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August 2012

In August Scott traveled to Cuidad Juarez to meet individually with the students currently enrolled in JCEP. Read his to get updates and new photos for each student. We now have 5 students in college and 3 in high school. Our two recent college graduates are doing community service in their chosen fields as they apply for their licenses. We had a great BBQ with Susy our amazing shepherd and librarian and all the students.

Read more about this visit on Scott's blog at:

January 2012

In January 2012, Joni and Scott took the team back to Juarez. the team built a house for a deserving family, fed several hundred kids at one of our libraries and interact with our JCEP sponsored children.

The JCEP kids joined us for the construction of the house and we celebrated the accomplishments of our two JCEP stars Anahi and Blanca who both recently completed their three year college associate program.

Our medical team treated many people. This included an doctor, eye doctor and a nurse.


Read more on Scott's blog at:


January 2010

Joni, Scott, their families and 33 intrepid individuals just finished another great Mission trip to Juarez.. The thirteen students you help sponsor and support through JCEP were right there with us helping to build houses for two deserving families. The students continue to flourish in school and become contributing members of their community. We now have three kids in college, eight in high school and two in middle school. Get the full update on the kids on Scott’s blog.

JCEP students tilting wall with Scott and Brian

Karla, Anahi and Blanca

The two houses rose from their slabs to become homes for families desperately in need. Our team fed the needy in a women's shelter and at a local church. We got to interact with local kids doing crafts and playing games. Stacy Ishigaki, our English teacher during the 2008 immersion program, got to come along and see Anahi and Blanca. Our medical team treated dozens of families with eye problems, ob/gyn concerns and general medical needs.

Doing crafts at the local church - Stacy with JCEP students and Susy

Hannah and Adam get chummy with Chago

Students and Construction Team

Blue House Construction Team

Read updates on the students and the full trip report on Scott’s blog at


January 2009

Joni and I traveled to Juarez with her family, my daughter Sara and a team of 43 people, including six medical professionals for our annual January trip. We built three houses for families in Kilometer 30, south of Cuidad Juarez. One house was built next to our library built last year. Caretakers will live in the house and watch over the library.

We had the grand opening for the library. This included shelving books from an anonymous donor and those contributed by Fiesta Gardens School. These were added to books contributed by Menlo School the year before. We also installed computers and librarian desks. In addition, the tile and carpet were recently completed in the library. Also, the play structure outside the library was completed while we were there. The library will be open immediately for students to study after school.

Librarian Susie cuts the ribbon to open the Library.

Blanca and Anahi get their new Laptops courtesy of Judy Hobbs and her family.

The 12 students that we sponsor joined us. They helped build the house next to the library. They also participated in the grand opening. Joni presented our 5 newest students with cross necklaces. We also presented blankets raised by Menlo School to Missions Ministries for distribution to the poor and clothes from many contributors.

Eleven of our Twelve Sponsored kids pose in front of the library.

The medical team treated over 100 patients. Including 3 pregnant ladies who received ultra-sounds. Many folks visited the New David L. Seabolt eye clinic, founded and staffed on our trip by Beth Seabolt and her assistant Julie Burlew.

See the complete trip diary and more photos on Scott's Blog at


October 23, 2008

Last year, a local Nor Cal family bought their children a play set for their yard. In order to set a good example for their children, they decided to donate money to JCEP to provide a playset for the children of the colonia outside Jaurez.

On October 23 the first of two sets was dedicated at the kindergarten we built in 2007. The set is three structures. A jungle gym-slide shaped like a bat, a teeter-totter and a swing set. A local craftsmen made them out of pipe. He welded them together and set them in concrete at the site. Jeff Piner, the local Missions Ministries head of operations, said the set will probably be working long after we are gone.

In January we will have a duplicate set installed at the library we built in Kilometer 30 in January 2008. God bless the donors and their family.

Summer 2008
Anahi and Blanca come to California for a homestay and English classes!

4th of July Blanca and Anahi

One of the greatest achievements yet for JCEP occurred in July. From June 30 to July 28, two of our star sponsored students visited the U.S. Anahi and Blanca had just graduated from High School in June. We brought them to the U.S. to visit their sponsors, see California and most of all, to get immersion in English. They also attended classes in the morning for 3 hours each day.

We gave the girls the weekends off and they had their fill of seeing the sites. The beach had been high on their agenda, having never been to the U.S. Their host families were Judy, Woody and Brooke Hobbs and Donna and Craig Largent. Joni's family, my family and the two host families took turns taking them on weekends.

During the month the girls visited the beach three times at Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay and Monterey. They visited the Golden Gate Bridge, Museums and Alcatraz. They saw redwoods and visited Yosemite. They went to the symphony and played miniature golf. They discovered the taste sensation of In-N-Out burger.

When the girls finally returned to Mexico, the girls had mastered basic English and were able to converse pretty well. They also gave great presentations in English to all of us at their English class graduation.

We want to thank all the JCEP sponsors, contributors and especially the host families, teachers and many friends who met and interacted with the girls during their trip. Their lives have been changed. They will begin college classes this fall in Cuidad Juarez.

To get the full story and more photos, visit Scott's blog at

With Donna and Craig Largent before the Symphony

With Judy Hobbs in Monterey

Helper Kelsey, Teacher Stacy, Scott, Anahi, Blanca, Joni at graduation.

