Fall can be a time of re-focusing. The days are getting shorter; we are just on the verge of thinking about upcoming holidays – bringing our family and friends together in gratefulness and celebration.
In this newsletter, we offer an opportunity for you to re-focus on Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries, which remains on the front lines daily to provide food, clothing, shelter, and other necessities to those of God’s children who have recently arrived in our country. These sisters and brothers need our support, and our Lord calls us to answer their call.
We also lift up our hearts in pure gratefulness that our Pastor and the forever-energy behind this work, Rev. Feliberto Pereira and his family were airlifted out of Cuba 50 years ago. His anniversary of arriving to this country is November 10. Thank you Heavenly Father for saving Feliberto and endowing him with the vision and energy for this work. We are all blessed to be part of it. Join us in falling “forward” into grace and giving, helping our human family heal and grow by supporting refugees, who are arriving at our doors with little other than the clothes on their backs.
Update: What is happening along the border?
There remain very large numbers of people at our border who are seeking asylum from dangerous conditions in their own countries. SWGSM partners with many other organizations, most of which are also faith-based, to meet some basic needs of these families. For example, we recently provided beans and rice to ensure people have access to food. Many thanks to Carlos Garcia (Iglesia Cristiana Ebenezer of Los Fresnos, TX) and Alcides Sanchez (Iglesia Cristiana Bella Vista of Brownsville, TX) who represented SWGSM and for all the help from Pastors from Mexico.
Longer Term Support
A fundamental part of SWGSM’s mission is to provide housing and support to refugees. We currently are supporting four families. Two of our families are expecting new babies! This blessing is new for SWGSM, and we need to provide these mothers with needed items for infants. Please consider passing along items for infants you are not using any longer.
SWGSM volunteer Sarah Glover teamed up with team Brownsville to provide dinner in the Brownsville bus station. Here is a mom and daughter from Guatemala
SWGSM in the News Tufts University recently published an article about Alumna Sarah Glover’s work with us. Reflecting on her experience, Sarah says, “I keep struggling to properly describe this experience, and I think I am going to go with ‘holy.’ There truly were transcendent moments every day – with people, by myself, outside, inside, in English, in Spanish. There was a connection to the people and the action that was happening on a different plane for me.” Read about her work, and let us know if you would like to arrange a similar experience. https://now.tufts.edu/articles/my-path-my-story-helping-immigrants-mexico-border
Mission Work in the Rio Grande Valley
In July, SWGSM joyfully received the youth group from Creekwood Christian Church (Flower Mound, TX) at our Campus Compasion for their annual mission trip. This group of high school students (and their adults) worked through a *very hot* week and made huge improvements in the home of the Hinojosas, long time residents of San Benito, TX and pastors to a ministry there. This undaunted group sheet rocked hallways and rooms; ripped out and installed new flooring in the bathroom; installed a new vanity and toilet; painted extensively…and became quite fond of the Hinojosa’s cute puppies. In turn, the Hinojosas brought what the group universally decided were the “world’s best tamales.”
Would your group like to consider SWGSM’s Compasion Campus as a place to host a retreat or complete a mission together? We can house up to 85 people and have meeting rooms, a chapel, AV equipment and anything else you might need for your group. We are also only 20 minutes from South Padre Island, offering beach fun, reflective walks by the shore, and first-rate bird watching. Please call us at 956-233-5198 if you would like more information.
How Can You Help?
- Donate. Providing your financial support allows us to ensure all of our operations continue: housing families seeking asylum; providing these families all of the care they need (we have two new babies on the way!); collecting and distributing necessities to refugees who are in the Valley only for a short period; buying bus tickets. Donate online or send to SWGSM, PO Box 273, Los Fresnos, TX 78566.
- Send supplies. A huge need is packaged underwear, for men, women, and children; all sizes. Travel-sized soap, shampoo. Toothbrushes. Baby bottles. Light-weight totes to carry these supplies. Send to our street address: 205 West First Street, Los Fresnos, TX 78566.
- Use our Amazon Smile link for shopping: Use this Amazon Smile link for any shopping you do with Amazon (not just donations): https://smile.amazon.com/ch/75-2763826. Amazon will donate .5% of the purchase price to SWGSM.
- Visit us. We would love to introduce you more personally to our ministries! Consider scheduling your group to stay at Campus Compasion for a retreat or mission trip. We will gladly help coordinate mission work and/or opportunities to visit Brownsville and McAllen.
- Visit the refugees who are in your communities.
Always: raise your prayers to our Lord for these people who are deeply in need.
We will pray together and work together toward the good for all our bothers and sister, for the children, in God’s Holy Name.
In Gratitude to God for You,
Rev. F. Feliberto Pereira
Founder and Executive Director