Mexico Mission Team 2016 ~ Backpacks & More!

The Cornerstone Church mission team had a terrific experience at La Familia in late June. Ms. Gina’s Crochet Club was a major success; the kids were tied up for hours making small satchel soap savers, friendship bracelets, and crosses. The boys especially took to hand-made crafts.

Ms. Gina with Josue, Juan Manuel, and Rodolpho
Ms. Gina with Josue, Juan Manuel, and Rodolpho.

Rodolpho, Chris, Jonathan, and Renato.
Rodolpho, Chris, Jonathan, and Renato.

We purchased new school backpacks, splashed a day at the local water park, played lots of volleyball, and Connect4. We also raised enough money to help purchase new wiring for the church sound system.

kids-group

Juan Francisco & Silvia, and volunteer Judy shopping at Sam’s Club for backpacks...
Juan Francisco & Silvia, and volunteer Judy shopping at Sam’s Club for backpacks…

Two very important projects were accomplished during our visit. The first project, we assisted a volunteer from Texas, Ms. Cathleen, with English lessons. The younger children met for an hour and created their own visual English/Spanish dictionaries by cutting out pictures and pasting into their very own English notebooks. The older children met for about 1 ½ hours and had a very informative lesson in problem solving, again scribing English words in their notebooks.

Renato looking up words in the English/Spanish dictionary.
Renato looking up words in the English/Spanish dictionary.

Abi searching for just the right word.
Abi searching for just the right word.

Our second project took us to Monica’s Kindergarten class in Quecholac. The children greeted us with a song and many smiles, then were dismissed for a recess. While the women (Cornerstone team and Siliva & Mayho) cleaned the classroom from top to bottom (yes, we did windows!), Chucho & the older boys gave some of the playground equipment a fresh, bright new coat of paint. As the parents gathered to take their children home, we presented them with a hygiene/first aid kit including bandaids, sport tape, antifungal cream, bar of soap, alcohol swabs, (a great big THANK YOU to CVS Pharmacy for giving us a major discount on these items), and toothbrush & toothpaste (another call-out to Dr. Adam Salzberg of Fishersville, VA for his generous donation), and some bubblegum and lollipops.

kids-table
boy-hat
girl-bag

Oh, and we made sure that Silvia had a Girls Night in Tecamachalco ~ we miss you already, dear friend!

Team Cornerstone is Abigail, Gina, Violet, Judy, Leah, and Jillian.
Team Cornerstone is Abigail, Gina, Violet, Judy, Leah, and Jillian.

York, SC Team Makes First Mission Trip to La Familia

Arriving June 1 and departing June 8, an 11-member mission team from Church of the Good Shepherd – Episcopal of York, SC visited Casa Hogar La Familia for the first time, but according to several members of the team, “It won’t be our last.”

Led by Spanish-speaking team leader, Tanya Whitehead, this mission team spent much of their project time working in one of the local schools. Actually, it was the school attended by Lalo and Suri. They helped out with various cleaning chores and interacted with the students.

Team member, Kevin Duncan, built three sturdy wooden tables for the casa hogar. After locating a truck loaded with bamboo, Paul Mishoe purchased enough bamboo to build what looks a lot like a Native American teepee. The children loved playing on the teepee, climbing, swinging and doing flips on the bamboo structure.

While at the casa, several of the youth taught the children how to apply makeup while others washed down the walls leading up to the second floor church area.

On Sunday, one of the families attending church invited the 11-member team to participate in the “presentation” of their daughter to the life of the church with the beautifully decorated cakes you’ll see in the photographs that accompany this newsletter.

The final day of the York Team’s visit to Mexico included touring the pyramid in Cholula and going on a privately guided tour of some of the attractions in the beautiful City of Puebla.

Don’t forget to take time to look over the photos the York-team took on their visit to Mexico.

Welcome
The children of Casa Hogar La Familia welcome the York-team to the casa.

Another group photograph of the class who benefitted from the team’s hard work in their school.
Another group photograph of the class who benefitted from the team’s hard work in their school.

A wide angle of the school class where the York team worked.
A wide angle of the school class where the York team worked.

Two of the youth from the York  team, Maiah and Sara, sand down one of the tables built for the casa.
Two of the youth from the York team, Maiah and Sara, sand down one of the tables built for the casa.

Another wooden table made by Kevin Duncan and gifted to the casa.
Another wooden table made by Kevin Duncan and gifted to the casa.

Teepee made from bamboo provided the boys of the casa with a lot of fun.
Teepee made from bamboo provided the boys of the casa with a lot of fun.

Lilly Duncan has a good laugh with Jazmin.
Lilly Duncan has a good laugh with Jazmin.

Mary Fer received her “professional” make-over from Annah.
Mary Fer received her “professional” make-over from Annah.

Well-decorated cake made in tribute to the young woman being presented to the church.
Well-decorated cake made in tribute to the young woman being presented to the church.

Juan Francisco & Silvia Visit US Churches

Beginning with their arrival on April 15 at DFW Airport in Texas and ending with their departure on May 2, Juan Francisco and Silvia visited eleven churches that support Casa Hogar La Familia.

