A letter from Andres Garcia in Mexico
Dear friends and family in Christ,
Peace and grace to you in the beloved name of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we lift our hearts before the everlasting God, asking for his love to be with you during this Christmas season and beyond. Gloria and I live every day the unshakable spirit of thankfulness for what God has done to us throughout this year 2012. The year is almost at the end, but not the promising reality of a people of faith that trust us to continue PC(USA) mission at the Mexico-U.S.A. border.
We would like, this time, to share a brief report on the progress of the mission work here at the border. This way you may see how God’s hands are at work through small and simple things, especially the lives of “ordinary people” willing to love and follow Jesus Christ. The job we have done includes three initiatives in the Puentes de Cristo evangelizing program: (1) the sewing project, (2) training hairdresser entrepreneurs, and (3) preventive health for children at social risk. Those three projects are interrelated sections of the effort that Puentes de Cristo has in Colonia Lucio Blanco, Reynosa, Mexico, for outreaching to people and families with the liberating message of Jesus Christ. In the sewing project and beautician training 21 women were graduated last July. Puentes de Cristo awarded a diploma as proof of the conclusion of their training.
Blanquita is one of the students who received her diploma on July 8. During the course of her training, she began thinking about starting her own business. She says, “I recognized the importance of the opportunity Puentes de Cristo has given me to accomplish three things in my life: (1) Improving the quality of my personal life as well as that of my family. (2) Obtaining an income to sustain my household. (3) Starting my own beauty salon. I thank God for these three things I have achieved.” For the schooling period of 2012-2013 we have registered 35 new students in both projects. We expect they will graduate at the end of June 2013.
The preventative health and nutrition project continues to achieve the goal of “saving” 30 boys and girls. Education, a basic meal a day, and pastoral care are three core pillars in the enhancement of their healthy lives. Those kids look very happy now and their parents show themselves open and willing for their children to receive the gospel teaching.
Alejandro is one such child. Early in his childhood his father left home. Sometime later his mother committed suicide, and then his aunt took him in. His aunt is 56 years old, single, and works in a maquiladora (factory established by multinational companies in Mexico where women and young people work). Alejandro has lived most of his childhood alone. He was a sad child—depressed and self-isolating from other children around. A year after coming to the Center, Alejandro is the first to arrive in the morning, likes to play with his friends, and is participating in the choir preparing to sing at the Christmas party. We thank God for touching the fragile life of Alejandro.
Let us mention in a special way the love of Clifton Presbyterian Church in Virginia, First Presbyterian Church of Bryan, and Mission Presbytery in Texas, by whom those children, women and their community are blessed by the love and grace of God. Our labor here is not only social but also evangelizing and pastoral.
We are very pleased and grateful for the work of sisters in Christ Claudia and Lupita at the community center “Lucio Blanco.” Thanks to the enterprising effort of both the building is clean, painted, the necessary repairs made inside and on the outside perimeter of the property. It was urgent for work at the center to get a small-load “troka"—we communicated this need to several friends and then got a donation of $5,000 from Wisconsin Lions. We already purchased a Ford Ranger 2001 with that donation. In addition to work on the program, Lupita, Claudia, Abraham and Lawyer are leading the organization of Puentes de Cristo Civil Association in Mexico. It is a very important step forward in order to consolidate Puentes de Cristo on the Mexican side of the border and also to develop among our partners there the spirit of ownership and equal participation as a community of mission praxis [practice].
Gloria and I thank God for the Gift of His Church. Over all we thank Him for the gifts of ordinary people like you throughout the U.S.A. Your prayers and fellowship with us make the difference among persons and neighborhoods like ours in this part of the world. By your prayers and generous gifts we know you care about the future of this mission. Thank you! We desire and welcome your continued participation in the lives of the beautiful people at the border. Please consider partnering with us through your financial contributions for 2013.
Gloria and I count on your support!
Andres and Gloria Garcia
The 2012 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 4
The 2013 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 15
Read more about Andrés and Gloria Garcia's ministry