Orphanages receive much needed help from English lecturer

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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.

Seventy-eight-year-old Perry

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,”

Aguirre said.

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.



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