By Stan Friedman
ENSENADA, MEXICO (December 23, 2011) – Members of Rancho Vista Covenant Church delivered more than 2,000 gifts to children here earlier this month, an act that brought praise from the town’s mayor.
Nearly 6,000 people attended the event at Camp Hope, but every child received a gift. More than 40 people traveled from East Lake, California, in eastern San Diego County to deliver the gifts.
Despite the large crowd, the distribution went smoothly, says Daniel Ward, a member of the church and chaplain at Mount Miguel Covenant Village (MMCV) retirement community.
“I thank these people for their tenacity in the altruistic work they perform, because they strive and overcome the obstacles they face, because even having trouble crossing the border to help, they have done the impossible to make sure this aid reaches this place,” said Mayor Enrique Pelayo Torres.
Torres said the work of the church, which also cooperated with two other organizations, offers hope to the residents living in an impoverished area of Ensenada. “I know that not everything is easy,” he said. “I was a man of the field as well, and I know many of the difficulties they face, as well as the satisfaction of seeing that there is always someone willing to give you a hand.”
Ward was grateful for the mayor’s participation. “However, more impressive than the political spotlight was the radiant faces of the children as they received gifts,” he observed.
Ward says the church seeks to live out Proverbs 18:16: “A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.”
This is the seventh year the church has brought gifts to the community. “We had hundreds of families participate in donating gifts to our event this year,” Ward says. “The donors included some who drove from Temecula and Los Angeles to participate. Church members became neighborhood collection centers by putting signs in their yards.”