Local Volunteers Honored at Have a Heart Luncheon

The annual Have a Heart luncheon was held on Saturday, March 3rd to say thank you and to encourage our local volunteers who make our weekly distributions and so much more possible.  Mariachi San Pablo performed, our Program Director Elvira Viramontes shared YLM’s gratitude and volunteer names were drawn for door prizes.

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YLM Hosts Conference and Mission Tours

This month, YLM was privileged to serve as hosts for the annual LCMS, Rocky Mountain District, Southern Region Pastor’s Conference.  The pastors selected YLM as the site of their conference so they might become better acquainted with the mission work of YLM and the variety of needs that exist in the lives of people living on the border.

In addition to worship, prayer, and learning, the pastors traveled to Juarez, Mexico, to each of the missions and churches that are part of YLM’s work in Mexico. The time spent in Mexico was eye-opening and inspiring, for all and we look forward to a greater partnership in providing care for the people who live in great physical and spiritual need in both the U.S. and Mexico.

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Delivering Special Help – Desks, Ambulance

Weekly food and seasonal school supplies, Christmas gifts, and more some of the recurring needs YLM addresses and October has been full of activity.  We often also come into contact with teachers and medical professionals in Mexico who let us know some of their struggles.  Sometimes even basic equipment is lacking as they serve their communities.  YLM has delivered desks to several schools in Mexico.  Recently we received an ambulance from Orphan Grain Train in response to a small town’s urgent need.  We are always thankful to the variety of donors that make surprising help possible.

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ESL Classes for Cubans and Everyone!

This week we launched ESL (English as a Second Language) Classes and volunteer teacher training at YLM.  The 50+ Cubans temporarily staying at the YLM campus provided the immediate opportunity for us to assist in one of the crucial tasks they face when settling in the United States.  So far, thirty people in the group currently sheltered at YLM will be settling in El Paso and will continue learning English in our new program.

Orientation day for ESL enrolled fifty students.
Orientation day for ESL enrolled fifty students.



Pastor Steven Massey teaching the first large beginner class.
Pastor Steven Massey teaching the first large beginner class.





YLM Radio – May 14, 2016 “Cuban Refugee El Paso Response”

Our Response to the Cuban Refugees Arriving in El Paso

On this broadcast Pastor Karl Heimer, Pastor Stephen Heimer, and Dr. Steven Cottingham describe the activities of this week and the situation faced by the several hundred Cuban Refugees that have arrived in El Paso.  A total of 3,500 refugees are expected to pass through El Paso and this past week marked the beginning of their arrival.  Are you looking to help?  Visit this webpage for a list of current needs and volunteer opportunities.

Listen to or Download the Broadcast

Gala Dinner Success

“Love Changes Lives!” was the theme of the Gala Dinner for YLM Human Care held on November 7th.  The event brought people in the El Paso, Juarez, and Las Cruces area together to raise funds for YLM.

A huge “thank you” goes out to all the people who worked hard as organizers and contributors and who attended the Gala Dinner.

Gala Sponsors

Diamond Level $5,000+

Anonymous “To God be the Glory”

Rassette Homes

Silver Level $500

Emicon Corporation

Lutheran Church Extension Fund

John Witty and Mary Rosenbaum

Jim and Karen McVay

Morgan Stanley


Auction Contributors

Handcrafted by Hannah

Inn of the Mountain Gods

Cheryl & Don Rassette

Dessert Beauty

Elijah Evans

Howard and Marilyn Patten

Elliot Werner

Marta Wiley

John Williamson

Maya Luna Yarn

So El Paso

Lassie Trust Fund


YLM Video Shown at the Gala

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2014-2015, YLM by the Numbers

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Ysleta Lutheran Mission Human Care pursues its mission of “Changing lives every day through simple acts of kindness,” by providing holistic human care focusing on physical, educational, and spiritual need, especially in region surrounding El Paso, Texas.  In the 2014-2015 fiscal year thousands of people received help.

Assistance to the poor

IMG_0522Physical aid was provided to the poor in El Paso County, Texas and in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, with the help of volunteers and staff. IMG_1035_1200x900This assistance was given by YLMHC directly to families and individuals, as well as through more than 25 partner help agencies, community centers, senior groups, churches, missions, orphanages, and services organizations in Mexico and Texas. 23,895 hot meals were serve, 4342 (65,829 lbs. of food) food baskets distributed, 1258 blankets given to keep families warm, 1567 toys were given to children at Christmas, 1575 coats distributed to fight winter’s chill, 545 pair of shoes, 2187 packages of hygiene supplies were distributed, along with medical supplies, referrals, and several prevention classes. 360 people in Mexico received medical care from a doctor.  In addition to direct gifts and bulk distribution, a thrift store provided 1230 boxes of clothes, household items, and toys at below market value prices. These services are provided mainly by volunteers who receive appropriate training and more than 20,000 persons were helped in this year through our these distributions.