The turnout was terrific. Missioners and soon-to-be missioners came to hear Juan Francisco and Silvia sing songs of praise to our Lord and tell some extremely interesting stories about how the Lord used them to serve the children of Casa Hogar La Familia.

Selected Portions of Juan Francisco’s and Silvia’s Joint Presentation

“We have pastor friends who were familiar with Palmarito and they told us not to go there. They told us that many of the people there had hard hearts and had no desire to know the Lord. So we prayed and prayed and the more we prayed, the more we realized that although we would rather not be faced with the challenges going to Palmarito presented, we knew that this is where God was leading us. We decided to be obedient to the Lord’s wishes.

“One of the ways God let us know what He wanted us to do had to do with real estate. Land is very expensive in Mexico and we could not find land we could afford, but one day the grandmother of two of the children in the Casa Hogar told us that she had spoken with the mayor of Palmarito and he had agreed to gift us two acres of land where we eventually built the new children’s home.

“When we began construction, people would walk by the building and tell us to leave. A few actually picked up rocks and threw them at us. Each night we would call all of the children together and pray for the townspeople. We prayed that their hearts would soften.

“When the ground floor was completed, we bought chairs and used the living room area of the Casa Hogar to hold worship services each Sunday. Only a handful of people from the community came at first, but after a few weeks passed, more and more came. Today, we have average attendance of over 160 people who initially did not want us to be a part of their community. God answered our prayers.

“Today, many of those who threw rocks at us and told us to get out of their community are our friends and attend worship services regularly. These people have apologized to us and asked for our forgiveness. We did not make this miracle happen; God made it happen. He answered our prayers.”

See Below for Photographs from Juan Francisco’s and Silvia’s US Tour
 
Photographs from Juan Francisco’s and Silvia’s US Visit that Covered over 3,000 Miles
 

Saint Andrews Episcopal in Downers Grove, IL
Saint Andrews Episcopal in Downers Grove, IL

 
Chattanooga, TN (Juan Francisco was invited to throw out the first pitch at a Chattanooga Lookouts Class AA Professional Baseball Game.
Chattanooga, TN (Juan Francisco was invited to throw out the first pitch at a Chattanooga Lookouts Class AA Professional Baseball Game.

 
Silvia Couldn’t Resist the T-Shirts at a Shop Beside the Nantahala River in NC. Visiting the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC
Silvia Couldn’t Resist the T-Shirts at a Shop Beside the Nantahala River in NC.

 
Visiting the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC
Visiting the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC

 
The “Sumter Team” hosted us during our visit to Sumter, SC
The “Sumter Team” hosted us during our visit to Sumter, SC

 
Virginia Welcome Center
Virginia Welcome Center

 
Our good friends in Fishersville, VA
Our good friends in Fishersville, VA

 
We travelled around Washington on the DC Metro
We travelled around Washington on the DC Metro

 
Inside the Air & Space Museum - Smithsonian Institute - Washington, DC
Inside the Air & Space Museum – Smithsonian Institute – Washington, DC

 
Performing at Lighthouse Fellowship Church
Performing at Lighthouse Fellowship Church – Fort Worth

 
Cornerstone Church in Staunton, VA
Cornerstone Church in Staunton, VA

 

 

Cities and States Visited

 
Texas (Fort Worth)
 
Acton United Methodist Church – Fort Worth, TX
Lighthouse Fellowship Church – Fort Worth, TX
 
Oklahoma
 
The Federated Church – Kingfisher, OK
 
Illinois
 
Saint Andrews Episcopal – Downers Grove, IL
 
Tennessee
 
Signal Mountain United Methodist Church – Signal Mountain, TN
 
South Carolina (Sumter)
 
Supporters from two different churches – Sumter, SC
 
North Carolina (Charlotte)
 
Church of the Redeemer Episcopal – Greenville, SC
Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal – York, SC
Forest Hill Church – Charlotte, NC
 
Virginia
 
Fishersville United Methodist Church – Fishersville, VA
Cornerstone Church – Staunton VA

Oklahoma Mission Team Makes Initial Visit to La Familia

Pastor Eric Joppa and eight members of his congregation formed the initial mission team to visit Casa Hogar La Familia from the Federated Church located in Kingfisher, OK.

The team members were a big hit with the children of La Familia, but also accomplished the goals of their mission trip:

The court in front of the Casa was restriped with red paint.
The court in front of the Casa was restriped with red paint.

Three new clothesline posts were set in concrete to give the clothesline more stability and new plastic-covered metal clothesline was installed.
Three new clothesline posts were set in concrete to give the clothesline more stability and new plastic-covered metal clothesline was installed.
With the children’s help, the window screens on the first floor were replaced.
With the children’s help, the window screens on the first floor were replaced.

The Federated Church mission team purchased new pillows and pillowcases for all of the children and staff. The women of the Federated Church also hand made quilts for each.

The mission team purchased pillows and pillow cases for each child and each staff person at La Familia.
The mission team purchased pillows and pillow cases for each child and each staff person at La Familia.
The bookshelves in the eating area were repainted (with the children’s help).
The bookshelves in the eating area were repainted (with the children’s help).
Members of the Federated Church mission team and several of the children of Casa Hogar La Familia.
Members of the Federated Church mission team and several of the children of Casa Hogar La Familia.