Dining dollars: Mission to Mexico dinner supports construction projects

November 2015 Posted in Community
Authentic Mexican Dinner
Saturday, Nov. 14, 6 p.m.
Silverton First Christian Church
112 First St.
Cost: $15 per person or
$100 for a table of eight.

Dinner made by the Dios de Pactos
Church in Silverton plus traditional
Mexican folk dancing by the youth of
El Ballet de Los Ninos de Gervais.

Fresh homemade tamales also available
for $15 a dozen or two dozen for $25.

Reservations or tamale orders:
503-873-6620

By Kristine Thomas

Trevor Côté says the mission trip to Mexico with Silverton’s First Christian Church has taught him how to use saws, drills, hammers and other construction equipment.

A Silverton High grad and freshman at the University of Kansas, he says it also has taught him about the importance of teamwork and how to build relationships as well as buildings.

Most importantly, he says, he’s learned “about the rest of the world and how people live in an impoverished community.”

For 25 years, the members of Silverton’s First Christian Church have been taking high school students to Mexico. To date, they have built more than 60 homes, a medical clinic and an orphanage.

Lynne and Jon Koenig have been instrumental in working with the youth and helping organize the trip to Francisco Murgia, Mexico, which is about 40 miles south east of Mexicali in Baja California.

Lynne and Jon were youth group leaders when they were asked to chaperon the high school youth on the mission trip.

“I guess you can say we fell into it,” Lynne said. “The mission has touched our hearts and we have spearheaded its continuation as a priority for our church’s outreach projects.”

One challenge has been raising money to pay for the trip, which includes gas, a vehicle rental and mission work projects. It costs $525 per student.

Church members Julie Bersin and Wynelle Dettwyler wanted to do something more to help fund the annual trip.

“Basically, our congregation has funded the trips with a few car washes,” Bersin said.

The two decided to spearhead a new fund raiser, an authentic Mexican dinner. They asked the members of Dios de Pactos Church, who rent the First Christian Church two times a week, to make the meal.

The first Mission to Mexico dinner fund raiser is Saturday, Nov. 14 at Silverton First Christian Church. The dinner is another example of local churches working together for the common good, Bersin said.

Côté, who has served on five missions, said Mission to Mexico is important to his church.

“A lot of people have spent a lot of time and devotion to helping others and this is our church’s largest philanthropy. Everybody in the congregation recognizes the importance that this trip has not only in the fact that it gives people a home but also that it builds a lot of character in those involved,” Côté said.

The Koenigs believe the Mission to Mexico is important to the youth because it allows them to serve others and experience life in a developing country.

“It can be difficult to have perspective of how the other part of the world lives when we live in such abundance,” Lynne said. “This trip allows that perspective for youth as well as adults and families who have begun to attend this mission trip as well.”

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