By Analiz González
(DALLAS, Texas) — Buckner signed its first collaborative agreement with a Hispanic church in the Dallas area Nov. 2.
“I am excited that we are combining the strength of a long-time local church and the experience of Buckner to serve the community,” said Felipe Garza, vice president of ministry and mission group in Buckner International. He added that Sandra Martinez will serve as Community Ministry Director for the collaboration.
“Sandra will assess the needs of the community, observing its strengths, resources, needs and gaps. Meanwhile, she will observe the church’s resources, talents and gifts to decide how the two can be matched most successfully.”
Garza said that before the agreement was signed, First Mexican Baptist church had done volunteer work at the Buckner Center for Humanitarian Aid, participated in the distribution on Shoes for Orphan Souls and donated money for the ministries of Buckner.
Dr. Albert Reyes, president of Buckner Children and Family Services said First Mexican Baptist Church will become a “lighthouse for children and families in need in years to come.
“Buckner's collaborative relationship with the church will serve the needs of children in a predominantly Hispanic context. By 2012 there will be more Hispanics living in Dallas than in San Antonio. I cannot think of a more strategic place to invest our resources to make life better for at-risk children and families.”
Dr. Bernie A. Moraga, CBF Hispanic Intiative Consultant assisting as interim pastor at First Mexican Baptist Church said the church looks forward to benefiting from the experiences of Buckner.
“I am very pleased with how well the congregation embraced this challenge of service to the community and I hope that our collaboration can serve as an example to other churches.”
The day the agreement was signed, Dr. Kenneth Hall, president of Buckner, shared a Sunday sermon.
“What would Jesus say is the greatest need in the world today?” he asked. “I believe that what matters to him when he walked the earth is the same as what matters to him in 2008. The greatest need in the world today, the greatest methodology is to bless the children.”
Hall made reference to a scriptural passage in which Jesus’ disciples tried to keep children out of the way of Jesus, children who were asking for a blessing. But Jesus was upset at the apostles, and reached out to bless the children (Matthew 19:13-15).
“There is nothing so vital to the work that can compare to the work of touching the lives of children in Jesus name,” Hall said. “The cooperation between First Mexican Baptist Church is a symbol of what the church is doing to reach out to people … So as Jesus continues to bless our efforts, let us bless the children.”
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