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Church Office

Hours:
8:30 to 4:30 Monday - Friday

323 South Fairfax Street
Alexandria, Virginia  22314-3716
Phone: 703-549-6670
Email: opmh@opmh.org

A Story from Mexico 2010

A Story From Mexico

Fifteen years ago, the Meeting House began sending work groups to Reynosa, Mexico, each summer, where we worked with Faith Ministries to build concrete block homes. Over the years, dozens of Meeting House members have laid block, mixed cement, tied rebar, and shared in fellowship with our Mexican workers and hosts. We have worked side by side with people whose one pair of shoes barely holds together, whose home is a patchwork of salvaged wood and scrap metal, who lack such things as electricity and indoor plumbing. Over the years, we have witnessed gracious hospitality, and tremendous joy and faith in the lives of people who face more challenges than most of us can imagine.

This year, we didn’t go. This year, none of the fifty or so church groups who typically make the trip to Reynosa went. This year, our friends in Faith Ministry worked alone.

For the past several years, the town of Reynosa had been largely spared the drug cartel-related violence that has ravaged so much of northern Mexico, but this year that changed. We don’t know how long it will last, but David Rodriguez, the director of Faith Ministries, reports that everytime he goes into downtown Reynosa, he feels like his life is at risk. While Faith Ministries employees and volunteers are certainly not targets, violence can break out at any time without concern for who might be caught in the crossfire.

What will Faith Ministries do? The people in the colonias still live in makeshift shacks and long for solid homes. Families still face the difficult decision each year of whether or not they can afford to keep their child in school. Hundreds of people still show up each week at the door of the Faith Ministry-operated health clinic.

Unfortunately, many of the churches who cancelled their trips to Reynosa redirected their mission funds elsewhere, so in the midst of all the chaos and violence that surrounds them, Faith Ministry finds itself struggling month to month to get by. Still, the Meeting House and a few other churches have maintained their support, and David Rodriguez reports that each time he thinks he’s hit the end, an angel will come through, and they’ll be able to make it for another month or two or three. The building program is currently on hold, but the clinic is going strong, students supported by Faith Ministry scholarships are still going to school, and they’ve just received enough money to assure they can make it til January. Each Sunday, worship is still held at Third Presbyterian Church, right next door to the high, imposing walls that mark the stronghold of one of the local cartels.
It can be easy for us to look away from the sin and brokenness of this world we live in. But this is where Jesus meets us. Let us turn our hearts to God in confession, and repentance, seeking God’s mercy and grace in our lives and in the lives of all.
 

Last Published: March 30, 2011 1:07 PM
Old Presbyterian Meeting House 323 South Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 703-549-6670