Northwest Texas Conference UMVIM trip
to Operation Hogar in Mexico
Kim Pease, Northwest Texas Conference UMVIM Coordinator, shares a mission story from Rev. Henry Salley, who was one of ten district superintendents participating with Bishop Alfred Norris in a five-day mission trip to Operation Hogar, Juarez, Mexico, in October of 1999.
Pease notes how it was a wonderful opportunity for the combined cabinet of the New Mexico Conference and Northwest Texas Conference to get together and be physical workers and servers. So often their work is tremendously serious, but on this trip they laughed, kidded, fellowshipped, bonded with each other, and just had a grand time serving others.
Rev. Salley writes: "Hushed voices, a jampacked van - everyone was hoping we could quickly get through the inspection at the border and go on to Juarez. We made it across without having to unload all our gear. We were blessed with safe travel and no incidents, except whatever one catches in Mexico that upsets the stomach.
"We traveled to a place the government had provided over a landfill where more than 2,000 people, miles away from stores, shopping and transportation, lived in hovels with no utilities. Children go to school two hours a day, studying on the sand out in the open air. And the Mexico Methodist Church trying to help work with the teachers to provide some sense of God's love and a future to prepare the gifts and graces to hundreds of little children.
"The average wage for a hardworking upcoming worker was 35 pesos (it takes nearly 10 pesos to make a U.S. dollar). The land for their hovels of pallets and cardboard cost 8,000 pesos, a lifetime of savings. We built a home for a widow and her children. The restroom was seven feet from the edge of the building, and it had a blanket for a door. Families and workers used those facilities.
"How much we are blessed back in our comfortable homes. Here, without washing machines, children are kept sparkling clean by their mothers' dedication. Happy children! God's children.
"We were blessed by being allowed to give of ourselves. And I had a thought as I was handing out my coloring books, colors, and candy to these beautiful children:
"a) when we get to heaven God may place one of these children before us who never had the opportunity for a real building for a home or school, or the message of love in Jesus Christ. And then God might ask, Now tell me again how you were too busy to go on a VIM trip!
"b) Then Jesus might come over with that little darkhaired smiling Mexican girl and place her on his lap. Then turning to all of us, he might ask, Now can you help me understand why you tried to get your church not to pay the World Service and Conference Askings? This little girl never had a missionary to love her and tell her the story. How was it again you wanted to keep your money at home and now do my work in your church?
"Then I snapped out of it! I was having a day dream! Surely we are going to have more people on a VIM trip, surely we are going to provide the resources for missionaries and care of people!
"I want to see happy children on earth and in heaven. I was blessed, and the people of Juarez were blessed by our being there. It's a God thing. It's something God is doing in our lives together. And I have the pictures in my hand and in heart."
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