Ysleta Lutheran Mission and San Pablo Lutheran Church
Did you know that the Rocky Mountain District is involved in an international mission outreach, one that is actually based within the geographic area of our district?
In 1981 the Rocky Mountain District purchased 4.2 acres of land and 14 buildings in El Paso, Texas that would soon become the home of the Ysleta Lutheran Mission and San Pablo Lutheran Church, a thriving ministry reaching out to the Spanish-speaking people living along the United States-Mexico border.
The Ysleta Lutheran Mission, located just one mile from a major passageway across the border, was organized to provide health and human services to needy people. San Pablo Lutheran Church, the original mission congregation, now with 340 members, serves one of the poorest communities in the U.S. The original idea of the District included a church, school, health care, and youth outreach. The Reverend Karl Heimer was called in 1982 to serve as pastor of San Pablo and executive director of Ysleta. At that point, the mission was comprised of empty buildings and dirt parking lots. The ensuing years have seen it transformed into a place of constant activity.
There are many servant activities taking place through Ysleta and San Pablo that bring God’s mercy and serve as His voice to the people. Clothing and food are distributed on a weekly basis, so long as supplies are available. Donations of food from the Orphan Grain Train make it possible for the mission to serve an average of 100 hot meals every day at the very low cost of 75 cents. An onsite thrift store receives donations from across the country. Occasionally some items are donated for which there is no specific need, in which case YLM shares those items with area schools, orphanages, hospitals and a jail in Mexico. Several times throughout the year, free medical checkups and eye exams are provided. Many donors and volunteers help to repair houses, and when possible, to build homes for needy families in the congregation. They have also helped to repair and build churches on both sides of the border. Food baskets, school supplies, health kits and Christmas gifts are just some of the things that have been collected and distributed to families in the missions, shelters and orphanages.
One very unique and effective ministry of San Pablo is their Mariachi Ministry. Sixteen members participate in this musical group, children, youth, and adults. They perform throughout El Paso and Juarez several times each month. The group also travels and performs at conventions, conferences and community events. They strive to reach others through Christian and popular music, both in Spanish and English, thereby planting the seeds of grace in settings normally dominated by secular music only. Pastor Stephen Heimer, son of Pastor Karl Heimer, is the head of this Mariachi Ministry. As leader of the Mariachi Ministry, he leads bilingual devotions and Bible study for the group.
More than ever, this ministry needs prayer and support! Monetary gifts to help Ysleta and San Pablo fulfill their mission may be sent directly to the ministry, or they may be channeled through the Rocky Mountain District office. A variety of servant event needs and other giving possibilities can be explored by visiting the Ysleta Lutheran Mission website, www.ylm.org. Please consider helping!