TEACH ME TO FISH
Rey de Gloria Mennonite Church is located in the small southern town of Brownsville, Texas. Its beginnings date back to December of 1999. Made up of mostly immigrant persons, it has always been an active church and true to our Mennonite service oriented background. Every summer, for the whole summer, they run a free daycare for children of all backgrounds, but mostly of undocumented persons. It is a small congregation with little funds, so a church building seemed like a wish destined not to come true. However, in January of 2010 they were able to buy a small plot of land with the help of South Central Conference and a lot of “Mennonite Chicken” Plate Sales as fundraisers. By December of 2015 they had the foundation laid for a new 120ft X 33ft Sanctuary. Around this time a group of persons from the Hesston area had come to lay block but due to a hold-up with city regulations, this could not be done. They came anyway and changed plans, instead roofing the Fuente de Agua Viva Mennonite church, a new church plant in Los Fresnos, Texas.
Fast forward to January of 2017, when again a group of men from the Hesston and Yoder area journeyed to Texas to help lay block. Here I think it’s fitting that names are mentioned; Pastor Kurt Horst, Dean Leatherman, Roger Reimer, Dana Orpin, Bob Esau, and Ed (Boomer) Cherry from Whitestone Mennonite Church in Hesston, Kansas, were joined by Matt Yoder from the Journey@Yoder Church in Yoder, Kansas. The group arrived on the 7th of January and after attending services at local churches on Sunday, began work by laying the cornerstone for the Rey de Gloria building on the 9th of January.
Along with the workers from Kansas, men from Rey de Gloria were there to help. They knew nothing of how to lay block. They thought they were there simply to help in any way they could. These men were Adan Perez, David Lopez, Martin Hernandez, Rafael Lopez, and Raul Velasquez. The guys still remember Bob Saying “ It’s your church, let’s get to laying block,” and lay block they did! Throughout the week, the Kansas team taught the Rey de Gloria men how to lay block. This is the true mission of the Mennonite Church; Brothers and Sisters in Christ reaching out to others and teaching them. Not doing for them, but teaching them. These men are proud to announce that the laying of block is already done! We now have a group of proud “Menonitas” that can say that they had a part in building a House of Prayer for our Lord.
The congregation sends their most profound thanks to SCC and these wonderful brothers in Christ that came to help.
–Lupe Aguilar, RCM reporting