Missions and church support

Financial, material, and staff assistance was provided to 10 Christian organizations that engage in the deep needs of body and spirit in the impoverish communities we serve in El Paso county, TX and the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. In Mexico, cartel violence of the previous years has specially left many people feeling deep sadness and hopelessness. 5/4/15YLMHC facilitated programs and services that were designed to provide spiritual and emotional healing to as many as 500 children and 200 adults every week. Workers and volunteers conducted visits to homes, to people jailed in prison and detention centers, in hospitals, and churches/mission sites to provide education, counseling, worship services, evangelism, and joy-filled fun activities that build relationships. Materials and help was distributed according to need and during times of family and personal crisis.

Servant Events

IMG_0104YLMHC hosted and facilitated week-long service projects for 25 groups made up of 358 youth and adults from churches and organizations throughout the US and Canada. Together we completed 13,903 hours to provide relief in impoverished communities of Texas and Mexico. 2014-15-Mayer-02-600x450Groups built 24 houses and repaired 7 more. 800 meals were prepared and served.  Groups provided educational and uplifting activities for nearly 600 children on both sides of the border. A dentist and assistants provided care for 42 patients. These servant events are life-changing experiences for both the volunteers and for those who receive their help.

Adelante music ministry

20141220_1004431 (Copy)Violin and guitar classes plus Mariachi music ensemble rehearsals were provided for thirty-five children, youth and adults with a special effort to engage at-risk teenagers in positive after school activities centered around music.  Participants met ninety-nine times over the course of the year.  Scholarship funds enabled participants in the US to enroll with a mere $30 per semester “commitment fee.” Music students in the mariachi ensemble were led in both local and out of town performances sharing joy, cultural heritage, and the Christian message as the students themselves developed cross cultural skills and appreciation for diversity . They performed sixty-four time in seventeen cities in the U.S. and Mexico. These performances included family, community, business, and church events and also “Community Care Serenades” at people’s homes and at nursing homes.


2015school-distribution-child1267 backpacks full of school supplies were given to children and teenagers.  Additionally, twelve teenagers living in Juarez, Mexico received scholarships to attend the public or private middle school or high school of their choice.  Each youth was selected because the economic need of their family placed them at high risk of being withdrawn from school by their parents in order to begin working or watch over siblings while the parents work long hours in factories.  The scholarships aids in the costs of tuition, supplies, meals, uniforms, transportation, and life-expenses so that parents will support their continuing education and eventual graduation.  Students are encouraged in their studies by committees of community leaders that monitored the grade and attendance records of scholarship recipients.

Lutheran Prison Ministry

3/17/15Prison, jail, and detention center visitation, facilitation of probationary community service, and mentoring services for released inmates has long been a component of the social services of Ysleta Lutheran Mission Human Care.  This year saw an expansion of our Bible distribution to include prisons and jails nationwide (in the US).  This expansion of our work to help rehabilitate incarcerated persons is called Lutheran Prison Ministry.  This year 587 English and 1,323 Spanish Bibles, 527 Spanish and 414 English New Testaments, 552 Spanish and 228 English devotional and informational booklets, and 1,493 songbooks were distributed in 10 facilities throughout the United States.

Thousands of People Were Helped!

Three-Year Report  of  Activity  and  Accomplishments

Nearly a thousand servant event volunteers share their love and skill with children families in need.

In  the  past  three  years,  YLM  has  worked  closely  with  churches  and  many  other   contributors,  volunteers,  and  local  agencies  to  provide  help  to  people  living   with  great  economic hardship

Help  Amid  Poverty  and  Loss

More than 50,000 hot meals helped take the edge off of people’s desperation.

YLM   distributed  more  than  14,000  food  baskets  to   families  and  served  more  than  50,000  hot  meals,   in  addition  to  100+  pallets  of  food  given  to   orphanages  and  Lutheran   missions  in   Mexico.    Additional  help  given  to  people  in  need   includes:    4000+  blankets/quilts,  4,500+   Christmas  toys,  3,000+  hygiene  kits,  and  3,500+   winter  jackets.    Clothing,  household  items,  and   various  items  such  as  school  desks  and  medical   equipment  was  distributed  by  YLM’s  churches,   missions,  and  partner  agencies  in  Mexico.

In  2014  a  building  on  YLM’s  El  Paso  campus  was   renovated  to  house  a  new  RotaCare  Clinic.     Doctors  and  nurses  began  providing  free  medical   care  at  YLM  twice  a  month  with  plans  to   eventually  become  a  full  time  free  clinic.    Also   YLM  helped  Tarahumara  Indian  villages  in   northern  Mexico  survive  winter  and  rebuild  after   droughts  decimated  crops  and  supplies  of  seed   corn.

Servant  Events

YLM  hosted  70  servant   event  groups  whose  983  participants  devoted   more  than  39,000  volunteer  hours  building  and   repairing  78  homes,  teaching  the  Bible  to  1,308   children  in  VBS,  and  serving  more  than  3,000   meals  at  Thanksgiving.    Groups  completed   countless  improvement  projects  at  YLM’s   campus  and  Mexico  mission  sites.    A  dentist   provided  care  to  more  than  a  hundred  people.

