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Every Saturday, 285 families form a line outside the warehouse at YLM to receive a package of groceries. The majority of people seeking help are elderly men and women who live throughout El Paso County. Families from Mexico that have border visas cross the nearby bridge seeking help at YLM. Recently churches, grocers, and the West Texas Food Bank have generously donated large varieties of food so that people won’t go hungry.
Volunteers spend time in the warehouse every week and assist with distributions on Saturday mornings. If your family, church, or organization would like to take part, contact us for information.
Watch this video and learn more about this aspect of our work.
In Anapra, the mission we call Iglesia de la Santa Biblia has undergone a transformation. It is definitely an example of a time when something must get worse before it can get better. The two-story, red building that has for twenty years housed meals & worship services was taken down last summer when it became clear that the dimensions of the buildings and magnitude of repairs that were required called for a complete rebuild.
Progress is being made toward reconstruction which will take place in several phases. Volunteers from the mission community itself worked painstakingly in the demolition stage. With the help of Faith in Christ Lutheran Church of Ham Lake, MN, designs are being drafted for the new buildings.
YLM continues to provide meals and Bible classes for children as well as Adult Bible study and worship services at the beloved mission site that serves many children. The summer months also provide the opportunity to gather children together for Vacation Bible School, led by servant event groups from churches in the United States.
Servant Events Help Families in Mexico
“Over there, the blue one!” Nohemi bubbled out enthusiastically in Spanish. She was pointing to the new home built for her and her children by the YLM servant event team, which could be seen from a distance perched on the side of a mesa, surrounded by brown desert sand. The home had been finished and a blessing service took place on Thursday. Now on Friday, she was telling Pastor Stephen all about the blessing her family has received, and she had come to the mission to thank God in prayer alongside other families at Iglesia de la Santa Biblia, a mission of YLM, about a mile from her new home. Her family along with others have been a focus of YLM’s care in the Anapra community outside Ciudad Juarez in Chihuahua, Mexico.
On another occasion, a woman in Anapra whose family had been blessed with a YLM home expressed her immense joy and her gratitude to God for the home that had been built. She explained to us, “Before… where I was living and caring for my baby, I would walk out of my door in the morning, look to heaven and cry out to God, ‘I feel like a rat living this way!'” When the committee of Anapra residents at YLM’s nearby mission reached out to her, and when her family was selected to receive a home, she was overjoyed. She knew God had heard her prayers and now she is sharing her joy and hope with others as one of the music leaders and teachers at the mission.
Building Homes, Leading VBS
Throughout the summer months, churches are coming to YLM ready to build homes for similar families in Mexico. Here are a few snapshots!
Faith Lutheran Church, Pierre, South Dakota – May 26-June2
Read article and view photos here.
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Wahpeton, North Dakota – June 9-16
Trinity Lutheran Church, Centralia, Illinois – June 16-23
Family of Christ Lutheran Church, Ham Lake, Minnesota – June 23-30
(photos coming soon)
We are pleased to introduce the newest members of the YLM Board of Directors!
Tana DeBoer of Lino Lakes, Minnesota
Peter Hiller of Ham Lake, Minnesota
Tana and Peter were elected to the YLM board on June 30, 2018. Both have been heavily involved in the formal partnership of Family of Christ Lutheran Church, Ham Lake, MN, with YLM that began in 2016. They lead servant event teams and facilitate the additional involvement of their congregation in the mission outreach and care ministries of YLM.
Tana is co-chair of the mission board at Family of Christ (FOC) and is the marketing communications manager at RAVE Sports in Eagan, MN. Previous employment has included public relations consulting, investor and board of directors communication for a publicly held medical device manufacturer, and print newspaper reporting. She is an active teacher and mentor at FOC and also Trinity First LCMS School located in the poorest and most culturally diverse neighborhood of Minneapolis.
Peter is a Director of Christian Education in the LCMS and serves on staff at FOC as its Director of Youth and Family Ministry and International Mission. He oversees the “Make a Difference” Initiative that includes the 3-5+ year partnership with YLM. He began attending mission trips in 1988. Peter is a KINDLE Associate (Karpenko Institute for Nurturing and Developing Leadership Excellence).
Both Tana and Peter bring tremendous experience, insight, and talent to the YLM board and we are grateful to God for their service.
This was the first time Faith Lutheran Church in Pierre has come to YLM and they filled their week with the sounds of hammers and saws and also the sounds of evangelism both in Anapra and in El Paso. Everywhere they went, they were ready to insert some Good News into people’s day, including at an El Paso Chihuahuas baseball where they passed out sports trivia cards that on the back side also included scripture about God’s salvation in Jesus and struck up friendly conversations with new friends.
Mariachi San Pablo’s director, Miguel Muñoz, was thrilled to hear from the sastre (the tailor) in Juarez that the new mariachi suits were ready. Black with the same Luther Seal botonadura (decorative buttons) transferred from the old light blue suits, “We can have them in time to perform in them in Las Cruces!” Miguel was excited.
On the evening of July 3rd Faith Lutheran Church in Las Cruces, New Mexico, was serving free hot dogs, chips, and cold water as hundreds of families gathered in front of their church for the annual Independence Day Electric Light Parade that passes on their street. They invited Mariachi San Pablo to perform for the people as they waited for the parade to begin.
People were surprised by the pre-parade event hosted by the church in their parking lot and expressed their gratitude for the food, music, and free use of the church bathroom. Mariachi San Pablo performed Christian songs such as Alabaré, Vamos a Alabar al Rey, Lord I Lift Your Name on High, and popular mariachi songs such as Hermoso Cariño, El Replampago, and more. Children danced and played with sparklers in front of the group as they sang. With announcements from the microphone, Pastor Stephen brought attention to Faith Lutheran Church, letting people know that it is the church that was sponsoring the performance and providing friendly hospitality.
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.
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”