...continued from How we Began our Mexico Outreach
An Orphanage Is Born
Josiah and Bethany Children's Home Reynosa, Mexico
A Small Beginning
Now that LDM owned the church building in the border town of Hidalgo, Texas, our Mexico Outreach was in full swing. Under the leadership of Pastor Joe Fauss and many of his staff from Calvary Commission (CC) it was booming.
People continuly crossed the border and walked back into Mexico with as much as they could carry. Word was spreading and the lines got longer.
The church was overflowing with boxes and bags filled food, clothing, toys and more! All sent by people responding to our plea for help in the LDM Magazine.
Pastor Joe made sure a lot of ministry and prayer took place as people waited in line and arrived at the pick up stations. But something was missing.
To meet more needs, Pastor Joe began going into Mexico more often. He wanted to visit the needy in their homes, and to follow up on their many requests for him to come and pray for the sick among their families and friends.
The more time Joe spent in Reynosa, the more it was breaking his heart. The poverty and needs were overwhelming, especially among the young children. He saw so many children left alone on the streets all day, and many would still be there at night as he would head back to Hildago.
Joe started to bring the children something to eat and give them some hugs and kind fatherly words. But he a knew without someplace on the Mexico side, these children could not really be helped in any substantial way. They needed a family and a home. Their lives needed to change.
The Children's Home in Mexico Begins
Joe being a man of action knew he had to do something for the street children. So he looked all over Reynosa for a rental. He finally found a small house that was for rent. It was fairly run down and needed a good cleaning but those things could be fixed. So Joe rented it immediately!
Then Mirella, a single girl on staff at Calvary Commission volunteered to live in the rental to take care of the children. Mirella didn't have much to work with but she scrubbed the house it from top to bottom and some of the men did repairs. Even at that it was threadbare... but ready to become a haven for hungry neglected children.
When the house was ready the children began to arrive, mostly infants and toddlers, but some older ones came too. Some were literally homeless, and some had a parent who could not care for them. Often single moms had no one to watch her child while she worked all day. Many children came from a home filled with drug abuse or prostitution, and they were always in danger of being abused themselves.
Continuing to Grow
Our partnership with Joe Fauss and Calvary Commission deepened. As we worked together we found we had kindred hearts for the work in Mexico and watched it grow. We put Mexico Updates and Opportunities to be involved with the children in just about every issue of the LDM Magazine.
Calvary Commission was growing too. Besides Reynosa they alao had ministries in Leon, Mexico, Peru, and Romania. God was blessing them and using them to reach the poor and the spiritually needy. Everything was going great until one day in July of 1982 when a dark shadow fell over all of our lives.
A Dark Day in 1982
Joe Fauss describes things this way: and we saw
"Then on July 28, 1982, I rushed to LDM when I heard the news of a plane crash. I asked the first person I saw, "Keith wasn't on the plane, was he?" "Yes, Joe, Keith was onboard," the young man replied.
"I was crushed," said Joe. And I wondered, "...not only Keith but his children Josiah and Bethany were with him,too. Why? Why would 12 people die so suddenly? What will happen to Melody Last Days Ministries? What about their vision for Mexico?"
Life did change forever that day, but we knew our vision for reaching Mexico was still on God's heart and it remained strong on ours, too. With Memorial Funds sent in memory of Josiah and Bethany, Melody designated them towards helping other children who died along with Keith, we committed to building a permanent home for the children....it became the start of what today is called The Josiah & Bethany Children's Home.
Josiah's prayer that he had prayed when he was just 2, "Jesus put a roof over their beds" was being realized and today is now home to over 40 children, with more on the way.
Our Current Vision
Melody has continued to play a huge role in the support of the Orphanage. She has brought her two daughters there many times over the years and believes God has given the Josiah and Bethany Children's Home as a lasting remembrance of the children she lost.
Along with Joe and Calvary Commission, we have vision for and hope to see more Josiah and Bethany Children's Homes started in many parts of the world where the need for rescuing these children is huge.
Read about The Orphanage Today