Baptist churches unite for Mexico project

Published 3:06 am Monday, April 28, 2008

By By Lowell McGill
Thirty seven members of area Baptist churches undertook and completed an impressive project last month in Reynosa, Mexico.
Their mission was to build a 16’x 24’ home for a needy Mexican family. The structure was begun from scratch on their first day at the work site. It was completely erected and ready for occupancy at the end of the second day according to Rev. Pat Andrews, director of missions for Escambia Baptist Association and leader of the project. Local churches represented included Brooks Memorial, Robinsonville Baptist, Lottie Baptist, Unity Baptist and Nokomis Baptist. Some members from Baptist churches in Brewton and Escambia County, Fla. also made the trip..
The frame structure contained one big interior room with a loft for children’s beds, per their customs according to Rev Andrews.
Rev. Andrews has headed up home building missions for the past few years. However it was the first time for some church members to offer their assistance in this endeavor. The County Association hopes to make it an annual event. He praised the efforts, hard work and talent of all those who contributed in the project.
According to Shelia Helton, a spokes lady for Brooks Memorial, the group departed Atmore March 28 and returned April. 5. Helton said the participants traveled in vans, staying in Houston the first night and motored to Reynosa the following day. They were lodged at a Mexican orphanage during their stay in Mexico.
Dr. Hugh Long, another spokesman for Brooks Memorial, said it was “especially rewarding” to see the smiles on the faces of the family members who would live in the new home. It was a contrast to the “shacks” they were living in.
Reynosa is located across the border not too far from McAllen, Texas, a southern most Texas city situated on the Rio Grande River. The group enjoyed seeing all the sites and farm land in the Rio Grande Valley. They especially enjoyed the delicious papaya fruit found throughout the area.
Those who made the trip were the Rev. Pat Andrews, Evelyn Andrews, Diane Bondurant, Roger Atkinson, Roy Busby, Josey Busby, Wanda Vanlandingham, Roger Carroll, Myra Reid, Judy Wilson, Ellen Mordan, Randy Bondurant, Jacque Stone, Voncille Dobbins, Betty Jones, Mike McMorris, Meagan Gorum, Yvonie Crenshaw, Pat Crenshaw, Charles Stone, Nip Hadley, Bobby Frazier, Ethan Smith, Dean Smith, Dr. Hugh Long, Adam Armstrong, Elizabeth Spring, Laura Carroll, Myra King, Danny King, Brett Chancery, Floyd Harris, James Vines, Jack Sharpless, James Helton, Shelia Helton, Billy Donald, Frankie Donald and Joseph Reid.