In a special program called "A Festival of Sharing," members of the Tijuana Mexico and Carlsbad California stakes raised almost $21,000 toward construction of new meetinghouses in the Tijuana area.
At the recent evening of entertainment in the Carlsbad stake center, attended by more than 500 members and non-members from the Carlsbad area, the 74 Tijuana members presented songs and dances. They also prepared food of Mexico, purchased by the Carlsbad members.The Tijuana members also decorated the cultural hall with streamers and banners, and pinatas.
As the members from the two areas mingled, new friendships developed, Carlsbad stake leaders said. Children from both areas got along especially well together.
The program was started when Church leaders on both sides of the border saw the need for additional meetinghouses in Tijuana to serve the growing membership. The current economic situation in Mexico makes local fund-raising next to impossible, said leaders.
Pres. Jose de Jesus Gallardo of Tijuana and Pres. Robert L. Anderson of Carlsbad decided to hold an authentic Mexican dinner and entertainment. Rafael Juarez of the Tijuana stake council spoke in several sacrament meetings in Carlsbad, explaining the history and culture of Mexico. He also said that high unemployment, few telephones and fewer cars make it necessary for most members to take three and even four buses to and from Church meetings. Additionally, growing membership is overcrowding the small meetinghouses, he said.
"The Festival of Sharing was an inspiring and gratifying opportunity for members," said Pres. Anderson. "They experienced a spirit of true international friendship, and a Christlike outpouring of giving and sharing."