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We started a journey last year in Spiritual Development through the YMCA at Pabst Farms to take people out of our Lake Country comfort zone into areas of the world that needed hope. That journey started with a team of eleven who said “yes” to the opportunity to go to Puebla, Mexico in February to minister to staff and children at Esperanza Viva (EV).

EV is an orphanage and school about 30 minutes outside of the densely populated city of Puebla. Founded by Jerry and Susy McNally in 1994, EV has rescued over 500 children from the streets of Mexico. And in these 24+ years, these children have been shown the purest form of love and acceptance their families could not provide. The McNally’s, along with a compassionate staff, have shown these children the love of our heavenly Father by providing food, shelter, education, but most of all, hope. And God has blessed their ministry to these children ten-fold. 

When we started the conversation about how a YMCA could commission a team to go and serve in a place like Puebla, many commented, “I didn’t know the Y could do this type of thing.” Motivated by a strong belief in our YMCA mission, my immediate response was always, “this Y can.” And because of the passion and volunteer leadership of Joey Curtin, a movement in international immersion experiences is growing in our Y.    

In August of 2018 we began the process to enlist, train, and send our second team to EV. In February, 2019, this team of eight will spend a week in the Mexican culture, loving and serving in the name of Jesus those who have lost any sense of hope normally found in a natural family unit. Our role will be to serve as a small piece of the puzzle God uses to infuse those children with His hope.  And that’s a hope that will far outweigh the loss they have experienced by being abandoned by their family.

I am grateful for Joey Curtin who was willing to step out in faith to equip and lead teams to go and serve internationally. Our future in international partnerships and service is unlimited as many others will likely follow in the footsteps of Joey and step forward to lead a team to reach the nations for Christ through the Y. As we explore additional partnerships with the Y, opportunities to fulfill God’s Great Commission will serve as our motivation.

It’s never a question of “if” God is calling you. He already has. His commission to all who seek follow Him is to go into all the world and share His love, grace and truth with the nations. 

So with that commission, I ask you, where is God calling you to go and serve?  And when will you step out in faith and just go?  There is a life-change awaiting you there. For sure it’s a change in the lives of those whom you will serve, but more than anything, a change in your own life.

Let’s go! #ThisYcan.

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About the Author

Bruce has served in full-time ministry for over 25 years and has served as chaplain at the YMCA at Pabst Farms since August, 2006. Prior to moving to Wisconsin, he served as Associate Pastor of Missions and Evangelism at Alpha Baptist Church in Morristown, Tennessee as well as Minister of Activities and Recreation. .. Read More »

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