To close off their travelling season, Mariachi San Pablo tracked I-25 to Albuquerque, NM and visited with friends at Christ Lutheran Church on October 4th and 5th. It had been a little over a year since the group last visited Christ Lutheran and they were excited to go back.
The concert was held on October 4th in the sanctuary at Christ Lutheran Church. With the Albuquerque Balloon Festival in full swing, hosts were worried about concert attendance. Mariachi San Pablo members went on about their setting up tasks with full confidence the performance and attendance would go smoothly. With concert attendees ready to hear the Gospel “Mariachi Style,” Mariachi San Pablo went on to perform favorite songs and hymns like Alabare, How Great Thou Art and Amazing Grace. The group was also very pleased to have the Rev. Dr. Karl Heimer, CEO of YLM Human Care, in attendance as well. Though Dr. Heimer is the group’s #1 fan, it is hard for him to attend performances. The concert ended with Cristo es el Fundamento and concert goers as well as mariachi members dancing, singing and praising together.
Sunday included two worship services with Mariachi San Pablo leading music and accompanying organist Beth Schroff. Hymns such as The Church is One Foundation, Joyful, Joyful we Adore Thee, and Lift High the Cross were included in the worship bulletins. Many who attended worship but did not attend the concert were glad the mariachi was there for service and were delighted with the music. Man congregants stopped by the information table set up by the mariachi to showcase the many ministries of YLM Human Care.
The weekend ended with a blessing from Pastor Groeling before worship ended. Mariachi San Pablo then began the task of tearing down sound equipment, eating lunch and preparing for the drive down I-25 back down to El Paso. Thank you to Christ Lutheran Church for hosting Mariachi San Pablo that weekend.
For more information on how to host Mariachi San Pablo or for tour information, please call Ann Hernandez at (915) 346-2819 or (915) 858-2588.
The newly opened Taco Cabana restaurant in El Paso, TX, has pledged 20% of its proceeds to go to YLM for food purchased on Thursday, October 23, 2014 between 4:30 and 10pm. Everyone who eats at this Taco Cabana located on Gateway West between Zaragoza/George Dieter and Lee Trevino that evening will also enjoy the sweet joy of knowing their meal is helping support the wonderful work of YLM.
Adelante Ministries will end its fall season of classes with a recital on November 21st at 6:30pm. With only a few weeks left to go for this semester, students have been hard at work learning their respective instruments with weekly classes and practice time at home. Mariachi Esperanza, our beginning mariachi group, will also be performing songs learned this semester. Mariachi Esperanza has been busy not only learning music for the recital but for the upcoming Christmas season as well. With so many talented students, we are sure to have a successful recital with a variety of music to be shared.
November 21, 2014 @ 6:30pm
San Pablo Lutheran Church
301 S. Schutz Dr, El Paso, TX 79907
For information, please contact Maritza Muñoz at (915) 858-2588.
A servant event team from Mt. Prospect, Illinois was at Ysleta Lutheran Mission Human Care (YLM) from October 5th through 11th to build an addition to a house for a needy family in Juarez, Mexico.
The Mt. Prospect group from St. Paul Lutheran Church has been coming to YLM twice a year (a youth group in summer and an adult group in fall) for nearly twenty years now, yet this particular trip was dedicated to Roger Weseloh of St. Paul Lutheran. Weseloh was dedicated to servant events in El Paso for many years yet he recently died of a heart attack suddenly.
A total of eight of the eleven people from St. Paul’s who made the trip were family members of Mr. Weseloh. The group built an addition to a ramshackle of a home that two grandparents and their grandchildren live in. The grandparents were recently forced to take custody of their granddaughter Kimberly, age 5, whose parents were killed by cartel members in Juarez during the drug wars.
George Busse was one of the members of the St. Paul servant event and he was moved to action by Kimberly’s situation. This was his fourth trip to YLM.
“It’s one thing to donate money to projects,” said Busse, an institutional stock broker by trade. “It’s another thing to invest yourself. This is something constructive that we can do that also praises Jesus. This trip highlighted God’s salvation. His love filters through us and we share that with others.”
Bill Kearns made his 14th trip to YLM and he was glad to help Kimberly’s family. “Knowing Kimberly’s background made this trip so perfect,” said Kearns, a private wealth advisor. “Also, in memory of Roger, this was perfect. In fact some of the funds provided for this trip came from a memorial from Roger.”
Roger’s wife also felt it was appropriate to help a person who lost her parents, in the name of Jesus and in Roger’s memory. “This was a nice way to honor and remember Roger as well as help people truly in need; they’re our Christian brothers and sisters south of the border,” said Donna. “I feel like Roger was whispering in Gods ear saying pick this family and now he’s looking down on us and giving us a big thumbs up.”
