St. Paul Lutheran Church in Northville, MI sponsored a MOST Ministries team of fifteen people to Juarez, Mexico on a mission trip in November 2021.
The team took on the task of building a house for a family of five in Anapra, a poor suburb of Juarez. Additionally, team members were engaged in delivering water filtration buckets and offering training on their use. Many of the residents of the poor suburban sprawl around the city of Juarez do not have access to piped water or indoor plumbing. Team members also taught health and hygiene classes to adults and children. The team deployed as smaller groups each day to facilitate these three projects.
The mission group worked under the auspices of the Ysleta Lutheran Mission Human Care (YLM) organization in El Paso, TX, a long time host partner of MOST Ministries. YLM provides relief and human care services while planting and nurturing missions on the U.S./Mexico border. The team traveled to Juarez and Anapra daily to complete the projects. They were accompanied by interpreters who assisted in communication.
The house construction took four days to complete a 12x14 frame structure with two rooms. The house is wired for electrical service but does not include plumbing. Residents will use a neighborhood water station for water and toilet facilities.
The family chosen to move into the house was a family of five. At the end of the project, the local pastor held a “blessing” of the house to ask for God’s love and support. The family was very excited to finally have their own small space to call home. Many extended families live in more primitive circumstances in these neighborhoods.
One hundred and twenty water filtration systems were distributed to families who have no running water in their community. Families were provided instructions on how to use the system and given the reasons for its use. The families were greatly appreciative of the buckets as it allowed them to ensure clean water for cooking and washing. With proper care, the filtering system will last indefinitely.
Both adults and children were offered health and hygiene lessons, along with fun activities to engage the children. Without ample clean water at the ready and a lack of sanitation, these lessons helped guide some good common practices. Lessons about good nutrition, proper tooth care, and thorough hand washing were all part of the curriculum.
All of the members of this team of fifteen people, ages 28-82, were grateful for the opportunity to serve and share God’s word with our neighbors in Juarez and Anapra. We all feel that we made friends across cultures, and were able to leave the people we served with a positive impression of their new friends from Northville, Michigan.