|Archdeacon John Struthers of St. David’s, Delta, helps Brian and Armando move gravel at the Emmanuel Children’s Home in Tijuana, Mexico. (Don Christie photos)|
The youth group of St. David’s began its involvement in 1998 with the Emmanuel Children’s Home in Tijuana, Mexico. Since that time youth, under adult supervision, have been visiting there once or twice a year to carry out construction projects, renovation projects, vacation bible school and to support the work with the children in various ways. More recently teams of adults have also become involved, and twelve groups have visited the home.
In September seven adults from St. David’s spent a week at Emmanuel carrying out a variety of projects. They tiled a room that will be used as a medical clinic, installed a back-up water system, installed a fire escape, and put in two new windows.
St. David’s funds all of these projects either from special appeals or from the yearly budget. In 2003 it was decided that St. David’s should provide $1,000 each month to help the home meet basic operating expenses. The only other source of income comes from the taxi that Pastor Lorenzo drives each night. He runs the home with his wife Maria.
Emmanuel provides a safe, loving Christian home for children. Some are orphans; others have parents who are prostitutes, drug dealers, in jail, mentally ill or simply unable to care for their children. Several have been adopted by Pastor Lorenzo and Maria.
An example of how this loving home can change children’s lives is Brian, who came to Emmanuel with no name and with cigarette burns all over his body, frightened and withdrawn and hardly speaking. This year Brian was bright, active - and talked non-stop.
Pastor Lorenzo hopes to start a kindergarten for the local children, using the church building which is adjacent to the home. He also hopes to build a centre in Tecate to supply vocational training and schooling for teens.
If you would like to learn more about Emmanuel Children’s Home or would like to help support this ministry, please contact the Rev. Paul Woehrle at St. David’s, 604-943-4737 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org
|Overlooking the courtyard of the Emmanuel Children’s Home on wash day|
During the visit to Tijuana we were also blessed in being able to visit Brad Firth who has been in La Mesa penitentiary since July 2004. God opened doors and we visited with him five different times. Every member of the team was allowed to visit. Brad is thin, but healthy, in spite of the lack of protein in the prison menu.
Brad holds bible studies in Spanish in his cell and during yard time, and assists with the English worship services that are led by a pastor from California. He has an incredible ministry at the prison; many people have been baptised and recently several have been reconciled with family members after many years. Hearings on his case continue, but each time more witnesses are called there is a six week delay until the next hearing. Brad is learning patience.