TARGET 500 OTERO DETENTION CENTER

TARGET 500

OTERO DETENTION CENTER – 

April 2017 Service Project

First United Methodist – Los Alamos took on a month long service project which started from a “simple spark” that was placed in Deaconess Ann LePage’s heart after watching a news commentary regarding a lawyer who assist detainees in NM.  While many of us may think “wow…what can we do”,  Ann took it upon herself to contact the chaplain at Otero County about the situation and asked how can our Methodist church help these people…show God’s love for them in the midst of the situation.   Chaplain Berry’s reply:  clothing & large print Bibles.  The replacement clothes will be issued to the men when they are leaving the facility to be deported. While they are on site at Otero, these men have assigned suits to wear.  The clothing that many have on when processed are rags.  Sending them back across the border with fresh clothing and a Bible speaks volume to the work of Christians regardless of denomination.  Deaconess LePage approached the mission team of FUMC with the idea and it was implemented immediately.  Additionally, Ann spread the world to other faith based congregations who brought items for the men. Items collected include: Large Print Bibles:  50 Spanish & 50 English; 360 Underwear; 428 sock sets;  153+ pants; 130 shirts.   As FUMC is highly involved with Kairos Ministry, several members of FUMC also baked cookies to accompany the delivery to Otero. 

 Matt 17:20 (NLT)  Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”

Thought>What opportunities are being placed on your heart that you might not be able to do alone but your church family and community will embrace.

  Otero County Processing Center Update:  Delivery 4/29/17 (submitted Ann LePage)

Many thanks to all the church and community members who contributed clothes and/or money to this project. Thursday evening, 4/27, Don Siebe and Tito Hinojosa packed more than 25 bags of clothes (great job guys!) into Jeannie Gibson’s car. If you had seen my guest room filled with bags, you would not have believed that all that could fit into one car.  Jeannie and I left early Friday morning for Otero County. We made really good time, driving down Rt. 285 to Rt. 54. The weather was perfect. I was able to see parts of New Mexico I had never seen. What a beautiful state we have. We arrived at the Processing Center about 1:00 p.m. thanks to the excellent driving of Jeannie Gibson. We met the Chaplain whom I had been talking to for the last several weeks, the under-warden and many staff. They were all gracious and welcoming. They were blown away by the fact that we brought homemade cookies (thanks to Crystal, Elaine, Geniece, Suzie and Carol).   There was lots of help unloading the car. They were amazed by the amount of clothes we brought, and commented to each other about all the new items. They were very appreciative! Chaplain Berry asked if we would be visiting them again.  We don’t often get the chance to see how our donations are received, so this was an especially awesome project for me. You all can be sure that those donations will be used by those in need and with heartfelt thanks.