3 orphanages and an asylum

Trip Start Nov 25, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Mexico  , Coahuila,
Thursday, December 14, 2006

Sr. Ursula let us accompany her on her Saturday afternoon visit of mercy to three orphanages and a home for physically and developmentally disabled in Mexico. She supplies these groups with food and connects potential donors with their needs.

Mexican Catholic sisters operated the first two orphanages. Bright and cheerful. Located in a poor neighborhood of Piedras Negras, one that flooded badly in the late '90's--the nuns hustled the kids to the roof until waters subsided. The kids get counseling (play therapy) and pitch in with the chores.
Some really sad cases arrive--terrible abuse, etc. The third orphange was Baptist-run, completely staffed by volunteers. We met the current volunteer couple: so loving that they actually adoped two of the 11 kids now on-site.

There we met a "powerful" guy from San Antonio. This ordinary fellow (whose name we never did get) decided to visit the orphanage and ask what each kid wanted for Xmas. He took the list to his church and filled their dream list with his church's help. These kids actually listed simple things like "underwear" and "coloring books" on their Xmas list top 3 dreams. How poor is that? Who says we can't make a difference in this world?

Our memorable moment was at the home for the disabled, run by a couple: the man was a rare & extraordinary person, joy and peace exuded from him. A "Jean Vanier," of a sort. He and his wife, who avoided the limelite, run this home as a retirement couple who are meeting a desperate need. As vets of Hope House, Paul & I were full of admiration for them since we know what it takes to run a shelter for "abled" people 24/7 and can only imagine what these two do, with very little assistance.

Volunteer groups from the States use Sr. Ursula's connections to help out in all these places.

We think Sr. Ursula uses funds very well.  For charitable donations write checks payable to "Benedictine Sisters" & mail to: 1080 Vista Hermosa, Eagle Pass TX 78852.  Indicate check memo line: "Caridad de Corizon" donation

To read the Xmas 06 newsletter from Sr. Ursula's Caridad de Corizon, continue on:

Greetings everyone from Caridad de Corazón.

We have had a great year and are very thankful to all our benefactors.

Sky Cross and Feed My Sheep (two organizations from San Antonio) continue to help us provide nonperishable food on a monthly basis to three orphanages, a disabled children's home and two soup kitchens.

Casa Bethesda: With the help of so many other individual benefactors the disabled children have moved to a brand new building. The children are having a great time during this blessed season as visitors are plentiful during Christmas.

Orfanatorio Nazareth: At the boys orphanage there are 10 boys ranging in age from 3 mo. to 12 years of age. They are so cute and growing like weeds. They go about doing their chores in anticipation of Christmas rewards. The new dorm area for guests is now complete. The sisters are waiting for volunteers who may want to construct closets or cabinets for this area.

There are currently 8 girls ranging in age from 5 to 12 years. They remain precious as ever. Stairs are being constructed in their home so that they will able to go down the stairs from the dorm into the dining area. Thanks to all who have made this possible. They are also working on a space to be used as a guest dorm and plan to put a bathroom in that area.

St. Judas and Holy Family: The two soup kitchens located in two different parishes are for children whose mothers are working and not able to be home when the children leave for school or arrive from school. The total amount of children served in these two kitchens is 70. Grandmothers volunteer to take turns cooking at the soup kitchen. We are able to provide them with some of the staples such as rice, beans, canned vegetables, fruits, tuna, potato flakes and other items as they become available thanks to our benefactors.

Casa Hogar Ninos de Piedras Negras: At the Baptist orphanage, there are 13 children ranging in age from 4 to 16 years of age. We are blessed each year with benefactors who send money to fill the butane gas tank which warms the place and keeps the water hot for bathing. This year we had to replace the freezer. To prevent having to pay a tariff, the freezer was purchased in Mexico. It cost approximately $600 or $6,480 pesos. With the rest of the money we can fill the freezer and pantry for the winter.

Scholarships: Caridad de Corazón has also been able to sponsor one young woman who is determined to improve her life by going to college. She is doing very well with her studies and is ever grateful for the monetary assistance. We provided her with a $500 scholarship initially and have paid a couple of her monthly charges which are $80.00 a month. We have received a request for $150 scholarship for a teen at the orphanage planning to go trade school.

Prison Ministry: We also have two prison ministries who request our assistance on a monthly basis. We are able to assist them with basic food items, candy, hygiene products and clothing. Mass or prayer service is offered followed by a meal and gifts. Thanks to everyone who helps in this ministry with men's clothing and hygiene products. The devoted women who volunteer their time to this ministry have seen a change in many of the young men who have no one to visit and who otherwise would not receive necessary items. They pray earnestly for forgiveness and the strength to become better persons. In their prayers they remember all those who make this part of our ministry a reality.

In addition to our outward ministries, we have had a lot of activity here at home. Each month, Feed My Sheep (group from San Antonio) come with trucks full of food for several colonias in Mexico. They make up grocery bags of food and distribute these to different colonias in Piedras Negras.

We have had several groups coming to do ministry in Piedras Negras and have stayed at our mission hospitality home. We have as yet not completed the renovations but the groups do not seem to mind. Some groups have chipped in to help with household chores which make things a lot easier for us.

May 21st Tony Melendez performed at a benefit concert with proceeds being shared between Our Lady of Refuge School and Caridad de Corazón.

It has been a busy and fruitful year for us. We cannot say thank you enough to all those who have made all this work possible. We are but a tiny piece of the puzzle. Thanks to our benefactors who help complete the puzzle "that in all things God may be glorified".

May God bless each and every one of you and "keep you in the palm of His hand." We continuously remember all our benefactors in our prayer that Gad may bless and keep them safe.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
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