Giving hope no matter the obstacles

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By Special to the Monitor

The House of Hope (HOH) Women, the all-women construction team from many of the local Los Alamos/White Rock churches, will again spend their Columbus Day weekend committing their time and talents building another house in Juárez, Mexico.  

In order to support the 2009 project, the group is making preparations to serve a Frito pie dinner at the annual Vacation Bible School evening family dinner to be held from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday in Kelly Hall, the new parish hall at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church on Trinity Drive.  

The HOH will do the fundraising necessary to support the purchase of needed building materials and the proceeds from this dinner will go to the October project.

This dinner menu will feature vegetarian and meat Frito pies with various toppings such as cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream on the side, cold watermelon, bizcochitos and a beverage, all for $5 per person or $12 per family.

To celebrate the week-long Vacation Bible School program and the week’s activities, children who are participating in the program will eat free at the dinner when they bring a paying adult with them.

The children will present a short program following the dinner.

Tickets may be purchased at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church after the Sunday services, during the week of at the Church Office and at the door the night of the dinner.

This is the sixth year for this all-women construction team to make the trip south of the border to build a home for a family who would otherwise have little hope of permanent stable housing.  

This year’s HOH build was in question earlier in the year. However, due to the Diocese of the Rio Grande Standing Committee’s resolution strongly discouraging any mission trips to Juárez because of the increasing danger in the Mexican border areas.

Therefore, the Church funding was withdrawn to support any of these mission trips and because of  an unstable period, the Standing Committee asked that alternative mission sites be identified.  

Due to this Diocesan Resolution, the TOTH Vestry could not support the group’s project either.  

To let the Vestry know how much the trips to Juárez have meant to the HOH and how much they felt called to continue this ministry to the people of the Colonias, a group of HOH supporters addressed the Vestry.  

Their argument stated that the Rev. Dan Klooster, the director of Gateway, the entity that oversees the builds and construction details prior to the build, provides housing within a gated area and the builds are done in a very safe part of the city with travel outside the build area only in the morning and evenings in a convoy-type configuration.  

After a convincing argument for the mission trip, the TOTH Vestry then agreed to support the project and to allow the HOH to use Church facilities and equipment.  

The HOH then presented the same justification to the Diocesan Standing Committee, which  would not reverse the resolution, but would not oppose the HOH from going on their own; funding would still have to be secured by the team.

This Frito pie dinner is one of the money raising activities. The Shrove Tuesday pancake supper in February was the first project.  

Another project will be for HOH members to ask friends and neighbors to be “sponsors of the House of Hope Women” – the fundraising is similar to sponsoring a little league team or a relay for life team where they get sponsors to make a donation for whatever amount.  

All the funding goes toward the materials for the house; team members pay their own way for the build. For more information, contact Cathy Walters, team leader, at 662-5107.