It normally costs a group of Boone Open Bible Church volunteers $6,000 to travel down to Tijuana to build a house for one grateful family. And when the church decided to begin fundraising lunches in order to raise money, Susan Freeman jumped at the chance to be in charge, drawing upon her work experience as a dietician.
She and her crew took a few months off during the holidays, but the next lunch will be held on Jan. 26 and will begin a little before noon, following the Sunday service. The church asks that diners make a freewill donation, and Freeman says they encourage people to spend what they would if they were to dine at a restaurant.
And with food that’s up to snuff with restaurant-style cooking, it only seems warranted.
For this month’s lunch, Freeman says they’re planning on serving creamy soup in homemade bread bowls. They haven’t yet decided on the accompanying dishes, but the popular homemade malt bar will be back, and Freeman says dessert usually will include apple crisp, cookies or a variety of baked goods. In the past, they’ve cooked Mexican fajitas, pulled pork sandwiches, and have had bottomless salad bars.
“I usually cook for about 100 people,” Freeman says.
Boone Open Bible built its first house in Tijuana in October 2010, and a group of volunteers — typically ranging between 18 and 32 of them — will travel back to Tijuana for its sixth trip on May 31. The volunteers will construct a two-story, 16-by-20-square-foot home in three days, then spend the remainder of their seven-day trip doing a variety of missionary work for the poor.
“It’s amazing. You’re able to see that not everyone lives like we do in America,” Freeman says. “Even though they don’t have the things that we think are important, they’re perfectly happy without them. In fact, some of them are happier than we are. Money is not what’s important down there. They’re very much all about family.”
Each lunch usually raises $300 or $400, which a large chunk of the percentage of funds going toward the trip.
“They’re an integral part of this mission,” Freeman says.
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