Tuesday, March 24
Among the 146 congregations in Mission Presbytery is Divine Redeemer, a predominantly Hispanic congregation located on the west side of San Antonio. The centerpiece of Divine Redeemer’s mission is its Multi-level Educational Youth Outreach (MEYO), a holistic, integrated ministry serving the at-risk children and teens of the community. MEYO focuses on life skills, character development, academic support, and community service. We have two after-school programs, Peace Pals for elementary school students and House of Teens for middle and high school students. We also award scholarships through the Rivera Scholarship Fund. For more than 10 years, 100 percent of MEYO participants have graduated high school with plans for the future in place.
The Hernandez-Cruz family has been involved with MEYO since its inception in 2000: first Brittany, then Ricky, and now Kimberley. Ricky’s story is perhaps the most remarkable. He was struggling in school when he entered the program. As a sixth grader, he was unable to completely say his ABCs! But he worked hard, using the tutors and tools available to him at MEYO, home, and school. Despite starting so far behind, with determination Ricky was able to pass each grade. It was such a great joy to see his hard work pay off as he graduated in spring 2013. With the support of MEYO, the Rivera Scholarship, and our collaborator, CollegeVISTA, Ricky is now completing prerequisites at a local community college before transferring to a local university to pursue his dream of becoming a veterinarian.
Ricky’s mother, Ignacia, is herself an inspiration. “Santa Nacha,” as pastor Rob Mueller affectionately refers to her, was a leader in the parent support group for MEYO and has organized innumerable chile relleno sales to raise funds for MEYO. This year, however, Ignacia became a member of the staff, working alongside Hope Bradley, another neighborhood mother, as co-coordinator of Peace Pals. Because of the ministry of MEYO, Ignacia and her children decided to make Divine Redeemer their spiritual home.
—Andrew Willems, director, MEYO, Divine Redeemer Presbyterian Church, San Antonio
Let us join in prayer for:
Ruling Elder Ruben Armendariz, church development consultant
Ruling Elder Lita Simpson, youth and young adult ministries
Rev. Karen Stocks, stated clerk
Pam DuBois, accountant
Cathy Hooker, office manager
Eleanor Wieters, receptionist / administrative clerk
Rev. Kathy Anderson, director, John Knox Ranch
Young Adult Volunteers
Matthew Cowell, Abigail Evans, Victoria Hollingsworth, Rogelio Lopez, Julius Lorenzi, Mallory Tober, and Caroline Tonarely, San Antonio
Emma Randles, Andy Spaulding, Samuel Turpen, and Samuel Wismer, Ayava House at Austin Seminary
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
God of those who struggle, we lift to you all families, especially single-parent families, that battle for survival and long to thrive. Teach us to take risks for our neighbors, whereby we find you—as love made flesh—in our midst. Amen.