Roy Sackschewsky, of Antioch, Illinois is also a member of Wessel’s family and it was his first trip to YLM.
“I wanted to have the opportunity to serve,” he said, “I realize how much I’ve been blessed and I feel an obligation to fulfill the great commission, plus I enjoy building things.”
And build they did. The group did framing, wall erections, roof implementation, electrical work and drywall in order to have the addition to Kimberly’s house done in five days.
For one, Kearns plans on coming back again next year. “I’m hooked on the people here: the kids and the parents are so loving. They welcome you, they’re grateful, they smile, its outstanding. Also we love Karl, Stephen and Krysia Heimer. They’ve become like family.”
In 2010, the 21st Orphan Grain Train (OGT) warehouse was officially opened in Grand Island, Nebraska. Bob and Beth Stark, who’ve now been married 51 years, had been coming to Ysleta Lutheran Mission Human Care (YLM) in El Paso, Texas through OGT’s international headquarters in Norfolk, Nebraska to deliver donations since 2001.
With the Grand Island warehouse opening closer to the Stark’s dairy farm and home in Hastings, Nebraska, they’ve been able to continue to serve the US/Mexico border community in the name of Jesus Christ.
“Starting many years ago, we’d been out in Mexico at Christmastime,” said Beth. “We used to give out stuffed toys, food and quilts, clothing. It was a good way to let people know that from the U.S. we want them to know about Jesus. That’s the whole purpose.”
On September 30, 2014 the Starks voluntarily made their 46th trip to YLM with 400 boxes of donated clothes and medical supplies. YLM will distribute the majority of this particular delivery’s supplies to an affiliate in Janos, Chihuahua, Mexico. The delivery included an x-ray dental machine from Lincoln, Nebraska, also to be used in Janos. “Instead of putting the x-ray machine on a semi-trailer we decided to personally bring it down, to make sure it was not damaged,” added Beth.
The Starks became personally involved in helping YLM in 2001 when OGT from Norfolk, desired to send three roundhouses (pressed board houses) as donations to YLM. The Starks used their farm pickup and farm trailer to make that possible. Two of the roundhouses were used as houses in Anapra (a poor section of Juarez) and one was used as a house for Tarahumara Indians in Sicachique, Chihuahua.
“Jesus died on the cross for us and we needed to help people that were in need down here,” said Beth. “We figured there was a need for clothing, so Bob (who was a YLM board member for five years) went around to garage sales and asked for donations to OGT for YLM.”
Since 2010, the Starks and other volunteers have held ‘fish feeds’ to keep the non-profit’s warehouse doors open. At a fish feed, chefs prepare fish, pearl onions, and new potatoes in a specially seasoned pot of brine. Side dishes and dessert round out the meal and free will donations are made by customers to support OGT.
Pastor Jesus Astorga of YLM thanks OGT and the Starks for their assistance to the needy. “Any Christian who is approached by someone in need should help them,” he said. “If we believe in Christ and His mercy and His love and His grace and he says we should visit the widow and the orphan, feed those who are hungry and clothe those who are naked. Do it.” OGT and Bob and Beth do it.
To schedule a ‘fish feed’ date in the Grand Island, Nebraska area, please call Beth at 402-463-8263. The upcoming ‘fish feed’ dates will be Oct 26, at Calvary Lutheran Church (Rosemont), in Blue Hill, Nebraska from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and November 9th at Grace Lutheran Church in Wood River, NE, starting at 11:15.
Pastor Jesús Astorga of Ysleta Lutheran Mission Human Care is currently teaching the second consecutive semester of Theology, in Spanish, as part of the new distance learning program provided by Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. YLM’s comprehensive leadership formation efforts prepare men and women to serve communities with the best preparation possible. When it comes to the spiritual element of people’s lives, they are firmly grounded in a high-level Theological Education so valued in the LCMS. Equipped to respond to disasters (economic, natural, and man-made) our leaders are also equipped to speak truth concerning God’s work and intentions in the world, truth that is rooted in the message of the Bible.
According to Astorga, it is critical that the Hispanic community is theologically educated at the same level as other communities within the United States and elsewhere. Astorga and Rev. Dr. Karl Heimer have been working with Concordia in Ft. Wayne for 15 years to make equal training for Spanish speakers a reality.
“We’re trying to educate Hispanic pastors; especially those who are bilingual,” explains Astorga. “We want to train from both sides of the border, because we want well trained ministers who properly grasp Biblical theology and doctrine.”
Astorga’s ultimate goal is a Spanish speaking community which properly disseminates the Word of God on the same level as other LCMS members.
