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An Update on Pasos de Fe

by Bill Rose, Synod Commissioner from Tres Rios Presbytery

This letter is an update on Pasos de Fe. A community center located in Juarez, Mexico. It operates in partnership with two PCUSA churches in El Paso Texas. The Synod of the Sun has also helped this center to advance their mission in a very big way.

When the synod team visited the center, the building was in disrepair. The paint was falling off, there were beds for 13 to 18 people in four rooms on the ground floor. The upstairs was uninhabitable. Getting up there required a memorable climb up a makeshift ladder, entering through a makeshift tin “door” and carefully stepping around the hole in the floor at the top of the ladder. With the help of the Synod of the Sun, the UN, and Mexican governmental organizations, the facility is now the nicest shelter in the city. The ladder is replaced with a beautiful concrete staircase with a ceramic tile landing that gives the people a porch to sit out on.

The upstairs entrance is a double door that opens into a hallway with three large rooms opening into the hallway. Each room holds 15 bunk beds with nice new mattresses on each bed. Each room has sheetrock walls and properly insulated ceilings. Under the staircase, there are men and women bathrooms with two stalls and a shower in each. These are tiled, clean bathrooms complete with new sinks, ceramic tile, and toilet seats. (not common in Mexican homes) There are plans to finish two other showers as well as a bathroom and shower downstairs. The Synod can be very proud to have played a huge role in this transformation.

At the moment they are limited to housing 40 people due to government covid regulations. With the current immigration situation, which changes almost daily, they are receiving 20 to 30 individuals a week. Most will call the center "home" for about a month and then move on. In the last three years almost 1,500 people have called the center home.

The directors have done a fantastic job of funding this operation, usually at personal expense. (They all work as pastors in other churches) What they are confronted with is a budget that was designed to house 13 to 18 people and not at a nonstop pace. The center is in the process of getting their financials up-to-date and finding more funding to meet the current needs and situation. As the year comes to a close and funds are depleted, they are succumbed to not having kid’s club for the community or the annual Christmas party for the community with gifts for the children. They are praying that their stores of food make it till the new year and the funds come from their supporters. This is a resourceful community and their faith in God providing is unwavering.

I would like to thank the Synod of the Sun for all that it has done in support of this mission of God’s church on the border of the United States and Mexico.

Elder Bill Rose Synod commissioner, Tres Rios presbytery.

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