LOS FRESNOS — Through the gifting of shoes, an international nonprofit organization aims to create doorways of hope and messages of inspiration to those who need it most.
Samaritan’s Feet International, along with members of the Lakewood Church in Houston, made a weekend trip to the Rio Grande Valley this month to provide shoes to those in need and network with local organizations.
The group visited Iglesia Christiana Ebenezer in Los Fresnos and gave shoes to nearly 200 refugees.
“We were able to get them set down in chairs, talk to them a little bit, pray with them and have a little bit of connection time with them,” Samaritans Feet International Volunteer Team Leader Deborah Rotella said. “I think everyone was elated with how it went.”
Before gifting pairs of new socks and shoes to children and adults in need, volunteers conduct the act of foot-washing to inspire hope and encouragement.
The group also visited the Livingway Family Church in Harlingen, Border Perspective in San Juan and the Catholic Charities Respite Center in McAllen.
“It was kind of a visionary trip for both Lakewood and Samaritan’s Feet,” Rotella said. “We’re looking to connect with them for our next trip coming up in January.”
Lisa Moscarelli, a Samaritan’s Feet volunteer, described the group’s November trip to the Valley as being impactful.
“At the end of the day, all that was left in my heart was a deeper love and compassion for these families who have gone through so much to taste freedom and the American dream,” Moscarelli said. “Honestly, my politics and my heart were on a collision course. Only love remains.”
Moscarelli added that through the deeply impactful weekend, she was keenly aware that this is one of the church’s greatest opportunities for revival.
“Working with Samaritan’s Feet was an authentic, life-giving and impactful way to personally be the hands and feet of Jesus,” she said. “It’s easy to be political, but proper to be Christ-like.”