Zion has a long history of engagement in local missions, including support of outreach and ministry across the border in Ciudad Juarez. Many Zion members have volunteered at Ysleta Lutheran Mission (YLM) throughout the years. Recently several members have begun spending time serving at YLM each week. Also the Sunday Morning Adult Bible study group has dedicated its weekly offering to the mission work of Cristo Rey Lutheran Church in Juarez. Zion’s LWML has also provided much financial support for YLM and has collected items to help numerous families in recent years.
Last December 21st, Pastor Stephen Heimer began preaching at the missions across the border in what has become a shared effort of preaching support among LCMS, Spanish-speaking pastors in El Paso. Pastor Stephen preaches at three churches in Juarez on the third Sunday of each month. Pastor Heimer brought news of the work at each site:
I have been able to see first hand the fruit of all the hard work being carried out by volunteers and the workers of YLM during my visits to Mexico. Parents and children are attending church and Sunday School. At some locations there are more children present than adults. The poverty in these communities is great yet there is joy in the Lord.
Last week, on March 15th, a woman in Juarez named Yolanda spoke to Pastor Stephen about her life. Pointing to the hymnal, she said,
I am so happy here at church. It has been very difficult for me since my daughter was killed and her children, my grandchildren, came to live with me. I was very depressed. [gesturing downward] I was so low, I couldn’t bear it. But since I started coming to church here, I feel uplifted. I’m not alone. I have hope.
The ministry taking place in the Lutheran churches of El Paso and Juarez is a source of healing for many people who have faced difficult, even traumatic, circumstances. Please continue to pray for the mission work of Zion and the broad network of care and outreach being carried out through Ysleta Lutheran Mission.