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A letter from Andrés Garcia on the U.S.–Mexico border

October 2010

Puentes Fall Newsletter

Dear Family in Christ,

Peace and grace to you in the precious name of our Everlasting God. Gloria and I lift our hearts before him to ask that his overflowing love may continue to sustain you each day.

Photo of children holding note books, boxes of crayons and other school supplies.

Some of the children from our Tutoring Program in Col. Lucio Blanco, Reynosa, Mexico.

As Gloria and I arrived at Puentes de Cristo headquarters on August 2, my first reaction was: Oh Lord, this place is a dump! Inside the building there were dust and bugs everywhere. An old air conditioner blew both cold air and an unbearable odor apparently originating from a dead animal decomposing in some duct. The grounds around the office were just as discouraging: several street cats had taken over the front porch as their lair. What a stench! Moreover, the front and back yards were overgrown with weeds, and a tree had fallen to the ground.

The next day we began to assess the condition of our new workplace; the outcome was a long to-do list of urgent tasks that needed to be completed in the following week:

  1. A general cleaning of the interior and exterior of Puentes de Cristo’s headquarters.
  2. Repairs to the grounds.
  3. Re-engineering Puentes de Cristo’s strategic plan for ministry for 2011-2015.
  4. Study of Puentes de Cristo’s by-laws and a review of past projects.
  5. Inventory of Puentes de Cristo’s properties.
  6. Review and reorganization of Puentes de Cristo’s financial administration.
  7. Design a work plan for 2011.
  8. Prepare a newsletter for donors and supporting churches.
  9. Connect with and broaden Puentes de Cristo’s ministry contacts on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Photo of two men and two women sitting at a conference table.

Puentes de Cristo staff.

We’ve made progress on this agenda thanks to the kind collaboration of neighbors and friends. Little by little, the Puentes de Cristo office is looking much better than it did when we arrived.

On October 29 Puentes de Cristo’s Board of Directors will hold its last meeting of 2010. We hope that the Board will make important decisions regarding the various projects that have been in progress in past years. From now on we are proposing that the core value of Puentes’ ministry will be Holistic Evangelism. In this way Puentes leaves the door open to engage the needs and problems of God’s children at any level of their community and individual lives. In envisioning this model of mission, Puentes hopes to be faithful and to increase effectiveness as we learn from and accompany our Mexican partners in doing God’s mission.

Photo of two men working in a yard.

Andres Garcia and Thomas Turk, member of First Presbyterian Church, McAllen, Texas.

Join Puentes de Cristo in prayer for:

  1. The members of Board of Directors, that they may bring a new enthusiasm and re-energizing spirit to the mission of Puentes.
  2. The health of Benjamin Sierra, Daniel Camacho and Efrain Buenfil, all in the process of recovery from surgery.
  3. Rev. Otoniel López Vásquez, the executive presbyter of Tamaulipas Presbytery, which is the partner of Puentes at the Mexican side of the border.
  4. The reopening of the Lucio Blanco Community Center in Reynosa. There are the 35 kids waiting to continue to nourish their bodies and minds with the bread of life.

To end this letter, Gloria and I share with you our deepest desire that God’s grace and peace may be with you always.

Andres and Gloria Garcia

Puentes de Cristo Border Ministry

Hidalgo, Texas

The 2010 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 283

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