood and cardboard. Juan is employed at a factory nearby doing his best with his wife to raise a family and build a better future. Now, thanks to the servant event from Family of Christ Lutheran Church in Ham Lake, MN, they can do so in the warmth and safety of a new, modest two-room home.

The team from Family of Christ was able to build the new home in three days and spend extra time on finishing details that included decorative trimming, both exterior and interior paint, and a second door to a future kitchen, which Juan is saving up to build someday.

Family of Christ’s International Mission Partner

In 2016, Family of Christ adopted YLM as its international mission partner. We are working together in the care of our border communities through servant events, distribution of aid, repair of mission buildings in both El Paso and Mexico, and financial support of our ministers. We praise God for them and all of you who are praying for us and walking with us in service to the Lord!

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Christmas Distributions Continue in Anapra

At our mission, “Iglesia de la Santa Biblia” in Anapra, Mexico near Ciudad Juarez, hundreds of families smiled with joy on December 27th as they received Christmas help from YLM.

543 toys, 200 hygiene kits, and 339 jackets were given out amid a crowd of 500 children and more than 200 adults.

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Christmas Help Delivered

We began delivering Christmas help on Saturday, December 16th and continued throughout the twelve days of Christmas.  2,031 children received toys and 877 received jackets.  826 families received hygiene supplies, 300 received blankets, and 488 received food baskets!  Thank you to all our donors and volunteers to make this possible. To God be the glory!

At the YLM Campus – El Paso, TX

  • 943 toys
  • 538 jackets
  • 286 hygiene kits
  • 488 food baskets (feeding 2,238 family members)

At Iglesia de la Santa Biblia in Rancho Anapra, Mexico (near Ciudad Juarez) 

  • 843 toys
  • 300 blankets
  • 300 hygiene kits
  • 339 jackets

At Iglesia Luterana Cristo Rey

  • 200 toys
  • 200 hygiene kits

At Iglesia Luterana San Lucas

  • 45 toys
  • 40 hygiene kits
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Mexico Posadas Delight Children

On Saturday, December 16th, Mariachi San Pablo crossed the border to visit YLM’s missions and lead children in a musical celebration of Christmas.  They processed through the streets of Anapra with instruments sounding, visiting homes, and singing the carols and traditional songs of the posada as they went.

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New Videos from YLM

Churches asked us for videos to share with their congregations, Sunday Schools, and Vacation Bible School. Here they are! You can enjoy them too, and share them with your churches and friends. God is truly changing lives with the mercy and love He shows through all of you at YLM.

 

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Introduction to YLM

Pastor Stephen Heimer introduces YLM, it’s programs and people. Watch Video

 

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The Churches and Missions of YLM

Rev. Dr. Karl Heimer shares about his loss as a child that especially motivates his pastoral care and the compassionate work of YLM to care for others. Watch Video

 

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The Music and Mariachi Ministries

Miguel Muñoz and Anahi Marquez share their stories as members of Mariachi San Pablo. Watch Video

 

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Food Help for the Hungry

Elvira Viramontes tells about why we help. Follow Alonso Gonzalez and volunteers in their preparations for food distributions. Watch Video

Babies, Backpacks, and Bicycles, Oh My!

YLMHC welcomed St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Des Peres, MO, to campus the week of July 8. St. Paul’s has been involved with YLMHC since the early 2000s; some members of the intergenerational 2017 team were seasoned pros, while others were new.

The team divided and conquered, completing a house build in Juarez as well as putting in long hours in the on-campus warehouse. The construction crew embodied Psalm 22:31’s promise: “…they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.” Their structure will serve as much-needed additional space for a growing extended family headed by matriarch Yolanda. Yolanda’s granddaughter Dulce and her husband and son will be able to move in just in time for the arrival of a new little blessing: Dulce’s pregnancy reached full-term while the group was there! The 8 – soon to be 9 – of them currently live under one roof, but that didn’t stop them from temporarily housing a neighboring family whose home recently burned to the ground. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, six hundred health kits were readied to be stuffed into backpacks and given to the needy on both sides of the border in a few short weeks.

The Lord’s righteousness was indeed proclaimed through the servant hearts and willing hands of the St. Paul’s group. It wasn’t silenced when they boarded their flight home, either! Their congregation’s generous support of their trip allowed them to leave behind backpacks, school supplies, quilts, books, and more; a shiny red new bicycle replaced Dulce’s brothers’ with its wooden seat and missing locknut; and baby will be coming home from the hospital – to a home whose lintel is adorned with a cross – in a white onesie signed by 15 of his or her brothers and sisters in Christ!

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Family of Christ Returns for a Summer Event

Family of Christ Lutheran Church from Ham Lake, Minnesota made their second trip of 2017 and third since November as their ministry partnership with our mission continues to grow.  In November, a team of adults replaced the roof of our kitchen building with a new metal roof.  In March, a family trip saw a house get built in Juarez and several small projects around the campus completed.  This trip featured primarily members of the youth group and the plan for the week was a new home build and hosting a Vacation Bible School at Iglesia Luterana Santa Bilblia (formerly Sin Paredes).

The VBS was very popular with the children throughout the neighborhood featuring games, crafts, stories, and more, while the house building team quickly made work of their project, ensuring both events would be a success.  The team was able to paint the exterior of the home and provide a beautiful plaque for the family asking God to bless the home and all who enter.

With the completion of their VBS and home build, the busy first month of summer events at our mission came to a close.  Over the course of the month, 6 families were blessed with new homes, hundreds of children heard the good news at VBS, and people all across Juarez were witness to the lives changed through the acts of kindness of others from across the United States.

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Trinity Centralia Completes Another Mission Trip

For nearly twenty years, Trinity Lutheran Church from Centralia, Illinois has spent a week in June serving Santisima Trinidad and it’s missions in Juarez.  The team has varied their projects from odd jobs around the church, including tiling, painting, and more.  They have replaced the roof on the church as well as several roof repairs for members of the various congregations.  Over the past few years, the team has found their project to be building a new home for a family in need.  This year, the team was tasked with building a home near Kilometer 30 for a young family, including two children.

As anyone who has been to El Paso in the middle of June knows, it can get a bit warm as the day goes on.  In an effort to beat the heat and be as productive as possible, the team arose early each morning and was on the job site as the sun was still rising.  This allowed them extra hours of work while the temperature was still cool enough to exert the extra energy.  On Wednesday evening, a storm blew through Kilometer 30, and although it did no damage to the project, it did cause a loss of power to the area so the workers had to rely on elbow grease and hammers instead of electric saws and drills.

Despite the challenges and the heat, by mid day on Friday the team had finished painting, hung a cross near the front door and participated in a house blessing service with Pastor Hernandez, members of the families, and neighbors.  Over the years, many of the same faces have returned with this group to continue changing lives through their acts of kindness and we look forward to celebrating their 20th year of service in the near future.

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