New Hope Community Church serving at Iglesia Nueva Visión in Rosarito.
There are a number of ministry options that fall under this category. We work with churches, as well as various types of homes where people are lost, addicted to alcohol or drugs, forgotten, or have very little. Be the hands and feet of Jesus as you love on and serve these people. Serve a meal. Do some home repairs. Organize activities. Share worship songs, testimonies, and the gospel. Pray with the people.
Ministry Options Include:
Children’s Homes (Orphanages): There are several homes in the area where the children would benefit greatly from your time – play some soccer, share a meal, and more. Needs will vary between the different homes; however, food and school supplies are usually high on the list.
Feeding Programs: There are a lot of churches that sponsor feeding programs for children to be able to get some proper nourishment. Many times, children have difficulty in school due to hunger, and may even be sent home. Feeding programs are often underfunded and sometimes find themselves without enough food. Provide and serve a meal to the children, spend some time with them, and share some teaching and worship time.
VBS/Children’s Ministry: A Vacation Bible School ministry is a great way to reach out in Mexico. After flooding the community with invitations, you’ll have the opportunity to teach the children about Jesus and love on them through Bible stories, dramas, songs, games, crafts, verse memorization, and more. A typical VBS is about 3 hours per day for 3-5 days and is always through a local church.
There are also other forms of children’s ministry for teams with a different schedule. We work with a kids’ club on Saturdays which has a group of otherwise “unchurched” kids. Teams can prepare songs, games, crafts, Bible story, etc. for this program, and even provide a lunch or snack if desired.
Lastly, if a one-day outreach is your plan, you could hold a 4-hour outreach at a local church or nearby park. Whether you do a carnival, (games, popcorn, face painting, balloon animals, etc.), water games (inflatable water slides, water balloon toss, dunk tank, etc.), or other a theme – invite the community, share the gospel, and introduce them to the pastor so they can get plugged into a local church. Many of the children’s parents will come as well, so hold a parents’ area where they can relax with free beverages, or get their hair cut, etc., so that they’ll want to stay and listen to what is being shared. Offering free snacks or a meal is also a great way to attract people.
Women's Ministry: Offering a Bible study for the women of a church, especially alongside a VBS, is a fantastic way to reach the women of the church and get the moms that bring their children to stay. Offering a craft time or instructional teaching on something useful for the home (such as hair cutting, sewing, basic home repairs, etc.) is a great addition to the teaching.
Soccer Camp: Structured sports training with at least one break where testimonies and/or a short teaching are shared, along with the gospel message. This is usually followed up by soccer games or a tournament.
Rosarito Dump: You may not be aware that there are about 50 people that live at the garbage dump in Rosarito and the community right next door. These people make a living by searching through the garbage to find any items of value or that they can recycle. Many of them have drug or alcohol addictions as well. Besides bringing a picnic-type lunch as well as sharing the gospel, you could give out clean drinking water, pray with the people, wash & cut hair, etc.
Teaching & Training Ministry: Conferences are a great tool for teaching, training, and equipping the local people. Training conferences for teachers, pastors, youth ministry, etc. are a great way to help equip local servants for ministry. Conferences for youth, women, men, or marriage are perfect for outreach and strengthening their walks with Christ. Men and women who have a deeper relationship with God will be better prepared for serving in ministry. Fluent Spanish speakers or translators (which we can hire) will be required for this type of ministry.
Senior/Retirement Home: There are local senior homes where many of the residents have been abandoned by their families or do not have anyone that can care for them. Just spending time with them, serving a meal, praying with the people, and sharing from the Word can go a long way here.
Construction ministry is such a great way to use your gifts and abilities to bless a family, church, or community! That said, we cannot stress enough that it is the goal of construction ministry teams to share the gospel. This is where our focus should be. It is great to love the people of Mexico and it’s amazing to be able to provide something for them they are not able to provide for themselves: new classrooms for a church, an expansion for an orphanage, a home for a family in need, or a feeding kitchen for a community. However, any humanitarian organization can accomplish these tasks. There should be a specific evangelistic plan for your team, or a designated portion of your team.
