Third World Opportunities, a faith-based organization supported by the Hunger and Housing Ministry Team of the Pacifica Synod, ELCA, arranges education and service trips into Mexico for youth groups and adults. It provides experiential learning just across the Mexican border in Tecate at an orphanage called Rancho San Juan Bosco.
The purpose is to gain a cross-cultural experience and to learn about poverty and immigration and how the Gospel relates to these issues. Groups participate in service projects, go on field trips, and develop relational skills as they live at the orphanage in Tecate. Bible studies that lift up the message of Jesus about loving our neighbors are offered each day.
This face-to-face encounter with Hispanic people living on the edge of poverty
can become a life-changing experience. One mother from California asked her pastor,
who had taken a group of high school youth on a Third World Opportunities trip,
“What did you do to our daughter? She isn't the same person since her trip
Participants learn through
A youth director from Minnesota wrote, “This mission trip experience was by far
the best that I have been part of. It was truly a life-changing and eye-opening
- Interaction with boys at the orphanage
- Work projects and lending a hand
- Walking tour of a rural village
- Visit to an immigration shelter
- Sharing a meal in a Mexican home
- Conversations with local people
- Reflection and social analysis
- Participating in Bible studies
For more information, visit the organization's website at www.thirdworldopportunities.org or the Pacifica Synod's website at
www.pacificasynod.org/HungerandHousing.htm, or email the director, Pr. George S. Johnson, at email@example.com. You can also contact Pastor
John Hart at 610-264-2641. See his story in this issue of Partners.