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South Texas Living

The orphanage in Piedras Negras

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September 2, 2015 | 2,466 views | Post a comment

Almost two years ago the men of the congregation of the Lord, which I attend, were presented with the opportunity to help support a small start-up orphanage in Piedras Negras, Mexico, by one of our members. He grew up in Piedras Negras, one of 12 children, to a godly father and mother, and all to this day are still faithful members of the Lord’s church. His brother is the director of the orphanage and his whole family is deeply involved in the work of the church in Piedras Negras.

The brother in Mexico visited Floresville to better inform the men of his work. After meeting with him the men decided to add the orphanage to our budget with a small monthly donation along with an invitation to come visit whenever we’d like to see for ourselves the need that truly exists.

Some months later we received an invitation to come to Piedras Negras for the purpose of sharing the Word of God with the brethren there, and of course, seeing the work at the orphanage. We sent word back through our member contact that we would be happy to do just that. We requested a date and a topic to prepare lessons to preach while there.

The date was last week for three days and we were asked to present lessons on the role of women in the church, the role of men in the church, and how men and women work together in harmony in the church. Of course you know we needed a translator and that just happened to be our member contact in Mexico, which worked out perfectly. “If anyone speaks in a tongue, two -- or at the most three -- should speak and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God” (1 Corinthians 14:27-28).

Two speakers, two lessons each; one interpreter, four lessons; plus everywhere we went and everything we did required an interpreter. We could not do without him he is very humble about being an instrument of God. Yeah, he did lose his voice by the time we got back to Floresville, Sunday morning at 2 a.m.

[Luke 9: 46-48; Mark 10:13-16] The people we were with these past days have an incredible hunger for the Word of God. Although there were many middle-aged married couples, grandparents, and great-grandparents, I was mostly inspired by the younger generation, the newlyweds and couples with young children.

On Saturday night before we spoke to the adults there were probably 50 children, ages two thru 10 who were divided into three groups of learning levels to participate in their own class session relieving the adults of parenting for a short while, affording them the time to concentrate on their own lesson. I have to say I was also impressed with the progress of the orphanage facilities.

Now keep these thoughts in mind as I try to describe my bias observations. Piedras Negras is not a modern 21st century metropolis with great big glass covered office buildings. Houses, as are most other buildings, are built with concrete or cinder blocks, with the interior either all tile or basic plaster and paint. Much of the residential housing and businesses are bordered with a one-story block wall with reinforced entrances and sharpened bamboo spikes on top to discourage climbers. Security is very much a basic need. The orphanage is being built one block at a time by volunteers and has only recently received six children. They are cared for by volunteers 24/7; attend public school; eat well and are fed God’s word every day. They are happy as little lambs. There’s a lot to tell and I’ll be mentioning this trip for a while.

Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at Find his column on his blog at

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