Ysleta Lutheran Mission Human Care (YLM) is a faith-based, non-profit organization that provides relief and human-care services while planting and nurturing missions on the El Paso/Juárez region of the U.S./Mexico border.
YLM, an LCMS Recognized Service Organization, began its work in El Paso and northern Mexico in 1982 and was formally incorporated in 2005. The organization provides physical, material and spiritual care to thousands of people every year.
In October, at the YLM-affiliated mission Iglesia de la Santa Biblia (Church of the Holy Bible) in Anapra, on the west side of Juárez, 22 people were baptized, including children, teenagers and adults. As part of the celebration, the Santa Biblia children’s choir sang for the first time.
Anapra is one of the poorest communities in the area, having grown out of the city’s old garbage dump many years ago. YLM’s work in the community has included food distribution, meals, vacation Bible school, weekly Bible classes for children and parents, and the construction of homes through servant events.
Plans are underway for additional servant events to begin building a multipurpose facility for housing the weekly meals, worship services, music rehearsals, Sunday school and Bible classes.
After the baptisms, the Rev. Stephen Heimer, pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, El Paso, and chief operating officer of YLM, said, “Most of these children and families have faced great hardship and tragedy all their lives. Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me.’ Here they are! Now baptized! Today was pure joy.”
For a full version of this story, see the Winter 2018 issue of Lutherans Engage the World.
In October, the Rev. Dr. Ross Johnson, director of LCMS World Relief and Human Care Disaster Response, visited Concordia Theological Seminary (CTSN), Nagercoil, India. Assisted by a Disaster Response grant, the seminary is rebuilding after being struck by Hurricane Ockhi last year.
On Nov. 30, 2017, much of the 100-year-old seminary was destroyed by Ockhi, a Category 3 storm that killed over 240 people and left at least 550 missing in India and Sri Lanka. Three of the seminary’s buildings were damaged beyond repair, and 20 other buildings were left in need of major restoration, including updates to aging electrical and structural systems.
The seminary is making steady progress toward rebuilding, allowing the nearly 100-member student body to continue to study for the ministry. The rebuilding will continue for at least two more years.
Posted Dec. 20, 2018