CARLYLE - This winter, four members of Carlyle OneChurch made a biennial trip to Mexico.
Because of severe travel restrictions, this February the congregation did not travel by bus. Clay and Mary Moffat, Jaime Brimner and her daughter Kara, flew from Regina to Phoenix. They were then transported by van to San Carlos, Mexico, which is eight hours away.
Like other years, their destination was the Case De Esperanza Mission, or the House of Hope. It is a mission center located in beautiful San Carlos in the State of Sonora. It has a purpose of encouraging the local Mexican evangelical churches with the help of its brothers and sisters in North America.
Its vision statement reads: “To train servant leaders, to know God, to model His character, and to build into others the life-changing principles of His Word.”
Brenda Keones first felt God 's direction to begin this mission in Mexico under the Baptist Missionary Society to Latin America in 2000. She now operates this mission, over two decades later, alongside her husband Art and a Mission Team of a dozen members. Annually they host various missionary groups and individual volunteers from all over Canada and the United States.
Normally, the OneChurch travel bus transports up to 32 volunteers for 10 days from Carlyle to Sonora. There are one or even two trips every two years.
Its maiden excursion was in 2006 and at that time the church sent only a youth group and leaders in a van. Nowadays, anyone is welcome to travel with them, including non-church members.
Jaime Brimner is a regular participant and has journeyed to San Carlos nine times. This is Mary and Clay's third visit to the mission and Kara's second.
“The House of Hope provides a beautiful location for lodging and delicious Mexican food for the time we stay there,” said Brimner. “As the mission partners up with many local churches in the area, each trip gives us an opportunity as a team to help in a variety of ways, reaching out to help where each church sees the most need.
“This year, together with other volunteers, we visited three rehabilitation centers, handed out school supplies, redistributed refurbished wheelchairs/walkers, handed out Bibles, conducted clothing distributions, fed the homeless, assisted with kid’s programs, church services, ladies’ events and Street Ministry to show God's love wherever we were.”
Added Mary Moffat, "Art and Brenda have such a heart for the people of Mexico and the visiting teams. It's amazing to me how they connect personally with each team and their members, given the number of people they host each year."
While their trips are partially subsidized by OneChurch fundraising projects, personal expenses are entirely out of pocket, but the travelers don't really mind.
Concluded Brimner: "We feel that we come home more blessed, because for one small act of kindness, we can bring such joy and hope to another person's life."