Archive for October, 2010

Glasgow with his buddy.

TIJUANA, -(MEXICO)- While most 74-year-olds are planning their weekly golf or tennis game with friends, trips to Europe or what to plant in next year’s garden, San Clemente resident Don Glasgow is busy planningĀ San Clemente Presbyterian Church‘s next work mission to MexicoGlasgow, volunteer team leader for the church’s Baja Ministries, goes to Mexico about twice a month, leading groups of six to 30 volunteers in projects like house building for families, along with repair and maintenance at an orphanage and an AIDS and critical-injury hospice. Mission trips are usually one day, with about a half-dozen volunteers leaving at 7 a.m. Saturdays from the church parking lot and returning to San Clemente midevening.

Crossing over the line.

Once every three months, the group switches gears to a three-day homebuilding trip in the Tijuana area, where the volunteers swell to almost 30 strong to complete an entire house, ready to live in.

“There is a task for every age,” Glasgow said. “Crossing the border leaves a spirit that makes us all equal. We are children of God, doing his work.”

On Oct. 2, the group was the biggest yet for a day trip, with 12 volunteers visiting Campamento de Fe, an AIDS and critical-injury hospice in the hills above Tijuana. The plan was to repair a roof, reupholster chairs, stabilize the provisional electrical system and attend a memorial for a hospice resident who had died the week before from cancer and AIDS.

A little morning sun for some tired bones.

Mexican pastor Daniel Nunez, moving between English and Spanish, led the short memorial for Francisco after San Clemente High School freshman Reilly Roberts, 14, read from the Bible.

“The abundant life God has given us we need to begin today to enjoy,” Nunez said

Getting it done.

The hospice can accommodate up to 14 men at a time, according to the facility’s director, Rosa “Flor” Morales. They come from area hospitals or the Mexican Red Cross when their relatives can’t be found. They stay until they can get along on their own or, like Francisco, die from sickness or injury.

Glasgow first helped at the hospice in January, when he met Morales for the first time. “She threw that smile at me and I was hooked,” he said. “She is the Mother Teresa to that hill.”

Morales, a pastor’s daughter originally from Hermosillo, Sonora, has operated the hospice for 13 years with virtually no outside help. She opened it with her husband, but since he left six years ago, she has continued alone.

The best fun is usually simple.

Glasgow said he’s happy with how far the hospice has come since January.

Rich Bowman, 42, a sales manager from Huntington Beach, attendsĀ Rock Harbor Churchin Costa Mesa and has been volunteering on Glasgow’s trips the past several months.

“There is no shortage of things to do; it can be a little overwhelming,” Bowman said. “You can’t help everyone, but you can help one heart at a time.”

After finishing up at the hospice, Glasgow moved the group to Casa Hogar Impacto de Amor, an orphanage a few miles away. The volunteers spent the afternoon at the orphanage playing with the 20 children, delivering food, supplies and donated toys. Several of the children knew the volunteers by name, pulling them aside to play games, share their toys and take photos on cell phones.

Glasgow moved through the front patio getting and giving hugs while asking or commenting about some of the children. After an hour, it was time to get back to San Clemente, and Glasgow called everyone together for a quick prayer.

The group would be back in three weeks, he said, receiving big smiles from the children in return

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