MOUNT GILEAD — Faculty, students and former students from Gilead Christian School made a trip south last month.
But it wasn’t a vacation to a posh resort. It was to spread the word of God to a troubled city in an impoverished nation.
Linnette Mosher, Rachel Dresback, Kyle Dresback, Trinity Fleak, Kristen Mosher, Sean Linder, Kenton Kunze, Anthony Millinger, Lindsey Millinger, Sydney Schuman and Jillian Listoria traveled to Juárez, Mexico, on a mission trip.
The group spent a week there in June working with the group, Youth With a Mission. Until 2011, Juárez was known as the murder capital of the world, according to Rachel Dresback, a parent who made the trip.
“Over the past seven years, many churches in the area have been reaching out to the two million people to bring Christ into their lives. Many of these people turned to violence because they did not have any hope, but with Christ, they have an eternal hope unlike any they had before,” Dresback said.
While in Juárez, the team assisted a variety of ministries in the city.
One ministry is called Luz Para mi Ciudad (Light For my City). This is an after-school program where children can receive help with homework, hear Bible stories and have dinner. It’s run by a young couple who have a passion for helping some of the children that are struggling with poverty.
Another ministry is called The Church. They are one of the churches in Juárez, but they are also in the process of building a daycare center to provide daycare for single mothers while they work.
“During various times, the team performed a drama and a puppet show to show the importance of being who we are and were created to be. Our prayer for Juárez is that instead of being known for their violence, they would be known for their God,” Dresback said.
“We would love to go back one day. Right now one student is doing a discipleship training school, a 5-month training there.
“When we came back we said everything we did down there we could do in our own neighborhood — puppet shows and dramas, passing out Bibles,” Dresback said.
“The people there were very receptive. They have no hope and barely have what they need. They are so lost and desperate for any good news.”
Facts about Juárez, Mexico:
• It was named after the first Indian President of Juárez, Benito Juárez.
• There is a statue of Benito Juárez in Washington, D.C. and a statue of Abraham Lincoln in Juárez to commemorate the first cultural exchange that took place between the U.S. and Mexico.