Church group helping Valley residents in need of home repairs
RIO GRANDE CITY – A church group is dedicating their time and service to those in need of a helping hand in the Rio Grande Valley.
The St. John Methodist Church wanted to reach out passed its pews to help its community, but to do that it would need the hands and feet from people all over the country.
Eleven people from across the U.S. squeeze into a small Rio Grande City home. The call themselves NOMADS, an acronym meaning Nice Older Methodists Avoiding Deep Snow.
“The NOMADS means Nomad on mission and active divine service. It also means Nice Older Methodists Avoiding Deep Snow. So, that’s also what is means,” said Suzanne Cronin laughing.
The sounds of work getting done on the house are welcomed by homeowner Maria Elena Guerra.
“Oh, I’m very happy, very happy. I didn’t expect this. I didn’t anticipate this now. They’re very lovely people,” said Guerra.
Guerra’s house was drafty, leaky and aging. She moved here to take care of her ailing father nine years ago, but he has since passed away.
Living on limited funding left her feeling vulnerable. It’s a feeling many holding paintbrushes and drills have experienced.
Cronin shared, “Some of us have been through the same thing. I've been through Hurricane Katrina. And I've seen all the destruction.”
Cronin is leading the project on Guerra’s home. The group formed in 1988 with the help of Winter Texans living in the Valley.
St. John’s Methodist Church Pastor Emerson Villegas says this is more than elbow grease and tools.
“I hope that the blessing of that ministry to the people here in Rio Grande City will continue and that the love of the Lord will continue in that manner by serving others,” said Villegas.
Groups form and decide where to go based on a question.
“We pray. We pray to God and say ‘where do you want us to go?’” said Cronin.
The Valley was the answer to their prayer to help fulfill another one.
“My house was so cold. Now the floor has some insulation. That’s going to change so much,” said Guerra.
The NOMADS have helped several families during their trip to the Valley. As a parting gift to some of them, they’ve created paintings showing the improvements to their homes as well as the faces of the people who made it happen.
If anyone is interested in joining the group, they’re encouraged to check out their website.