Ministry partnerships prove to be the mortar in one mission vision in Mexico.

By May 9, 2006

Mexico (MNN)–This story reads like a children’s fable: this is the house that love built. These are the missionaries who built the house that love built. These are the people who supported the missionaries who built the house that love built…and it goes on.

This is really one part of a huge story that builds and supports many other parts…woven so tightly, individuals can’t be spotted anymore, but it all starts with kids.

The King’s Kids Orphanage, in Guaymas, Mexico takes over five hours to reach by bus once you cross the border. On Saturday, a delegation of eight from Christian Resources International rode a school bus from the airport in Tucson to this remote spot, eclipsed by the splendor of San Carlos, a neighboring resort town.

Contrasts are common all over the landscape–garbage on one side of the road, and purple mountains on the other. Cacti and floral bushes, rising many armed from the desert floor, which has seen little or no rain this year. Poverty, in the shadow of wealth.

The needs of so many are prevalent. Independent missionaries Jesse and Jenny Navarro, along with their daughter, Jessica and foster daughter, Marta, live in a modest, yet sprawling, pink stucco house.

It is surrounded by fruit-bearing trees, and sacks. There are mounds of sacks and boxes. These receptacles contain treasures for the community. Many of the sacks hold clothing and shoes, while the boxes may contain foodstuffs, books or toys. Outside the front door, three toilet stools greet a visitor…and yet nothing is without purpose.

The Navarro’s home is a place where people go to find hope and the love of Christ in a desperate hour. The home is set up dormitory style so that it can accommodate a steady stream of teams who have invested part of themselves in their vision for this community.

Jenny shares that about five years ago, their dream of opening a home for children nearly died, because of government red tape and the politics associated with the venture.

However, what was then a dream became the house that love built. A longstanding affiliation with Christian Resources International provided resources for the Navarros
to share with those they worked with.

Jenny says, “People started coming from the States and Canada and they started helping us with funds. It has taken us four and a half years to get to where we are right now, but the first home is functioning just like we had dreamed. We have nine children here. We want homes, not institutions.”

While the connection isn’t completely a CRI one, the links are strong. One volunteer, Doug Burnie, discovered a need for school buses, ambulances and fire trucks. His connections in the United States meant he has been able to purchase these older, retired vehicles, see them repaired, and delivered to the people who need them.

Another man, CRI’s John Lowrey has been providing the Navarro’s with Scripture booklets, Bibles and other materials they have requested. Lowrey and Burnie now work together in assisting the Navarro’s many projects.

Once the orphanage was built (supported and encouraged by many partnerships like those that the ones described), the team started taking on children. Within months after opening their doors, King’s Kids was at capacity with nine children.

That prompted an effort to add a second story to the orphanage, which is on target for completion in the next year. Once that is finished, King’s Kids can take on another nine children. And the three toilets on the front porch? They’re slated for installation in the new building next to the orphanage, which will house extra bathrooms, sinks and showers for the influx of children they’re anticipating in the next few years.

Not far from the orphanage, a building stands that is in the early stages of construction. That, Jesse explained, is to be the clinic, being built by a team of Canadians. It will host short-term medical teams and volunteer doctors on a regular basis to help meet the needs of the community. That’s slated for use by November.

English classes are on Wednesdays, and CRI provides some of the materials used to teach the kids. Resourcing people with easy-to-read Christian material-helps just makes sense in a region where such material is not only scarce, but also sometimes expensive.

CRI sees that vision and growth takes cooperation and vision. In building a stronger future church to support missionaries like the Navarro’s and help small churches share the hope of Christ, CRI is resourcing not only pastors, but also seminary graduates.

It’s a form of vision-casting. Our team will be an intimate part of handing out 11-pound boxes of materials at a pastors’ seminar on Tuesday and to new seminary graduates on Thursday…building on the kingdom of God, one brick at a time, to finally finish as a house that love built.

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