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Two Exciting Upcoming Opportunities with Global Missions

By Pastor Nancy Bacon, Tehachapi Community Church, UCC.

DOC and UCC churches have a global mission partner in Tijuana, Mexico:  Albergue Las Memorias.  This amazing place is an AIDS/HIV/Tuberculosis shelter or hostel that houses about 130 people, males, females, and children, all working like a co-op to feed and heal each other.  Several southern California UCC & DOC churches have sent members there to build relationships and provide needed support.  I have had the privilege of going several times and each time I sense the bible coming to life when I am there.  I see the Prodigal Son and Daughter; the modern-day “lepers” rejected sometimes even by family; former prostitutes and street-workers whom Jesus would have welcomed and ate with; and I am amazed to see resurrection and people loved back to life.  I need to go there from time to time to simply get myself re-calibrated in ministry, as I know I can also find Jesus and his teachings alive and well there.

If you are interested in joining us on our next pilgrimage, we will be going Friday and Saturday, April 5th and 6th.  We will spend one night in a very affordable and comfortable hotel near the Tijuana airport.  We will bring cleaning supplies, medicines, whatever people donate, and we will spend some time getting acquainted with residents.  We usually do a “spa day” with facials, foot washing, and fingernail painting.  This time we may also offer a session in forms of meditation that we can all do together.  If you are interested, please contact me, at revnbacon@gmail.com to coordinate your trip with us.

A second exciting opportunity is that a few people from my church plan to travel to Uganda this summer.  I was there five years ago and I look forward to returning.  Two Pasadena UCC members, Peter and Irene Keller, have been working in Uganda for about 10 years.  You can learn more about the project they helped to establish at aidafrica.net.  This project works with local villagers to improve their lives in several ways.  Participants learn about the dangers of traditional cook stoves and the health and time benefits of more efficient ones.  It is difficult for girls to attend school if they are spending their time gathering wood and water.  Consider coming along to learn and help communities.

The first time I went, I asked Peter Keller if I might also see an elephant while I was there working with AidAfrica.  He said, “No…you won’t see an elephant, you will see many elephants.”  Peter makes it a point for visitors to also experience and appreciate what a “pearl” Uganda is.  It’s a small country with the head waters for the Nile, Lake Victoria and all of the big game animals.  It is the most affordable photo safari opportunity that I know of.  Each year, Peter invites people to come along and experience a humanitarian tour with him.  The next tour dates are July 18-Aug 5, but some of us are going July 27-August 16.  If you are interested, contact Peter at info@aidafrica.net.

One other thing that Peter and Irene have helped make reality is a wonderful children’s home for vulnerable and endangered children.  These children are amazing and well loved by their primary care giver, Rosette.  Uganda does not have a support net for orphans and school is not free.  Without this children’s home, life would be very desperate, but you should meet these gifted children.  They have bright futures and are getting good educations and a loving home.  I was honored to meet Rosette and blown away by her deep spiritual loving heart, and her sense of humor.  When the house they all lived in was literally falling apart with the ceiling caving in, my little church in Tehachapi helped to raise the money to buy a new house!!  Some thought we could never come up with the cost…$25,000, however, when people know it is a good cause, they can be very generous.  We are so happy that the children have a great new home and can’t wait to see it and take them all to lunch.  Their new home needs some furniture and furnishings and there are always ongoing expenses for food and education.  If you would like to contribute and learn more, check out pearlschildrensfund.org.

Blessings and meet me in Uganda, Pastor Nancy Bacon, Tehachapi Community Church, UCC.

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