A major goal in each of our fields is to inspire our participants to bring what they have learned home with them, to continue being a missionary in their own home town. In our Mexico field that goal has taken on a new meaning since we have started working with refugees seeking asylum in the US. They are looking for a new home town, looking to start over, and looking for a better way to live their lives.
This is best exemplified by one of our now closest friends, Vanessa. Several years ago Vanessa and her husband fled Venezuela and made a new home in Mexico City. Two years ago Vanessa’s brother decided to seek asylum in the US and became involved in our ministry in Piedras Negras. (Watch this video to learn more about Willie’s story.) Once Venessa heard of the work being done by CrossRoads Missions Mexico, she couldn’t stay away. She travels regularly from her home in Mexico City to volunteer in Piedras Negras.
As Venessa began to volunteer her time, her many skills came to the surface and filled needs across multiple ministries. Starting off as a translator for our refugee efforts, Vanessa has been a go-between for American volunteers and Spanish-speaking refugees. Many refugees are also from her home country of Venezuela, so her expertise in the culture has also been a great asset in helping with the transition and cultural differences.
Next, Vanessa offered her professional expertise as an architect to our Help Build Hope field. She assists in home designs and has been instrumental in builds in Piedras Negras. This became a learning moment for her as well, since our Help Build Hope homes are made with wood measured in inches and feet, while Vanessa is used to working with concrete measured in centimeters and meters. She met the challenge with joy. When on her first build in Piedras, Vanessa worked with a construction group to frame up a house. She took this opportunity to not only learn the plans in action, but also to have the American volunteers teach her the English construction terms.
These two specialties have gone even further. Venessa now is a Spanish tutor offering virtual classes on a regular basis. She has even offered specialized tutoring in construction terminology for professionals seeking to become bilingual in their workplace. A woman of many talents, we are truly blessed to become friends with Vanessa and so grateful to have her as part of the CrossRoads family.
If you would like to support Vanessa financially, sign up for one of her Spanish classes! Private classes can be scheduled any time, and the next group class starts June 1st. Contact Amanda (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested.