Volunteers building hope in Mexico
“We’re talking about a place where the average person works six or seven days a week and barely makes enough money to buy one pound of hamburger meat,” said Rob Simpson, an associate pastor. “What we’re offering these people is hope.”
The thoughtful and solemn inflections of worship issue from a prayer circle at the Valley Christian Fellowship in Gardnerville. Joining hands, the group prays for a safe and successful journey on their week-long trip to Caborca in Sonora, Mexico.
This year, the 20-strong volunteer group of carpenters, construction workers, business owners, retail workers and high school students will be laying the concrete foundation for a new town building and putting up a roof on a new church in a small poverty-stricken area of Mexico. Some members of the volunteer force are fresh from a similar mission in Kosovo.
“Caborca is a very poor area,” says Russ Davidson of Minden. “So we’ll also be doing whatever else that comes up that we can help out with.”
For Anna Simpson of Gardnerville, the Oct. 15 trip will be her
first. “My husband goes every year,” she said. “I’m excited about meeting the people and getting a chance to help out. It’s really such a great blessing to be able to do something like this.”
The group will make the 16-hour drive in two vans.
Once in Mexico, they’ll use donations and money from their own pockets to buy the necessary building supplies.
They’ll also be meeting up with another group of volunteers coming from the small city of Scappoose, Ore.
“We’ll be relying on them for a lot of translation help,” said Davidson.
But the experienced volunteers assure that friendship and love have a way of transcending language barriers.
After working on the construction projects during the day, the group plans to put on plays and skits on the dirt streets at night.
To that end, the group has assembled a brand-new collection of Mexican music.
“One of our biggest focuses is to introduce people to Jesus Christ,” said Lon Smith, also an associate pastor of Gardnerville. “We want to connect with them on a higher level.”
Contact reporter Peter Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1215.
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