|We joined Literacy Connexus . . .|
First Baptist Church Zachary, Louisiana recently participated in a Books for the Border family reading fair in Weslaco, TX. It was our second trip to the Rio Grande Valley in as many years.
On two Saturdays, a group of eight to twelve people built and painted 30 bookcases. We asked our church congregation to donate new or gently used books, as well as money to purchase the building materials and certain books. We placed four bookcases throughout our church, along with samples of the books we were seeking to receive. Our folks came through with donations of books and money. A couple of ladies sorted through the donated books and ordered the Spanish children's Bibles, health literacy, and other books.
Our reading fair was scheduled for late Tuesday afternoon at a Weslaco elementary school. We provided twenty-six families with beginning home libraries. The principal had identified the recipients based on economic need. The host church--Iglesia Bautista Calvario--provided fifty families with Christmas gifts last year; they'll share Christmas with seventy-five families this year. The family reading fair significantly enhanced the relationship between the church and the elementary school.
Families who participated in the family reading fair were encouraged to come to the church to get additional books--including Bibles--and a gift card to purchase books at the local Wal-Mart. The families were able to see where the church was located, and were greeted by the pastor. We rejoiced at how the Lord worked it all out, better than we could have planned!
In addition to providing the family reading fair, our mission group was busy with other projects. We provided a Louisiana-style jambalaya lunch for students at the Baptist Student Ministry at the University of Texas Pan Am in Edinburg. We also shared Cajun food with the members of Iglesia Bautista Calvario at their Wednesday evening fellowship meal. Our work crew increased the size of the church's pantry five-fold and contributed nearly $1,000 to stock the shelves. We made improvements to interior walls, and upgraded the playground equipment at the church. Additionally, we visited two homes where we worked last year (adding siding and other improvements). We gave these families books and bookcases, too.
We had a great time in the Valley and look forward to next year.
FBC Zachary, LA