Casa Tres
78 homes were built or repaired

Prisoner  Rehabilitation

YLM  has  always  ministered   in  jails  and  detention  centers  in  El  Paso,  TX,  and   Juarez,  Mexico.  In  2013  YLM  additionally   adopted  the  ministry  of  the  late  Al  Hanson  called   Lutheran  Prison  Ministry.    In  2014  alone,  YLM   distributed  1,638  Bibles,  780  Devotion  Books,   and  1,493  bilingual  songbooks.


Music classes and Care Serenades added joy amid struggle and taught youth musical skill and a culture of care.

Education  and  Evangelism

YLM’s  music   education  and  evangelism  program  (which   includes  Mariachi  San  Pablo)  provided  more   than  500  classes  and  rehearsals  and  engaged   young  musicians  in  227  evangelism  and  care   performances.    In  Mexico,  YLM  provided  Stay-­‐In-­‐ School  scholarships  to  more  than  20  children   and  youth  and  distributed  3,600  packages  and   backpacks  filled  with  school  supplies.

Missions,  Worship,  Pastoral  Formation   &  Pastoral  Care

YLM  sustained  word  and   sacrament  ministry  at  16  sites  in  the  U.S.,  Mexico,   and  provided  for  the  maintenance  of  27   buildings.    In  2014,  Concordia  Theological   Seminary  of  Ft.  Wayne  established  YLM  as  a   satellite  campus  for  its  new  distance  program  for   the  formation  of  pastors  and  deaconesses  in   Spanish.    In  the  past  three  years,  YLM  supporters   have  provided  for  salary,  education,  and   encouragement  to  seven  pastors,  a  vicar,  and  a   deaconess,  enabling  their  ministry  to  as  many 500 children and 450 adults each week.


Thrivent Action Teams Impact YLM

A unique way to be involved in many facets of the ministry at YLM is through a new program through Thrivent Financial for Christians called Thrivent Action Teams. Several teams have already made an impact this year, and more have made plans for the upcoming months.  This spring, teams have participated in school supply drives, purchasing food and preparing food baskets, packaging hygiene kits, and construction and clean up projects both on and off the mission campus.

The best feature about organizing an action team is that it does not require you to actually be on campus or in El Paso to participate and support the work along the border.  The guidelines allow for using action team funds to host a fundraiser and then the funds can be sent to the mission.  Additionally, a team can use the funds to purchase and mail items used in our distributions such as school supplies, hygiene kits, or toys for Christmas.  Finally, a team of local volunteers could come to campus and provide the labor for a project your team has chosen. For more information and project ideas about action teams, please click here.

Would you consider hosting a team and encouraging other Thrivent members to do the same?  The application process is simple and projects are generally approved rapidly. A small report is requested as the project is completed, and allows you to hold a second project in the same calendar year.  For ideas on how to plan a project that can impact our ministry, please contact Chris Hill at (915)858-2588 or chill@ylm.org.


Thrivent Action Teams

Thrivent Financial for Christians is providing funds that individual Thrivent members can apply for to carry out projects at YLM and other charities. Are you a member of Thrivent? Consider some of these projects needed at YLM:

These three friends used $250 from Thrivent Financial's "Action Team" program to purchase hygiene products.  They spent a few hours at YLM in  February combining them with other donated items for distribution to families in need.
These three friends used $250 from Thrivent Financial’s “Action Team” program to purchase hygiene products. They spent a few hours at YLM in February combining them with other donated items for distribution to families in need.

Assembly of Items to Help Families in Need

Food, School Supplies, Hygiene Supplies

  1. Contact Elvira Viramontes at YLM (915-240-1452) for a list of most needed items and coordinate a date for the project.
  2. Apply for the Thrivent Action Team funds at thrivent.com
  3. Purchase the needed items with the $250 debit card Thrivent provides
  4. Assemble the packages for distribution (either at YLM or at your church/school/home and deliver to YLM)
  5. Share the good news with Thrivent and with your friends.

Building or Maintenance Projects at YLM or for Families in Need

Mission Maintenance, YLM Campus Projects, Home Improvement

  1. Contact Chris Hill at YLM (915-487-0624) for a list of maintenance projects and materials needed and coordinate a date for the project.
  2. Apply for the Thrivent Action Team funds at thrivent.com
  3. Purchase the project materials with the $250 debit card Thrivent provides
  4. Swing those hammers, paint those walls, pull those weeds, patch those walls…
  5. Share the good news with Thrivent and with your friends.

Hold a Fund Raiser for YLM

Thrivent will allow their action team funds to serve as seed money for your fundraising project so that you can purchase the materials (food, advertising, etc…) that you need.  A fundraiser for a particular project or for “the greatest need” is a great way you and your team can help.

[gdlr_button href=”https://www.thrivent.com/making-a-difference/living-generously/thrivent-action-teams/” target=”_self” size=”medium” background=”#000000″ color=”#ffffff” with_border=”yes” border_color=”#999999″]Apply for Thrivent Action Team Funds[/gdlr_button]