Raquel Moreno has big dreams for her hometown of Juárez, Mexico. She served as FUMC Coppell’s 2016 summer intern from the Lydia Patterson Institute, a United Methodist Church affiliated high school in El Paso. While working with U.M. ARMY (the United Methodist Action Reach-Out Mission By Youth) in Rockwall, Moreno began envisioning a project that would bring houses to families in Juárez.
Moreno said “It just started as an idea and now funds are being raised to change people’s lives. The project consists of building five homes for people in need. I am moved by how much a lot of the families in Juárez struggle. A lot of these people work in factories and earn around $40 – $50 a week just to supply the food and pay bills. There is not much left. The people from the community never lose their hope to succeed, even though the chances are scarce. They fight every day and work very hard to achieve something to get the best for their families. Juárez may be known for the violence, but I love it because of the hard work a lot of people do and the diversity here, with the dreams and hopes to be achieved one day.”
Raquel’s Big Dream is to build five houses in Juárez, two that are 608 square feet and three that are 246 square feet. The total cost for all five homes is $17,400. The process has been slow, but FUMC Coppell has made a wonderful commitment to this project. Money has been donated, and as of May 2018, two homes have been started. The families receiving the homes and volunteers are continuing the work. November 16-20, FUMC is planning to send a mission group to continue with this process.
Contact Martha Hagan-Smith at email@example.com for more information.
Africa Mission Trip
Ghana, West Africa Mission Trip: December 27, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Is God leading you to another land? Do you want to bring joy into the lives of deserving children? Does your heart want to grow in a deeper way? Our organization is seeking you!
Lake Volta in Ghana, Africa sits between the town of Yapei and the Akosombo Dam and covers more than 3,000 square miles. The lake supports a substantial fishing industry. Much of the fishing industry is sustained by child slave labor.
According to the International Labor Organization, as many as 21,000 children are trapped in slave labor on Lake Volta, working 17-hour days after being leased by their parents for as little $20 each year. Once sold into service, children are abused and forced to remain for an average of three to four years to mend fishing nets, cook, and clean.
The Touch A Life Foundation rescues children from the slave trade and provides them with a new home at the Touch A Life Care Center in Kumasi, Ghana. The Center currently houses 80+ trafficked/exploited children, ages 4 – 17, and is the only long term rehabilitation facility in the country. It provides access to education, medical care, and other rehabilitative services.
These incredible souls seek your enlightenment and attention as they share their world with you. The primitive, but comfortable and safe journey will inspire your thoughts for years to come. Please consider joining us in person, or supporting this worthy volunteer organization with your gifts and prayers. Our team looks forward to sharing their experience with you! The deadline to sign up is September 1.
Contact: Anne White at 214-783-8753 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Touch a Life website is: touchalifekids.org.
Costa Rica Mission
The town of San Isidro de Peñas Blancas, Costa Rica does not occupy much space. It doesn’t even register on Google Maps. Just a short drive from La Fortuna in the province of Alajuela, the tiny community has served as base of operations for FUMC Coppell’s Costa Mission trip for the past two years. A group from FUMC Coppell has been traveling to Costa Rica for more than 10 years.
As a predominantly Catholic country, non-Catholics are often hard pressed to find a house of worship. According to Samuel Duff, one of the trip leaders for the Costa Rica Mission, the Methodist congregation in San Isidro de Penas Blancas originally met in a reclaimed root vegetable processing plant acquired by the church a number of years ago.
“There’s something beautiful about a place where the harvest of yucca was gathered in being used to gather in worshippers, but practically speaking, it’s not an ideal space,” Duff said. “We’ve gradually been helping tear down the agricultural building that was on the site when the church acquired it, and in its place build a Sanctuary to accommodate the growing fellowship of believers in that town.”
Said Duff, “We had to place the benches used as pews around the giant holes and piles of dirt resulting from digging out footings for the foundation of the new building. It’s a little nerve wracking to watch toddlers waddle past six-foot holes on their way to children’s time! Last year, the church met for worship on the building’s porch as we spent the week mixing concrete and pouring the new building’s slab. We poured a 3,700-square-foot slab by hand, with buckets and shovels and wheelbarrows.”
Members of the Costa Rica Mission Team have also hosted a successful Vacation Bible School for local children.
“Not only is the school a great way to help the kids learn about Jesus, it’s also a really effective way to get people who otherwise wouldn’t try a Methodist church to come by and see what the whole thing is about,” Duff said.
Sign up for the 2018 Costa Rica Mission Trip is underway! The trip will be March 11-18 and will cost $1,400 per person. Space is extremely limited! To sign up or for more information, email Samuel Duff at email@example.com.
Lydia Patterson Institute
The Lydia Patterson Institute (LPI) in El Paso, Texas provides access to quality education for underserved portions of the population. The tradition of LPI dates to the early years of the 20th century when Methodist laywoman Lydia Patterson began setting up schools in El Paso homes for boys from the local barrios. When Patterson died in 1909, her husband sought to continue her legacy by creating a permanent school in her memory. Four years later, construction began on LPI. Within a decade, the school became known as one of the only organizations in the country to emphasize English as a second language education.
More than a century later, the school remains a central part of the local community, serving students from El Paso and the nearby Mexican city of Juarez. More than 400 students attend LPI; the majority call Juarez home and make the daily commute across the border to attend school. More than 95% of LPI students graduate and 98% of graduates attend colleges across the United States. According to the LPI webpage, students in the graduating class of 2010 earned more than 2.1 million dollars in competitive scholarships.
FUMC Coppell serves LPI through a number of initiatives. Each year, the church provides a $4,500 scholarship, which covers a school uniform, textbooks, and meals for one student. The church also provides gift cards for every Lydia Patterson teacher during the Christmas season to provide their families with a holiday meal. When available, FUMC Coppell also hosts a summer LPI intern who lives with a host family in Coppell, and the student is trained in church and ministry operations.
Church Contact: Del Dunham at firstname.lastname@example.org