What might the evangelistic aspect look like? This will vary from project to project, as the location will be different, and it will depend on where you are serving. For example, if you are doing a project at a local church, your time and/or team may be split so that you can hold a VBS, soccer camp, women’s ministry, etc. at the church. If you are building a home for a family, you can hold these same types of ministry at or near your construction site. Some teams will bring gifts, like salvation bracelets for example, that they can use to walk around the neighborhood and share the gospel with children and families. The house dedication for a home build is always a great time to share personal testimonies. Finally, if you are doing a project in a community, like a feeding kitchen or at a children’s home, you can host a wide variety of events to invite the community to – outdoor movie night, barbecue, soccer tournament, carnival, etc. Worship songs are a great form of “entertainment” for these types of events, which should be followed up with a time of testimonies and/or teaching, where the gospel is also presented.
Construction Projects: If your team would like to do a construction project, just let us know your budget and if you have a specific location in mind. Some possibilities are a church, a new church plant, feeding kitchens, children’s homes, a family in need (i.e. roof repair, addition to the home), etc. We will give you some options based on your budget. Projects start at $150 and can be as simple as painting or landscaping, or as involved as building a home, church, feeding kitchen, etc.
At Connections House, we love to build buildings for feeding kitchens, churches, orphanages, etc., because we know that it will bless communities. However, we understand that some people are compelled to build homes for families in need. And of course, the need is great. It is very common for families to have land, but no means to build a home. Many have no alternative than to rent whatever they can find in their price range, which is more often than not moldy, and not insulated or weatherproofed. If they don't have the means to rent, they may be forced to live on their land in a "house" built out of materials like wood pallets and tarps.
Families who receive homes do have some requirements. They must own the land, as well as have it paid off or be making their payments on time. They must also have the land prepared and level for us to pour the foundation. Families are not required to assist with the build, however they are asked to be present and encouraged to help. We do need to expect and understand that there are times when one or both parents, and sometimes older children, cannot take time off work.
The homes are 16x20 feet, with two bedrooms and a loft, and the cost varies (approximately $6,000-$7,000), as building material costs have gone up greatly. The loft is often used as a bedroom for young children. One set of bunk beds is included in the project. The home includes electrical, but not plumbing. All the tools needed to build a home will be provided. Your team members may feel free to bring their favorite hammer, or a tool belt, etc. if they wish. Please remember to label anything that is brought. Unlabeled tools may mistakenly be mixed in with ministry tools. (Although donations are always gratefully accepted.)
Team members do not need to have construction experience in order to build a home for a family in need. It is beneficial to have at least one or two people with construction knowledge, but again, it is not necessary. We recommend 12-15 youth or adults per home. (Smaller groups, like 8 adults are acceptable if they have construction experience.) We also recommend taking a full five days to build a home. This allows time to build relationships, do some evangelistic ministry, etc. Please let us know if you are interested in building a home in less than five days.
Home Build Crews: There are three crews that you will be divided into at your home build – Framing, Painting, and Cutting. There will need to be an adult leader in charge of each crew.
House Dedication: Please begin preparing now for the dedication of your house. This is the time at the end of the build when the keys to the new home are given to the family. We will pass the keys around to all the team members so that they can say a few words to the family if they wish. We suggest that you have one or two people share their testimony with the family. (Two people sharing a 3-4 minute testimony, not including translation time, is ideal). Please note that there are often family, friends, and neighbors present for the dedication as well. Before handing the keys over to the family is a good time for you (or another team member or pastor if you choose) to pray for the family. Remember to keep the focus that this home is a gift from the Lord.
Gifts for the Home: Some teams do like to bless their home build family with house-warming gifts. Your team may feel free to bring or buy some items to put in the home for your family. We also have a housewarming gift available for $325, which includes items like blankets, dishes, silverware, etc. A food tote with sugar, flour, beans, rice, pasta, juice, and more, is available for $65. If you would like to provide two new twin mattresses for the bunk beds, the cost is $240. Please use caution when buying items that use electricity.