Compassion Ministry with La Viña Mazatlan by Glen Schroder
eading through the gospels it becomes apparent fairly quickly that the heart of Jesus is with certain groups of people in a profound way. At the top of that list are children, women, the impoverished and anyone suffering any injustice. Recently, I was greatly blessed to be able to join Fred & Oralia Collum and their team at La Viña Mazatlan as they ministered to those very groups of people.
Day 1: City Dump
On my first day, teams gathered in the morning to prepare over 300 sandwiches and 300 bottles of water which we loaded into vans and took to the dump on the outskirts of the city. There, scores of people scavenge for recyclables that are then resold to eek out whatever living they can. Twice weekly, La Viña teams make the trek offering some relief to the immediate needs of the poorest of the poor.
Day 2: Food Bags
Day 2 began by loading dispensas (bags of groceries and household staples) into vans along with ice chests full of chickens (no, not alive... pre-cleaned and ready to cook) That were then distributed to various colonias throughout the area. It was a blessing to see folks who knew the team come out not only to receive food, but also prayer, encouragement and love.
Later in the week we visited a few of the 17 Community Centers of Hope that La Viña operates around the city. My favorite part of the trip was being recruited by one of the teachers at the Saturday English School to help children learn language skills that will give them greater opportunities in the future. La Viña seeks to not only meet the immediate needs at hand but to look to the future of the people in their community. Along with physical and educational needs, spiritual needs are addressed as well. I spoke at one of the two morning services (one in English, for the "snowbird" population and one in Spanish for the locals). I spoke through an interpreter at the Spanish service about finding your purpose in Christ. At the end of the service I was blessed to be able to pray with several folks for needs in their lives and families.
Dinner for The Child Orchestra
Another highlight was to attend a dinner in honor of the many students who participate in the children's orchestra that La Viña has. I was disappointed to not actually get to hear the kids play, but I did see a video. It was a blessing to see the holistic ministry happening here in Mazatlan which includes church planting.