Isaiah 53:5: But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed.
Works of Mercy - Project Mexico
Project Mexico began in Orange County, California through the efforts of Gregory Yova, Founder and Executive Director. Greg was alarmed by the increasingly desperate plight of youth in North America which directly affects society as a whole. In the Fall of 1988, Project Mexico developed from Greg's desire to provide young people an opportunity to look beyond themselves and reach out personally to those in need. Greg felt compelled to get them involved in the relief of suffering in neighboring Mexico.
In 1990, Project Mexico began coordinating with a group of Mexicans to establish an orphanage for teenage boys in Tijuana. This effort to address a critical social problem was a natural outgrowth of their goal to relieve suffering in Mexico. After extensive labors to receive official approval from the Mexican government, St. Innocent Orphanage opened its doors in September 1996. At that point, the orphanage began serving as the home base for Project Mexico where groups eat, sleep, pray and can be a part of the boys' lives. Over the years many groups have come and worked exclusively at the orphanage, helping them to complete a great number of important projects.
This charitable outreach is unique because their own people do the work. In the process, their lives are changed. This proven, powerful vehicle of change has provided a fertile environment for thousands of youth to grow in Christ and give of themselves by doing works of mercy for a needy world. Volunteers from 43 of 50 states and eleven foreign countries have participated. Additionally, they hope to continue strengthening the ties between the people of the U.S. and Mexico and be an example of how they can help each other when they work together.
Lives have been changed. Families have been catapulted forward in their struggle to have good shelter and a true home. The impact of this step cannot be measured as they can now focus their energies on their family's moral, spiritual, and educational needs. Some families would split up otherwise, unable to adequately provide for their children. Disease and death no longer loom at every spell of bad weather and rain. And spiritually, it is pure joy to watch the tears of thanks flow during the house blessings. The families know that the Lord has visited them, literally, where they live.
The volunteers who build the homes are profoundly affected. We regularly receive letters from participants, parents, and clergy describing the awakening that has occurred. Many become active and eager participants in their home parish. Others have made college decisions and career choices based upon the experience. All seem to be more in touch with the simple yet difficult commandments of our Lord to love our neighbor and to care for the least of these.
Matt 25: 35 - 36 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'