Locals prepare for Mexican mission
By: By Lucy Haines
| Posted: Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014 06:00 am
At its core, the upcoming trip for some 40 members of the St. Albert Alliance Church to build three homes in Mexico is a service mission. But it’s also a chance for a shared experience among teens, parents and grandparents – a sometimes life-changing opportunity to roll up one’s sleeves while reaching out to those in need.
“This mission trip is close to my heart. I was born in Mexico, and it’s a huge opportunity for me and my teen son and daughter to see poverty first hand. We believe we’re put on this earth to help people,” said Lydia McKernan, who will also bring extras for the Mexican families: furniture, dishes, housewares and even soccer balls.
Working with Mexico-based YUGO Ministries (founded by a former St. Albert couple), the team will head to Rosarito, Mexico just south of the U.S. border, to build homes for three impoverished local families. Each house will cost $4,800 worth of materials, and mission trip members hope to raise that amount with several fundraisers scheduled between now and a summer departure. Any money raised above the housing costs will help offset the flights to San Diego for team members.
“We’ll stay at simple bunkhouse dorms at YUGO ministries, meet the families at the start of the work week and turn over the house keys at week’s end,” McKernan said.
Team leader Greg Cariou said the trip will be an eye-opener for some – to see how others live in makeshift villages, sometimes with the dangers of drugs and chronic unemployment. “We go down there with a good mindset, and sometimes we end up being like parents to these families, or children from the orphanages. It’s even possible to stay in touch the rest of our lives – it’s very meaningful,” said Cariou.
The fundraiser kicks off with an April 26 bottle drive. City businesses and residents can email email@example.com to schedule bottle pick up for this Saturday.
On May 17, one mission trip family will open their garage and cul-de-sac for a community barbecue. Set aside the Saturday afternoon from noon to 3 p.m. to join the block party/silent auction/barbecue at 40 Lombard Cr. There’s a gift basket to be won, plus baking and hot dogs to be eaten, so join the fundraising fun.
Garage sale lovers take note: the mission trip will host a garage sale May 23, from 3 to 7 p.m. and May 24, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at 20 Newmarket Way.
As well, the St. Albert Alliance Church will have hot dog sales after the 9 and 11 services on May 4 and June 8. Come to 25416 Villeneuve Rd. to take part. Anyone wanting to donate to the mission trip 2014 can also contact the church through its website, www.staalliance.org.
“We never think about hunger or having shelter – it doesn’t seem real to us. This mission takes us out of our comfort zone – and it’s gratifying to share our faith and give a family hope,” McKernan said.