Casa Jana

SARAH VANDIVER (left) and her sister, Rebecca, prepare food during the College & Career Group Imperial Valley’s Ensenada hot dog fundraiser at First Christian Church in El Centro. Proceeds will help missionaries Peter and Tami Yee offer rehabilitated individuals work skills through the Casa Jana program.

EL CENTRO — College & Career Group Imperial Valley served hot dogs, potato chips, water, soda, and watermelon in the gymnasium of First Christian Church in El Centro Saturday, July 27. Members representing churches in Imperial Valley welcomed and served donors and supporters. 

Featured in the gymnasium were games for both young adults and children: basketball, spike ball, and inflatable bouncers. 

“We are raising money to donate to the Yee family to support them to take the gospel to drug and alcohol rehabilitation homes,” said Alejandro “Alex” Salazar, C&C coordinator for the Ensenada fundraising. 

According to Salazar, missionaries Peter and Tami Yee have been reaching out to rehabilitation homes in Ensenada, Baja California, for the past several years. Many of those released from rehabilitation homes don’t have families to go back to, nor friends to receive them. As a result, they return to their old ways of drinking and crime. 

“What the Yees want to do is stop that process,” Salazar said. They want to create an acclimation program, a transition training to build work skills before those released go back to their community. The Yees desire to hire them to work for a restaurant they are planning to build. 

After the training, individuals will have learned practical skills working in a restaurant such as cooking, cleaning, serving, and waiting tables. “They would be set up for success,” according to Salazar. 

The name of the program, called Fundación Casa Jana (Casa Jana Foundation) which means House of Hope, has not yet been built. 

According to Salazar, about 20 young adults and two representatives from “Strength and Dignity Life” ministry will visit the Yees in Ensenada from August 2–5. The women will visit women’s rehabilitation homes and the men, the men’s homes. 

Furthermore, the Yees have a congregation that meets in their garage. C&C Group’s young adults will help with repairs, painting, cleaning and reorganizing of the garage that can accommodate up to 60 individuals. 

Rebecca Vandiver is one of the young adults who will be going to Ensenada. This would be her first visit. 

“I don’t have any expectations but I hope to be able to learn to serve others in the same faith,” said Vandiver, referring to her Christian upbringing.

According to Vandiver, she is experienced in painting. She smiled as she talked about the time she painted her room. “It took me days to complete. It could have been better.” With this experience, Vandiver hopes to fulfill her part painting the garage at the Yee family residence. 

Her elder sister, Sarah Vandiver, who visited Ensenada two years ago, will not be able to join her next month. Sarah and her group had visited the women’s home. She also helped with painting and construction work. 

“It is great to see my younger sister, Rebecca, follow the Lord Jesus Christ and allow[ing] him to lead her path,” Sarah said. 

According to Salazar, the weekend trip essentially will give the Yee missionaries a break, as the C&C Group Imperial Valley young adults reach out to rehabilitation homes and prepare a worship service. 

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