“We want them to have a master of divinity,” adds Astorga. “We need to teach in Spanish and we don’t have enough Hispanic pastors that have the master of divinity level of education or PhD’s.”
Hispanics make up nearly 20 percent of the total US population and more than a million people live in Juarez, Mexico right across the Rio Grande river, one mile south of YLM’s campus in El Paso, TX. According to Astorga, “We need to reach them. Our church needs to be more proactive in reaching out to Hispanics here and across the border. We need missionaries and directors of Christian education, teachers, deaconess and pastors that do word and sacrament ministry. Historically there’s not been enough awareness in the church that we have to cross cultural barriers because of the existence of the need to carry out the great commission that Christ gave us; to reach out to all nations.”
“Usually we used to do missions by sending missionaries to foreign countries. Well, God brought the foreign countries to our doorstep and we need to pay attention to that.”
Due in part to Astorga’s vehement desire to provide the borderland with upper echelon theological training, the classes now indeed exist, although the course is not yet completely accredited. The program director, Dr. Arthur Just, at Concordia Theological Seminary has explained that accreditation should be acquired by the time the first students would graduate from the four-year program.
Fortunately for Astorga and his students, the Lutheran seminary in Argentina has course material and books in Spanish. The El Paso branch of the Concordia Spanish theology course has teamed with a branch in Spain to form a cooperative with Argentina, in order to provide high level Spanish theological education to students.
The courses span eight weeks, and a winter break will commence in February 2015. “The main thrust for this semester’s course is ‘marcos teologicos’ or theological patterns,” explains Astorga. “The theology of the cross is at the forefront and we will also study Lutheran anthropology. We must truly understand the theology that we preach and confess. We need to have pastors that are theologically sound and well versed enough to answer any questions posed to them by anybody.”
Concerning the goals of the Theological component of YLM’s work to educate local leadership for ministry in the U.S. and Mexico, Astorga explains,
“We want to make sure that we have pastors that are well versed in scripture. We have to give [people] reason of the hope that lies within us, which is Christ. We’ve got to show them the word of God but we can’t do that unless we really know it. We have to know how to interpret scripture and how to draw a doctrine out of it and to do it with sound principles of Biblical interpretation.”
Additionally, says Astorga, “We need more deaconesses because we need to minister to Hispanic women. You have to keep in mind what they face in terms of culture. Sometimes they face stigmas; like woman should stay home all the time; but women are the other half of the church and you can’t leave them out. They can go into places that a man can’t; such as a battered women’s shelter. All people need the mercy of God and healing and the only one who can bring that healing is our Lord. This is why we are doing what we are doing.”
Classes are held Tuesday and Thursday at Ysleta Lutheran Mission. The students for this semester have already enrolled and registration is now closed, but Astorga will allow interested individuals to audit classes.
Finally, Astorga urges Lutherans across the US to help support this scholastic effort, because funding must be raised locally. “We ask readers for their prayers and if they can provide us with some kind of material support we can use that. We are working on a shoestring budget and frankly, we don’t have sufficient supplies, such as extra markers or paper or laptops.”
Is Astorga happy to finally be able to properly equip the saints through Concordia in El Paso/Juarez?
“I could not be doing anything better than what I’m doing,” he exclaims. “This makes me feel so happy. I get up in the morning and I’m looking forward to teaching and preparing lessons and reaching out to students and seeing them grow in knowledge and understanding. To see them grow spiritually and have their faith and commitment strengthened is just amazing and I love it! It’s my joy!”
For more information, or to donate, to the Concordia Theological Seminary distance learning course please contact 915-858-2588.
Jim Kirsch made his sixth trip to YLM from Norfolk, Nebraska on September 10, 2014. Ever since Kirsch retired as a truck driver for a grocery warehouse he’s been driving donated food across the U.S.A. for Orphan Grain Train (OGT), one of YLM’s biggest supporters.
Kirsch came bearing donations such as mini-refrigerators, food and other miscellaneous donated supplies, all of which will be immediately put to use by YLM, within El Paso, Texas, U.S.A. and Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico.
Orphan Grain Train currently provides food and other donations for six missions in Texas alone. OGT is a Christian volunteer network that shares personal and material resources with needy people in America and around the world. Grain Train volunteers gather donations of clothing, medical supplies, food, Christian literature, and other aid to meet real needs. The OGT movement is a loving response to Jesus Christ’s example as a servant and His love for us.
In 1992, Rev. Ray S. Wilke, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Norfolk, Neb., volunteered with a group of Lutherans who traveled to Latvia and Russia to help with a church mission. There they met people with “no hope” in desperate need of spiritual, emotional, and humanitarian aid after the breakup of the former Soviet Union.
