Frequently Asked Questions
H.I.S. Ministries was founded in January of 1994 to serve the needs of the poor in northern Baja, Mexico. Yet this is not our ultimate goal, which is to bring others into the Saving Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Everything we do, from building homes, the day care, jail ministry, etc. are only tools we use to accomplish this goal.
So, how many people has H.I.S. Ministries led to Christ? We are unsure. We do not keep these kinds of records.
What does the H.I.S. in H.I.S. Ministries mean? Helping, Interceding, and Sharing the Love of Christ. When we founded H.I.S. Ministries we wanted to incorporate our vision in the name.
Exactly what is this vision? Our vision statement is clearly printed of the front page of every newsletter we produce. It is there as a reminder to both you and us why we are here. It states: To share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the People of Mexico, to intercede for them in prayer, and to minister to the poor by helping meet their physical needs.
What does H.I.S. Ministries believe? You can read our Statement of Faith here.
Does it have a name? Yes. Sus Angelitos Children's Center. Translated this means "His Little Angels".
Why build a day care center? Is it really needed? Yes! It is necessary for many reasons: Working families will often just leave their kids at home to fend for themselves; many children cannot, or are too young to care for themselves while their parents are working; many children are simply better off at the Center than at home, due to lack of food, an alcoholic father, incest, or rape.
How many children do you have attending? Enrollment is currently running between 90 and 110 children. The number fluctuates due to families temporally removing their children from the Center for a short time.
Why is this? Families sometimes remove their children for a period of time for many different reasons, including a family member being laid-off from work and they are between jobs; a family member may elect to not work for a while; or the weather is too severe to work.
Do you serve meals? Yes, we serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our cooks serve upwards to 250 meals each day.
What days and hours are you open? The Center is open Monday through Friday, from 7AM to 5PM.
How much does it cost for a family for have their children attend? Nothing. All the services we provide at the Center are free-of-charge.
How many workers do you have and are they paid? A full staff currently consists of 12 full and part-time workers. Yes, everyone is paid.
How does the Center support itself? Through donations and our Child Sponsorship Program.
La Casa is a program where churches, men's groups, Home Fellowships, Youth Groups, etc. raise the necessary funds to build a house for a needy family here in Mexico.
Who does the work? You do! This is one of the best parts about La Casa. After raising the money, the group then travels to Mexico to build the home.
Will we need to bring our own tools? Yes. H.I.S. Ministries does not supply any tools. A complete list of needed tools is included in our Outreach Handbook.
What if we cannot come? That's fine. We often have groups who want to build a home, but cannot raise the funds. You can partner with them, you raising the funds and them building the home.
Where do we stay? We encourage groups to camp out on the ministry grounds. We can comfortably tent upwards to 50 people. Motel accommodations are available in Tecate.
Can we bring a camper/travel trailer? Yes, but only a small one.
Do you charge overnight fees? Yes. Our current fee schedule is $1 per night, per person, plus and additional $1 per night for a camper/motor home. Three people in a tent would be $3 per night, three people in a motor home would be $4 per night.
What about showers? We do not provide shower facilities. Showers are available in Tecate for around $2 US.
Do we need to bring all our own drinking water? No. We have a drilled well on site with plenty of safe water. All our groups drink from it.
What about food? We can provide meals for you at a cost of $5 per meal, per person. You are welcome to prepare you own meals, but kitchen facilities are not generally available.
What size group do you recommend for building a La Casa? This depends on the experience of the group, but 12-15 people is about the maximum number that can effectively work on a home. Please remember that not everyone can work on the project at the same time.
How much does a La Casa cost? The price is currently set at $4,000 US.
How soon before our trip do you need the money? A $500 deposit is required at least 30 days in advance of your trip. This is used to purchase the materials for the slab and for renting a back hoe if needed. It is NON REFUNDABLE after the materials are ordered. The balance of the funds are due no later than three weeks before you trip.
What is a La Casa home like? Although small by US standards, a typical La Casa is 16 x 20 feet and is built on a concrete floor. It has two rooms and a loft. The inside is sheet rocked and wired for electricity. The outside is exterior grade plywood and is painted two-toned, the colors being picked by the recipient family. We use rolled roofing and each La Casa has several windows and a pre-hung steel exterior door.
How long does it take to build a La Casa? We like to have groups schedule five full days to build. A team of experienced builders can sometimes complete the project in four days.
What if we cannot finish? Unfortunately, we do not have the manpower to complete an unfinished La Casa for you. All materials are left with the recipient family for them to finish the home. Sometimes a family cannot finish the house (i.e. a widow) and we will find another group from the San Diego area to finish up. It is strongly advised to schedule in enough time to complete the project.
Will we have to pour the slab? No. The slab will be ready for you to build on. Preparing the slab is part of the recipient family's' sweat equity in the project.
Does the family have to buy the materials for the slab? No. This is included in the price of the La Casa. The family does not have to pay anything at all toward the house. It is a gift from the Lord to them.
How is a recipient family chosen? This is never easy, but God always seems to bring a family to the forefront. Since we have been working in the area for so many years, we have a good handle on the people's needs. We also consult with people in the neighborhood and the local pastors for suggestions.
Do you only build home for Christians? Absolutely not! Although a Christian family may get preferential treatment if we cannot decide between two families, we feel that building a La Casa is a great evangelistic tool to both the family and the neighborhood. Many individuals and families have come to know Christ through a church group building them a home.
Operation Stork is a ministry dedicated to helping new moms with items they need for themselves and their baby.
Who qualifies for this help? We typically help impoverished families.
What sort of items do they receive? A new mother is given a diaper bag filled with items for the baby, such as diapers, baby wipes, bottles, formula, clothes, etc. This kit also includes any medicines the mother and baby might need, and, of course, a Spanish Bible.
Is this all they get? No! Each mother also receives items she may need (and can't afford) while in labor, such as medicines, supplies, and lunch. After delivery, a mother will also received a Polaroid picture of herself and baby.
Doesn't the hospital supply these items? Usually not. An impoverished mother will receive the services of a doctor and that's about all. Upon arrival, she will be given a list of items needed to help with the delivery and newborn. If she cannot afford these items, she must do without.
How long will she be in the hospital? With a natural birth, and no complications, the mother is usually discharged within four (4) hours of delivery. A cesarean-section may dictate an overnight stay, but again, this is not guaranteed.
Pray! We cannot be here without your continued prayer support. We value and covet your prayers. You may sign up for our email prayer/newsletter by clicking this link.
I want to do more. What other options for giving are there? Many. We as missionaries must raise all our own support. All monetary gifts are greatly appreciated and necessary to continue the Lord's work here in Mexico. You may also donate to the ministry itself, which will be used for Outreach and Evangelism (Sus Angelitos Children's Center, Jail Ministry, Operation Stork, food and clothing distribution, etc.) and general operating expenses (rent, office supplies, insurance, etc.). You may also sponsor a child at the Center through our Child Sponsorship Program.
Are my contributions tax deductible? Yes. Receipts are sent in mid-January of each year.
Is there anything else the ministry needs? Yes. Our needs vary throughout the year and depends of our current supply of an item. We are in constant need of medium and large diapers, powdered baby formula, craft supplies, and cash donations. Ministries such as this one need a constant influx of funds.
I have a vehicle I'd like to donate. Can I do this? Yes. We accept donations of vehicles, but only as long as they are in good running order. We often gift these vehicles to the needy or to a local Mexican church. We are currently in need of a late model passenger van to be used to transport children at the Center.
Where can I send a donation? Contact information is listed here.