Grace Ministries USA sponsors a mission trip to Naco Casa Hogar Emmanuel Orphanage in Naco Sonora Mexico, this year the trip was June 17-24, 2017.

On June 17, 2017 Grace Ministries lead a team of eight individuals on a weeklong mission trip to Naco, Sonora Mexico. The team consisted of myself (Marty Simpkins), ministry leaders Bert Woodburn and Bob Gallagher of Grace Ministries USA, plus Heather Diamond, Becky Bradley, Carol Kump, Kerry Murphy, Jacob Woodburn. The purpose of the trip was to fulfill the great commission by ministering to the children and staff of Casa Hogar Emmanuel Orphanage, as well as the community that surrounds it. We did this through working on building and maintenance projects at the orphanage, assisting in the care of the children at the orphanage,
holding Vacation Bible School (VBS), community food distribution, assisting orphanage staff with their duties, community visitation, and prayer.

Casa Hogar Emmanuel Orphanage is home to more than fifteen children ranging in ages from three to sixteen. Many of the children do not know where their parents are. In some instances, human smugglers, called “Coyotes”, who employ Mexican immigrants for labor in the United States, illegally transported the parents across borders promising them to help their children to go with them later, but never do. Some of the children’s parents have disappeared while crossing the border. Other children are there because their parents are unable to financially care for them.

When we arrived at the orphanage we were greeted by smiling faces and open arms. Immediately, the fun started by playing soccer in the dirt field in front of the orphanage building. The children were excited because they had just received a brand new ball from the mission team that had served the week before us.

We started each day early with devotion, prayer, and a planning breakfast meeting. Though we were divided into teams we all pitched in whenever there was something to be done. I worked with Bob, Jacob, and Bert on the construction of a new orphanage building. We built a wall, a window frame, and the placement of a new front door. We also trimmed weeds that were around the basketball court and took out thorn bushes around the baseball field. Our teaching team, Heather, Becky, Carol, and Kerry held VBS for the children. They taught the children about our Lord through Bible stories, songs, crafts, and activities. I was amazed at how they were able to teach in Spanish and help the children with their English. When VBS was over everyone spent time praying, talking, and playing with the children. We were always actively engaging with the children and the staff. Later in the week, we took the children to Agua Prieta, a city 35 miles east of Naco. There we took the children to the movies to see Cars 3. Afterward, we all went to dinner at a restaurant called La Cabana. The children loved it. This was something that they rarely ever get to do. It was great to share in their excitement.

In addition, to serving at the orphanage we did food distribution. We shopped at a local store in Naco and purchased sacks of flour, rice, and beans, along with canned tomatoes and candy. All of us spent a day making bags that contained the above ingredients to give to families in the town of Naco. We went from home to home distributing these bags of food and sharing the love of Christ. Close to the end of our week, we had a cookout for the children and grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. We surprised them with a piñata full of candy. Later in the evening, we took them to a carnival that was held in the town. We bought the children ice cream, enjoyed a concert and had a great time dancing. The next morning we had to pack up and head back home. Tears were shed, hugs exchanged and the children begged us to come back soon.

Our trip back home was long for we all missed the children. It was a blessing to be able to share the love of Christ with children and staff of the orphanage, as well as with the entire community of Naco. Our team bonded through our trip and made plenty of memories.

Thanks to the support of Grace Ministries, and all those that donated money for this mission. We were able to share Christ with others but also provide, food, clothing, shoes, and toys to the children of the orphanage and the people of Naco. Grace Ministries USA is already planning the mission trip for next year. I hope you will consider joining us for it and be the vessel that God uses to change someone’s life.

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