By Jon Coker
“Please don’t let them take me! Please don’t let them take me!”
cried a 7-year-old girl while being kidnapped from her orphanage in
Piedras Negras, Mexico, a few years ago.
MaryAnne Cox, member of the Cross-Health Ministries, a San
Antonio nonprofit group, reminisced on the day a man barged
through the doors of Casa de Misericordia Orphanage armed with
a gun and a machete demanding one
innocent girl for prostitution.
“She knew what he wanted her for
but couldn’t do anything to get away,”
Cox said. “The police didn’t arrive on
time and couldn’t find her afterwards.”
Today the orphanage is safer because
this group raised the money for a security
An English lecturer at this college has
been helping them for two years.
The lecturer, Paul Perry, delivers toys,
food, clothing and school supplies to this
orphanage on the first Saturday of every
On Nov. 3, five members of Cross-
Health Ministries delivered toys and food
and had a birthday party for 4-year-old
The festivities consisted of pizza and
Coca-Cola, a piñata and ukulele lessons.
The birthday parties are a monthly
ritual when the volunteers come, but
some children do not know what their
birth date is.
Carla Traconis, orphanage house mother, said in Spanish that
some of the children are missing important records, meaning no one
knows when they were born.
When one little girl was asked her name, she responded, “No
tengo un nombre,” meaning, “I don’t have a name.”
Domi, the girl’s friend, said in Spanish, “We call her Marcelli.”
In addition to Cross-Health Ministries, members of Alamo
Heights Methodist Church make regular trips to help rebuild the
poverty-stricken schools, churches and orphanages.
Yewel and Yolanda Cox are founders of Cross-Health Ministries
and the organizers of the medical mission teams.
Perry, better known to the children as “Abuelito Pablo,” came to
the rescue two years ago accompanied by volunteers.
Perry sits on the board of directors of Cross-Health Ministries and
writes grants for the program.
plows his Toyota Corolla over the
rocky roads of the city to reach
each of four destinations.
He and his team provide milk,
eggs, cereal, rice, corn meal for
tortillas, clothes and school supplies
to churches, schools and
“The kids love their corn flakes
and their ‘leche de chocolate.’
They ask for it every time they sit
down for snacks,” Pastor Hector
Aguirre of Aleluyah Methodist
Church said in Spanish. “It is a
luxury, but it would be nice to
have more to give to the kids.”
Most of the teachers and pastors
in this town conduct their
classes and services with no electricity
or running water.
Aleluyah Iglesia Metodista is
arranged as a church and school.
“When this building opened,
there were only 30 kids. I’m anticipating to have about 80 soon,”
With growing numbers in the classroom, the basic necessities for
the children are becoming scarce and teachers are not able to afford
them, but the Cross-Health Ministries has taken on the challenge of
providing for those needs.