One of OLOCM’s biggest focuses is to come alongside the indigenous ministries of the valley and to provide support and encouragement to the ministry that is already happening. All of One Life’s ministry happens through connections with local pastors and leaders as we form relationships and work alongside them.
Once a month, OLOCM hosts a meeting for all the pastors of the valley, together with their spouses, to come together for a time of worship, prayer and fellowship. Our goal is to provide a place of refreshment and motivation for these pastors that are so often in need of spiritual support and to foster a spirit of community within the pastors and churches of the valley.
We are seeing God draw more and more pastors together into community and support of one another and we pray that this continues in order to reach the people of this area for Jesus.
Throughout the year, many Canadian teams come down to Mexico to serve with us on short-term trips. As a team, they raise funds to build a house and provide a needy family with a place to call home. Through our connection with the local church, we find the need and match a team with a family so that throughout the week the team not only builds a home but also builds relationships with the family they are building for. For many of these families, receiving a house like this is unimaginable and they weep with joy as they open the door for the first time. This is a very practical way that OLOCM is providing relief for the immediate needs of families living in poverty.
In the spring of 2013, God began to pen our eyes to the prevalence of sexual abuse of girls and young women in the San Quintin Valley. After a lot of prayer, discussion with local Mexican pastors and with the knowledge of many more incidents of abuse, we strongly felt God calling us step up and build a refuge facility. Casa de Refugio, House of Refuge, is God’s fulfillment of that vision. After a few years of planning and construction, OLOCM is completing the final stages of the building. We look forward to operating The House of Refuge in the near future.
On a mountainside, on the outskirts of the town of Nuevo México, lies a garbage dump where many families and individuals make their home. Some of these people work at the dump sorting trash into recyclables or collecting aluminium cans, while others try to simply survive. Those who live there often do so because of psychological issues, mental illness or spiritual bondage; many have nowhere else to go. OLOCM serves those at the garbage dump by providing nutritious meals for those in need. This paves the way for beginning relationships and opportunities for evangelism.
Many migrant workers and their families in the San Quintin Valley live in housing called “cuarterias”. Often, housing in the cuarterias is an apartment consiting of one small room. While parents work for long hours in local fields, their children are usually left in the cuarterias, not attending school. Many of these children don’t receive meals during the day, and children as young as five are forced to take care of their younger siblings. OLOCM partners with David & Aida Vargas, two of our indigenous ministry partners, to provide nutritious meals and snacks to these children during the day, as well as coordinate group activities for them. We also lead a VBS camp at the cuarterias, where the children get to hear bibles stories, sing songs and hear about the love of Jesus Christ.
Some of the local pastors in the San Quintin Valley work in their communities to provide children with nourishing meals on a regular basis. These meals are served at the pastors’ churches or other buildings in their communities. OLOCM works alongside these pastors to help provide and serve meals to children who are in need. We also like to take the opportunity to nourish their spirits by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the children. Through bible lessons and different VBS activities such as skits, puppet shows and crafts, we ultimately want to show children that they are loved and valued by God.
Just down the road from the OLOCM base at Los Olivos is the Paraiso School: a primary school run by one teacher, along with parent volunteers. The school receives very little government support, and it has few educational resources. Close to 25 children are enrolled in the school. Whether it is blessing the school with more resources, or providing children with physical activity opportunities during the day, OLOCM works with the school to support the teacher, parent volunteers, and the children that attend there.