In 2010 Mark and Karen Higgins sold their business in Gunnison, Colorado and most of their possessions to make a permanent move to Puerto Peñasco where they had been spending a lot of time. For them, said Mark, “the move was a blessing because we knew it was God’s calling for us to expand our Living Stones ministry of Gunnison down to Mexico where He, and we, knew that our passion for helping spread the Word of the Lord was needed.”
Even while settling into their new residence, Mark and Karen began helping at the 2 Fish Ministry and developing relationships with others who share the good news of the gospel through teaching, inspiring and facilitating fulfillment of the practical needs in communities around town.
Within a year the Living Stones Ministry, a non-affiliated ministry and missionary, under God’s guidance, had been led to the community of San Rafael. Blessed with an opportunity to lease a centrally located facility, the Ministry opened the Christian Community Center. Since the building formerly housed a hardware store and one of their mission goals was to provide fresh, hot meals to the neighborhood, some major remodeling and additions were in order. Again God’s will prevailed on behalf of Mark and Karen and within the single year they have opened the center—and their hearts—to the San Rafael barrio, they’ve improved the amenities to include a complete kitchen that serves and average of 70 adults and children every day, San Rafael residents who otherwise would not eat proper food or not eat at all.
Feeding the hungry was only part of God’s calling for the Ministry. Mark and Karen developed English language classes and their inspiration has resulted in around 50 San Rafael residents graduating through at least one level of English classes in the last year with a class currently running and a waiting list of interested students. Because of all the other activities going on at the Christian Community Center, space is limited so Ministry is in the midst of purchasing the building so they can make the badly needed additions for more class rooms.
As soon as space is added, new classes will include learning the skill of gardening and how to build a home garden to harvest healthy vegetables to feed the family— inspiring independence. Mark and neighborhood volunteers have already developed two gardens on the property and built a protected green house in which they are cultivating worms to generate compost, a vitally needed additive to the sandy soil in this area. These gardens are producing potatoes, carrots, lettuce and spinach for the winter months and during the summer they grow melons, corn and tomatoes, all of which are prepared in their kitchen and served with the daily meals.
Classes will begin shortly to teach canning and preserving that will teach hygiene and proper food safety techniques such as hot water bath canning.
There are many other activities that actually raise funds to supplement the ongoing sponsorships and donations from other passionate believers who see the manifestation of God’s work through Mark and Karen and their team of devoted personnel. The two full time sponsored positions in the ministry are the Director, Eneida Gaspar and Kelly McKee, a long term missionary who is capable of assisting anywhere she is needed. The Christian Community Center is further blessed to be joined frequently and consistently by 8 U.S. residents and by up to 15 neighborhood volunteers to assist with meal service, children’s activities, donated clothing organization and knitting and weaving which is an income producer for the Center.
What is so unique about the knitted products is they are knitted from plastic bags into everything from coasters, to place mats to beach bags, welcome mats, even sandals. In fact, so unique and useful are these creative products that during the recent Taste of Peñasco arts and crafts fair, they sold out of all recycled bag products! “We were blessed by the Lord for heeding His guidance because He knew where the path would lead.”
Living Stones Ministry is also the group that sells the crosses, wind chimes, picture frames and other products that they make from sand and shells. In addition to helping individuals, the Ministry works with other charitable organizations in their mission to teach, inspire and facilitate such as the neighborhood Buen Samaritano Church, One Mission, Christian Health Evangelism (C.H.E.), Corporación de Trabajadores Mexicanos (C.T.M.) and the City of Puerto Peñasco Municipal D.I.F. family assistance programs.
The Ministry is a 501 (c) 3 corporation so all donations are tax deductible. Please visit their web site to learn more about the deep convictions of this passionate group who serve the Lord in such a profound way and who improve upon and inspire the lives of all they touch. Click on: www.livingstonesministrymexico.com. You may also contact Karen Higgins directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be glad for the opportunity to get to know these truly loving and generous people.
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