How can a spaghetti dinner held at Tewksbury Congregational Church feed hundreds of families living in Juarez, Mexico?
It’s easy when you start with top quality ingredients like the dynamic duo of Annette MacMullin and Mike Wildeman. They spend a full day in the church kitchen producing mass quantities of meatballs and the accompanying, mouth-watering tomato sauce. To that, add in several pounds of pasta cooked to perfection, a garden salad, bread with dipping oil and a variety of scrumptious desserts. Next, you’ll need a highly motivated mission team willing to serve with a smile and perhaps the most important ingredient of all ... a roomful of generous customers ready to enjoy a delicious meal.
This is how it all begins every time one of TCC’s Mexico mission teams puts on a fundraising spaghetti dinner. In March, the event was so successful that the mission team profited over $1,100. That money was then used by Harvest Hands Ministries to purchase 50 pound bags of rice and beans, 100 pound sacks of flour and cases of cooking oil. This food gets divided up into dispensa bags consisting of two pounds each of rice, beans and flour. During the last few trips, each dispensa bag has been paired with oil and during this last trip, 6 eggs per family. These bags of food can sustain a small family for about a month.
Just recently, a team of 19 men, women and youth from Tewksbury Congregational Church traveled down to Juarez during April school vacation. TCC has been sending teams down for over 10 years now, this being the sixth team that has gone. The team works all week at a children’s orphanage home - called Resplandor De Vida, which means, glow (or spendour) of life – taking on a variety of tasks from brick-laying, painting, spackling, digging holes, filling holes, teaching bible stories, and babysitting for the Mexican women, among many other things. Possibly the most powerful opportunity that they have is getting to go into the local village and hand out these dispensa bags of food. It is an emotional day for many reasons; for some of these families, this is all of the food that they have.
Currently, 27 girls and boys call Resplandor De Vida home, and through donations, they are able to have 3 full meals a day and have the clothing and all the supplies they need to go to school each day. The goal is for a second dormitory to be completed and to be able to house, feed, clothe, love and nurture 50 of God’s beloved children.
So, the next time you see a spaghetti dinner or a breakfast happening at Tewksbury Congregational Church, please give it a second thought. You can be sure the money is going to be used for good. Grab a meal at a local restaurant and you might feel satisfied for a short while. Come and join TCC for one of the next fundraising meals and you can feel very good about it for a long, long time.