Shelter the homeless...
Eleven people from the Perham-Dent area headed south to Texas and Mexico in January. They werent the typical snowbirds. They are members of the Dent and Perham United Methodist churches who worked from Jan. 8 to Jan. 14 building a home for a fami...
Eleven people from the Perham-Dent area headed south to Texas and Mexico in January. They werent the typical snowbirds.
They are members of the Dent and Perham United Methodist churches who worked from Jan. 8 to Jan. 14 building a home for a family in New Progresso Mexico.
Team leaders Bonnie and Richard Swanson of Dent are friends with Bob and Esther Scott who winter in Mercedes, Tex. and attend the United Methodist Church there. The Scotts made the Swansons aware of the needs of people in the small communities just across the border in Mexico. The Swansons gathered a team and made plans to help out.
Don and Carolann Garber, Nicole Maasjo, Peggy Maasjo, Butch and Sue Nyhus, Reverend Roger and Beverly Parks, (all from Dent) and Shirley Pawlowski from Perham made the southern mission journey. Shirley had actually lived in Mercedes for 25 years and was very familiar with the community. Also involved in the mission were George and Betty Jean Robinson of Perham who winter near Mercedes; they prepared the evening meals for the crew.
Before leaving Minnesota, the team collected bedding and cooking supplies from friends. Those supplies were distributed to at least 25 families in Mexico.
Although most of the building supplies were purchased in Mercedes and transported across the border to New Progresso; Don and Carolann brought paint from the recycling center in Fergus Falls and Butch and Sue Nyhus brought a storm door from Star Lake.
After five days of building, Juan and Maria and their two children had stability a place to claim as their own space. The y received this gift with grace and dignity. According to Pastor Parks the team acquired an awareness that we live in a privileged place and have a privileged life.
The poorest of the poor in our community are wealthy compared to the Mexican families in New Progresso. We realized how blessed we are.
The home Maria and Juan are so proud of is actually a 12 x 24-foot shelter. The building supplies cost under $2,000. It has no running water, no electricity, no interior partitions, and no insulation and yet is a step above others in the community.
While Juan worked hard right along with the team, Maria prepared to give birth to their third child. Veronica was born a week after her familys new home was completed.
Pastor Parks points out the team wasnt in Mexico to evangelize. They were Christians by their actions; they didnt need to name it. Actually the team took time to paint the community Apostolic Church beige with bright blue trim.
Eleven people from Perham and Dent formed a relationship with five people in Mexico; a relationship that will continue. The Dent United Methodist congregation is paying for the oldest daughters schooling the large sum of $65 for one year in first grade.
The team left behind a home for Juan and Maria and three children. They returned to their own homes with a satisfaction that they could make a difference in the world; at least for five people who received graciously and did not ask for more than the team gave.