Way up north on 60th off Lazaro Cadenas sits a small plywood sided building painted tan with a brown cross rising nearly the full height of one side. A neatly painted sign nailed to two 2 X 4’s nailed together to make 4X4’s on each side planted firmly in the ground out front. This sign tells the story of “El Buen Samaritano “ Church of God. In the middle of the sign is depicted a Samaritan helping a wounded citizen in need in the midst of a desert, his burro off in the distant background. The sign names the Pastors, Edgar and Alma Cabrera, and lets folks know that services are Sundays at 10:00 AM and Wednesdays at 7:00 PM.
What the sign doesn’t say, nor does it need to say, is that on Saturdays at 9:00 AM, Edgar and Alma, originally from the Douglas, Arizona, area along with Ron and Carol Okinga, originally from Las Cruces, New Mexico, host a pancake breakfast for all the neighborhood kids who want to show up.
Ron and Carol bring a portable grill and set it up out back of the little one room chapel, still with dirt floor, and the kids come. Sometimes up to 60 of them. Last Saturday a little over 20, ages 2 to 12 were there. While Ron and Carol and a local neighbor and mother, Guadalupe Sapien, prepared the pancakes, Alma was entertaining the kids inside by teaching them Sunday school songs which they eagerly and gleefully sang at the tops of their little voices. All in anticipation of lining up outside in orderly fashion to be handed their plate of pancakes and cup of orange juice–ladies first, of course.
There were some shy little kids that kind of hung out near the sparse wire fence surrounding the small church lot, but not for long. Ron is very attentive to making sure those shy, curious types are made to feel most welcome and soon they would join the singing fest inside with Alma.
The Buen Samaritano pancake breakfast has been going now for about three months and is gaining popularity with the neighborhood. This has resulted in more adults attending church services, and volunteering to help construct an additional building on the small lot. It is nowhere near complete–well, neither is the chapel–but cement blocks and some lumber is piling up near the framed beginnings of the second structure that will someday be a part of the building.
Edgar and Alma live near their church and have their hands full growing it and raising funds for it as well. The help they get from Ron and Carol was an answer to their prayers for a way to feed the kids of their neighborhood. They were brought together by another generous soul and long time resident of Rocky Point, Kory Bonini, whose passion is simply community service. She’s more like a catalyst, sizing up the “talent”, as it were, with those who need it. In the case of El Buen Samaritano Church, Kory’s service was a little more divine. She helped to answer a prayer.
Ron and Carol don’t spend all their time at the Buen Samaritano Church, though. That’s because they spend two days a week helping the 2 Fish Ministry feed thousands of locals, and three days a week feeding inmates at the jail. In addition, they assist several individual families with food and clothing.
What a community of Americans we have in Rocky Point. It is unfortunate that even with the great number of kind-hearted ex-patriots we have here, because of the devastating economic situation around the world that affects our little port city and beachside paradise, there just aren’t enough volunteers to help everyone.
After a conversation with Ron, it seems like individual time and people with vehicles are the main needs to provide assistance in most areas. Of course, money is always appreciated. Ron said that it costs an average of $14 dollars to put on these breakfasts, but the reward is priceless.
In fact, two of the folks who came out to observe the pancake breakfast last Saturday, set up a donation jar later that morning at their space in the Farmers Market and Art Expo (behind Don Julio’s) off Fremont Street and raised $30 dollars for Alma and Edgar’s church.
If you have the time or wherewithal to assist in some way with the locals who need and deserve help here in Rocky Point, you can contact Ron or Carol by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone locally at 638 102 0885.
You will enjoy meeting them because they are kind and peaceful people who love the country, the local culture and the ambiance of Puerto Peñasco with hearts about as big as the Sea of Cortez.
This blog is brought to you by Sonoran Resorts Sales Group, Jim Ringquist, Director of Sales