The Latvians begged Rev. Wilke to help them more after he went home and he promised he would.
Wilke envisioned a train that would travel through America’s Midwest, picking up cars of donated grain along the way, until it reached a port from which the grain would be shipped to feed starving orphans in Eastern Europe.
Upon his return to the United States, Wilke contacted Clayton Andrews, president of Andrews Van Lines, a worldwide transportation company, and told his story. Together, they founded Orphan Grain Train.
“He came to me and asked, ‘Do you think something can be done?'” says Andrews. “I said, ‘Yes, I know how we can help those people.’ I never hesitated and it took off from there.”
Since 1992, Orphan Grain Train’s 20 regional locations have delivered more than 85 million pounds of humanitarian aid to needy people in more than 60 countries on five continents. An additional 330 semi-loads of hay and forage products were delivered in 2002-03 to drought-stricken farmers in the Midwest during Operation Hay and Grain Lift.
Orphan Grain Train is a recognized service organization (RSO) of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS). Many shipments have been in cooperation with Lutheran Hour Ministries, LCMS World Mission, LCMS World Relief, and other Christian ministries.
As for this particular trip to El Paso, Kirsch stated,
“This ride was nice and at YLM everybody’s friendly and willing to help. I know the stuff we give them goes to a good cause; so it’s a pleasure coming down here; then again I’ve never seen this much rain in El Paso!”
According to YLM C.E.O. Karl Heimer,
“Orphan Grain Train has done a lot of wonderful things for us over the last 20 years. We’re so grateful for the constant support they’ve given us. It has helped many people; and if it if it weren’t for them we wouldn’t be able to do what we do here and in Mexico.”
Ysleta Lutheran Mission Human Care (YLM) teamed with The Rotary Club of El Paso nearly two years ago in order to provide a free medical clinic for low income people in the heart of El Paso’s Mission Valley. On September 13th, 2014 on YLM grounds at 301 S. Schutz, the vision became a reality as the Rotacare/Texas Tech Free Clinic officially opened!
The Rotacare Free Clinic’s grand opening featured a ribbon cutting ceremony, a public tour of the medical facility and various Rotary Club members, YLM staff and volunteers and Texas Tech doctors and nurses. The clinic will only be open one day per month at first and will later increase open time.
The Rotary Club of El Paso, Texas is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2014 and the club voted the creation of the Rotacare Free Clinic as its centennial project. In coordination with Texas Tech University School of Medicine, there will be staffing by medical students and resident physicians under the supervision of Texas Tech faculty from the Department of Medicine as well as Pediatrics. The clinic’s medical director is Dr. Richard McCallum.
YLM C.E.O. Karl Heimer was on hand for the grand opening. He helped preside over the proceeding. Heimer stated,
“My gratitude goes out to the Rotary Club and Texas Tech. It’s a real blessing for this community to have them be part of us. Most people in our community don’t have the ability to see the doctor and buy medicines. They often can’t afford medical care and treatment because the costs are so unbelievably high. This clinic is therefore vital and necessary.”
Rotary Club member and lifelong El Pasoan Greg Hartley was integral in the conceptualization of the clinic. While at a Rotary convention in Los Angeles a few years ago he was enlightened regarding other Rotary Clubs’ creation of free clinics. “I thought to myself, ‘El Paso can use something like this,’” explained Hartley. “After raising money and assessing community needs, El Paso’s Mission Valley was chosen as the location. Additionally YLM had a building which could serve the needs of the clinic, and the rest is history.
Heimer continued, “This clinic goes along with what Jesus, the great physician, said in Matthew 4:23-24, “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.”
Community member Robert Cameron was at the grand opening and he essentially agreed with Heimer.
“I am astounded,” he exclaimed. “I came to see a clinic and I did, but what surrounds the clinic is amazing! Heimer’s vision is great because by embedding the church (San Pablo Lutheran on YLM grounds) along with the free clinic into the community, we are getting back to the fundamentals of doing medical work for not just money, but for love.”
For more information regarding Rotacare/Texas Tech Free Clinic’s schedule, please call 915-858-2588.
One of the questions most frequently asked at our mission sites is when will there be another medical clinic coming? Unfortunately we have not been able to offer a medical clinic since 2010. Plans are underway to host a medical clinic, featuring volunteers from all over the country working together, next spring. The dates of the clinic will be April 26 to May 2, 2015, and will be held at one or more of our websites in Juarez. We are hoping to recruit doctors, nurses, translators, pharmacists and more, as well as procuring needed medications for use at the clinic. If you are interested in joining this event, or for more information, please contact Chris Hill at email@example.com or (915)858-2588.