Help support Austin Piper as he participates in an endurance climb to raise funds for Proyecto Abrigo.  You can donate by check or online by clicking here.  You may also donate by check in the church office.

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Over the years, I have had the privilege of making five trips to Juarez, Mexico, to work with Proyecto Abrigo. I was 15 years old on my first trip there; I had spent time each of the past two summers on mission trips to Gore, Oklahoma for Suncreek's "middle school" mission trip. However, I had now just finished my freshman year of high school in Allen, and it seemed time for me to go on the "high school" trip, which happened to be to Juarez. I figured that I might as well go on the trip - I would get to spend a week with some of my friends and travel to a place I had never been before, at the very least; little did I know how impactful Juarez would be on me and how strongly I would feel drawn back to that place, even to today. I will not try to explain all that one does on one of the trips, but for those who aren't aware, yes, you help build cinder block homes for families living in truly abominable conditions (such as a shack made out of cardboard and wooden pallets), get to live at Proyecto Abrigo's dorms and eat some of the best homemade Mexican food you could ever desire, worship with Tierra Nueva, etc. I will say, though, that it is an experience that I believe is hard to understand unless you have actually gone there yourself. Why do I love Juarez so much and cherish my time there? I believe it is because when I have been on mission trips to Juarez, I am able to feel completely engulfed by God's love and grace. When in Juarez, I get to do work in the name of the Lord. When in Juarez, I get to be in a setting where it is always appropriate to talk about God and faith - something that is in stark contrast to our current society where "religion" can sometimes almost seem to be a bad word. When in Juarez, I can simplify my life, cut out so many of the distractions, and focus on what is truly important. When in Juarez, I feel that I can do something that is good. When in Juarez, a city widely considered to be one of the most dangerous in the world, I feel at peace and safe in the lap of God. Over the past few years, God has blessed me through a different vehicle, as well: rock climbing. Through climbing, God has given me many of my closest friends, fondest memories, and taught me many lessons that I can apply to other aspects of my life; climbing has provided me with a unique and meaningful way for me to get to experience God over the past few years. When I learned that I would not be able to make a trip to Juarez this summer due to the worsening situation down there, it broke my heart. However, I quickly determined that I still wanted to somehow help out in Juarez, even if I couldn't physically be there, and began to try to think of ways that I could do so. I kept coming back to the idea of somehow using climbing to help in Juarez, and one day, it finally clicked for me - I could use the "24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell" endurance rock climbing event to raise awareness for Proyecto Abrigo and raise money to build a house in Juarez. So, my goal for "Horseshoe Hell" is to climb for all 24 hours, and in doing so, get people to make donations for Proyecto Abrigo in hopes of raising enough money to at least build one house in Juarez ($3,500). In my opinion, the people of Juarez are really in a pretty bad situation down there, and can use (and need) any help that they can get; by climbing for 24 hours in this event, I hope that people will consider donating to a cause that I believe absolutely could not be any more worthy. -Austin Piper

 

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 Austin will be climbing with Libby Nye.  Below is her testimony.

Some of my most powerful experiences with the Lord have been through working with my hands to help others.  Many times I have gone with the intention to help someone else, only to find that I probably received more of a gift than those I was trying to help.  Although I have never seen the conditions in Juarez, Mexico, I know that the people are the same as places I have been. They have the same needs as us, and they also want to love and be loved.  Helping the people around us is what loving through Christ means, and it’s easy to lose awareness of the hurting.

This is why I want to use my hands in a different way.  Instead of construction, I want to rock climb to help spread God’s love.  Rock climbing is one of my greatest joys and it’s where I can experience God.  I am able to be in many quiet places, with awe inspiring surroundings and I am so lucky.  Recently, I was able to work for a faith based outdoor organization called Summit Adventure, based in Bass Lake California.  We lead backpacks, we rock climb, and we talk about Jesus.  I was able to introduce, or further peoples’ love for the outdoors and share with them God’s presence in the quiet places. 

This competition is a very easy thing for me to do.  I get to do something I love, to help others.  I hope that I can, be an enabler for the families of Juarez to do more of what they enjoy to spread God’s love.  -Libby Nye

 

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