Golden Gate BridgeGlacier Point Yosemite



Juarez Mexico – January 20-23 , 2008

January 20-23 Joni and I traveled with a team 54 friends, family and Menlo Park Presbyterian Church members to Juarez. This was more than our usual trip to build a house. In addition to building a house for a deserving family in the Colonias, we were to construct a new library with funds we raised through the Juarez Children’s Education Program (JCEP) at our fundraiser last May. A medical team also made the trip with two doctors, a nurse and an eye-doctor, the first ever at the Juarez clinic.

The library was to be built in Kilometer 30 (K30), one of the poorest of the poor neighborhoods outside of Juarez. Unless they are lucky enough to have a house built by our partners Missions Ministries or on of several other groups serving the areas, families live in shacks made of cardboard, pallets, and blocks or just about anything they can scrounge. The area is only partially served with electricity. There is no sewer system or running water. Families have an outhouse and get their water from the trucks that make regular rounds, filling their 50-gallon drums with water.

Recently a primary school serving grades one through six was built in K30. Additionally, we had built kindergartens last October. Now that the kids in the neighborhood have a school, we decided a library for after school activities would be a huge boost. Our partners at Mission Ministries (MM) have run a similar library for a few years. See previous blog at (

MM recently was granted the land for this library on a plot next to the primary school. They have also recently erected a medical clinic there. When we arrived, they had poured the slab for a 48x24 library with three rooms including a computer room, a classroom and reading and study room.

After a good night’s sleep, we woke up to a sunny day. After breakfast and devotions, the building crews set out to the site at 8 am. The medical team stayed behind at the team center clinic. Seventeen of the team members split off to build the house and the rest of us began the process of building the library. We were happy to be joined by seven of our JCEP sponsored children and Susie Pinada, the MM librarian and shepherd for our JCEP kids.

Day one was one of the longest we have experienced. We erected the walls, put in the windows, insulated, put on the roof, which was tarred and papered and trimmed out the structure. The kids on the crew loved doing the roof work. Those of us blessed with height got to hang insulation on the ceiling. The house team finished before us and many of them came over to help us get things done. Special thanks to Beth Kawasaki and Chris Henshaw for pulling double-duty on the house and the library hanging insulation. My shoulders couldn’t have done it without them. With just a short break for lunch, we finished around 5:30.

The short bus trip back to the team center ended with a great meal thanks to Carlos and the staff. An exhausted team showered up and reconvened later for a slide show by Jeff Piner, the resident American leader at the team center. Jeff regaled us with stories of sadness and hope - stories of people traveling to Juarez and how they have helped the local people. One particular story involved a young girl with a clubfoot. She was cured with surgery paid for by a teenager from MPPC, who raised the money after hearing the story and returning home.

Up again early the next morning, the team split up again to their various tasks. This day required us to finish the dry wall and taping inside the structure and to paint and caulk the outside. Our large team was able to complete all but the taping before lunchtime. Amazing work!

We then all convened over at the house for the key ceremony. The family of six, was given the keys to a beautiful new 12x36, three-room structure. The family had worked side-by-side with our team the entire time. Many tears of joy from out team and the family testified to the community created in two days.

After lunch the build team split again. About fifteen of us returned to the library to complete work. The rest headed off to a local women’s shelter to prepare meals and do crafts for approximately 40 women and children. The women’s shelter was founded by a local woman, abused since age six who later escaped the specter of prostitution by running away and making a life for herself. She raised the money to lease a building and with no salary, now takes in abused women and their children. Often they run low on food and have little support. Jeff Piner has adopted their cause and we help any way we can. We left behind large quantities of extra food and diapers for the families.

In the late afternoon, we had finally finished the library. We had a sunset dedication, handing over the keys to Susie. One of my favorite moments of the trip was when Annaliese Yukawa and Virginia Girard, seventh graders from Menlo School, presented Susie with 160 Spanish language books for the school. The girls had raised these books in a book drive. Following the handing over of the keys, we all laid hands on Susie and prayed that the library would be used to give community and opportunity for the children of K30, and maybe do something to help break the cycle of poverty there.

In the evening we had attended a rousing church service at the church of Pastor Francisco who had sponsored the family who go the house. Judy Hobbs led us in songs and spoke to the church of our great privilege to be there.

I sit on the plane home as I write this and can’t thank everyone who helped, but sure would like to. I particularly want to thank everyone who gave the money, more than $15,000, to JCEP to pay for the construction. Also, our team was great, paying out of their own pockets to travel to Juarez to build. All the kids, with their spirit of happily giving in service to others. Kari Hansen and her son Caleb who had a blanket drive at their school that garnered 100 blankets. Susan Siegel for translating at the clinic, food outreach, morning testimonial and for arranging transportation to the airport when the New Mexico police impounded our bus. Kenny Ludwig, my friend and Zen-like roommate for keeping a positive and flexible attitude of love at all times. Joni Cropper, my partner and leader of our trip, and her fantastic family who all made huge contributions to the trip. And all of you reading this who continue to support our efforts in Juarez.

A lot of things happened on this trip that I didn’t get to see or know. I thank everyone who came and blessed us with their love, sweat and dedication. But most of all I thank God, without whom none of this would be possible.

May God Bless You All


November 2006 - JCEP funds van to provide transportation for kids!
Click here for more info and to see photo
October 4-7, 2006 Building the Biblioteca
Click here for more info and great pics of the new addition to the children's library!
FALL 2007 - Big Ride 2007 & October Juarez Trip
Click here for pictures and more info





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