Amigos Days History
At the beginning of 1998 a group of people from San Juan Fellowship and several other churches in the Dallas Northeast District began asking, "How can we work together so that San Juan Fellowship can have a bigger impact in the lives of people in their neighborhood?" That small gathering of friends was the genesis of Amigos Days. By June of that year, we teamed up with People Helping People, a division of the Department of Housing of the City of Dallas, and members of 10 churches began repairing homes in East Dallas.
After three days we had a huge Fiesta, celebrating with the neighbors living around San Juan Fellowship the wonderful way that the Spirit of God was moving through their community.
Word began to spread that something vital was going on in East Dallas. By the next April, 1999, we had 20 United Methodist churches from all three Dallas districts working together in the neighborhoods near San Juan Fellowship and Munger Place UMC. We were making new friends and making a visible difference in the community. And, of course, we had to celebrate....
By March of 2000 enthusiasm for Amigos Days expanded into three more Dallas neighborhoods when 28 churches joined together with members of Warren UMC, Brandon Ave. UMC, and Oak Cliff UMC to repair homes and touch lives.
The scope of the vision also expanded to include doing some renovation work on the second floor of the Warren Church Building and the Educational Building at Brandon Ave. Momentum for Amigos Days continued to build in 2001 as eight urban churches (Brandon Ave. UMC, Elmwood UMC, Munger Place UMC, Oak Cliff UMC, San Juan Fellowship, Tyler St. UMC, Urban Park Mission, and Warren UMC) rose to the challenge of getting more directly involved in their neighborhoods. More than 1,000 Amigos from 44 United Methodist Churches restored homes, renovated churches, and forged new relationships among people from many cultural and economic backgrounds.
Through all this expansion of Amigos Days, we have not traveled far from our original desire to become friends working together to make a difference for Christ in the city. In the words of Rev. Javier Escalera, pastor of San Juan Fellowship and Conference Coordinator of Hispanic Ministries, we are "Amigos unidos en amor y acción." (Friends united in faith and action.)
Our prayer continues to be that our God, who fashions us into one people in Christ Jesus, will join our hearts together in love and in service.