This was our first ROAM (RV’s on a Mission) project. We served there January through March of this year. Many times we wished we could have stayed longer, but we had another ministry site to go to.
We were greeted with this sign:
No better words can be used to describe the vision and work God is doing at this location and tells of the heart of Chuck and Renee Parish.
There is a board in a dedicated prayer room that casts the vision:
Gate #1 – Clothing Closet
Gate #2 – Food Pantry
Gate #3 – Community Garden
Gate #4 – Senior Center
Gate #5 – Home for Unwed Parents
Gate #6 – Home for Youth
Gate #7 – Thrift Store
It was humbling and exciting to play a small part in making a large impact to meet the needs of the local community.
We also got to see God working in the church, the mission and in Chuck and Renee’s life.
Mission: El Paso! has ministry partners who donate household, clothing, and other sundry items. The fellowship hall was the storage area for all the clothing items and the sanctuary was the holding place for all the other donated items. Everything that came in needed to be tested, checked for parts, or deemed wearable.
- Build shelving along 3 sides of the fellowship hall
- Wash, process, and label/store all the clothing
- Move the items in the sanctuary into the fellowship hall for processing
- Open up the sanctuary for services to start in the fall
- Assist in collecting donations from ministry partners
Greg, in addition to some small repair and building projects in the church was tasked in building the shelves. They were 4 feet wide in 8-foot sections, 5 feet between the shelves.
Another project, that I suggested we add to the list of things was a laundry table large enough and with a good working height to process the large amount of incoming clothing quickly with sorting bins and an area for washing and folding.
The Clothing Closet was my focus. The room was already designated with shelves built along the wall, but it was being used as storage. The clothing in the fellowship hall was in boxes and bins and in piles under and over tables all waiting to be washed, sorted, labeled, and hung.
A little bit of before: (I didn’t think to take pictures when I started)
Clothing Closet, ready to open:
Things we prayed for and God answered:
- Someone to repair the numerous bikes donated
- Someone to step up and take over the clothing closet after we were gone
- Funds to build the shelving units
- Housing for Chuck and Renee
- Impact on the community
- Interest in attending the church once services start up
- Immediate help as needed when Greg needed a second pair of hands building the shelves
We were humbled when someone stopped and asked to take the broken toys we were throwing out, because she said there is a school in Juarez where the kids would be thrilled to have them. Or when the mother of a volunteer, asked if she could take the items to her home area (also Juarez) because they have nothing and they make their homes out of cardboard boxes, so a little wear and tear on clothing means nothing to them…
It would be easy to overwhelmed by the dirt, desolation and concrete all around, but we found plenty of beauty:
In the people who are serving: Patricia who is taking over the clothing closet
In those who are being served:
Or in the scenery if you are looking:
We plan to go back next January and February (2022) and unless God takes us in another direction this will be a yearly trip. It will be exciting to see what God has in store for us and this ministry in the coming years.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to proper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
As I have stated before in previous posts, doing this was not a part of our plans, but we are loving where God has us in this season of our lives.