Open Arms Camalú Project, Mexico
St. John's Mission Task Force sent a team to serve at Open Arms Camalú Project in Camalú, Mexico. The team helped with construction and held a VBS (Vacation Bible School) for children. A Friday night celebration was attended by 45 families. Each family was prayed for and nearly 200 pairs of shoes were given away.
Read a participant's report and more information on the Camalú Project below.
by Dale Mackall
The mission trip to Camalu, to help Open Arms day care ministry was a very rewarding trip for us “Americans” and the families we met. We naturally did those things you heard about, helped with construction by wheelbarrowing lots of concrete around the facility. We planned for and held our story of Joseph, a story of forgiveness VBS every afternoon. Yes, the children came, but then there was a 15 yr. old girl caring for her 1yr.old sister that came. A 18yr. old boy who was hoping to play with the open arms band, but went to our VBS. Once we asked our older group if Jesus was dead. Many said yes, but one boy said no he was in heaven, we told them that Jesus did rise from death to life, is sitting next to the father, but also lives in the hearts of those that love Him. They were very excited about this new truth!
May favorite time was our Friday night celebration in which 45 families came to the Open Arms sanctuary! Each family was given a number and then went one by one to be prayed for. Here are two prayers that where lifted up to God. First was Jesus, a 9 yr. old boy who was going blind. His mother was desperate to help her son, so he could have a normal life. We prayed and cried. Then there was Juan who has helped out at the building site for several years. Recently Juan’s step father had moved away, leaving just his mother to provide for his bother and younger sister. That was hard enough, but now his mother could not take the pressure of working long hours and not being able to feed the children, she left to try to rest and regain her courage. Now the kids live at home alone.
We then had the wonderful time of giving away nearly 200 pairs of shoes to the families in need.
May God bless the people of Camalu and the Open Arms day care facility, working to keep families together. It is a very special place!
Camalú Project Information
Camalú, Mexico, is a large farming community to which many people have migrated to find work in the agriculture fields and packing houses. Most households in Mexico can only be supported if both parents work, and single mothers have no other option than to work outside of the home. Their children are the primary victims of their circumstances. Childcare programs in Mexico are almost non-existent, leaving many children roaming the streets with no one to take care of them. Often older siblings are forced to stay at home, forfeiting their education, to take care of their brothers and sisters while their parents leave to work in the fields. Hunger and lack of childcare is the number one complaint among mothers.
Open Arms’ Camalú Project helps families stay together while offering nutritional, educational, and psychological support and biblical training to children without removing them from a family environment. The Project keeps more children safe from orphanages and the dangers of the streets, keeps families together, and ultimately spreads the love of Jesus to a very hurting town.
Information source: openarmsmexico.org.