Long day equals long blog. If you get bored just skim for the funny stories and read the last paragraph about what I learned.
Our day started early for many on the team. Montezuma's revenge hit all but three or four team members in the wee hours of the morning. They were passing around immodium like after dinner mints. Needless to say we got a later start than usual. However, I will say that God is good. Only two of the team members struggled with their sickness in Mexico. And they pushed hard and worked through it all. Had a kid throwing up but he still did a lot of work.
Speaking of kids. All the kids with us worked sooooo hard. No whining, just lots of sweat and hard work and sunburn. Last night while we were handing out supplies I put one of the teens in charge of my group. I helped him brainstorm ideas for how he wanted to organize the task, but he did it and recruited his own volunteers and did a better job than i could have. It was beautiful to see him discover that at 13 he could organize a huge task and accomplish it. My kids made me proud. They worked like crazy!!!!! Grace and I cleaned bathrooms this morning. She volunteered to do toilets. Remember the issues the team was having.... She picked the least desirable task so that others would not have to do it. Love that attitude!!!!
We went to a different settlement in the morning called La Capilla It was a very clean, well kept village. The houses were spread out. We walked lots of miles inviting the children to come for vbs. (glad I been working out.... Helped lots with my stamina level).
This was the only vbs we did in a church building. There was even a piano. Not a Steinway, but I was glad to see it anyway!!!! We had about forty kids show up in that little village and also nearly twenty adults. I worked with preK. I did not know what to do since we did not bring any curriculum. They had been just coloring but I wanted them to learn about jesus. So I decided to do a story about Jesus asleep in the boat during the storm. I sketched out some pics of the story and found a translator. Worked great to talk about fishing and storms in a fishing village. Regret that i didn't think about it until the last day. I heard that there were four decisions for Christ among the big kids.
We stopped off at a mission church where we were at Christmas to visit the pastor. He wasn't there. Our missionary showed us some construction work that needs to be done there. He also told us that pastor Keen was probably across the border in Texas sitting at the HEB store in the air conditioning. Not sure if it was a joke or not. I did pick ip pastor Keen's guitar and strum around a bit. "it had strangs and everythang," to quote pastor Keen at christmas.
We went to the market next. It was an interesting contrast to visit the market in Las Higuerillas after years of going to the one in Juarez. Like the difference between goodwill and Macy's.
We ate supper with Leslie's family again. This time it was grilled chicken, beans, rice, and tortillas. Leslie's mom was so upset that we had been sick. Missinary boy Aaron is such a man. Can't believe he would tell her that we had been sick!!!! It was nice to relax for a few minutes before heading back out again.
We went around inviting people to the movie. One of our Spanish speakers kept giggling everytime Shawn would say "you are all invited to come....". It would seem that when he said todos it sounded like torro. "All the bulls are invited to come...". Way funny!!!!
We had about two hundred people show up for the movie. We fed them all hot dogs and nachos. After the movie we handed out baby kits and school supplies. We had enough to give everyone double supplies and still had tons left over that Leslie is taking to her church to hand out to more needy famies. I was working on sorting supplies all night. We had everything pre sorted but I kept finding more boxes of toys and supplies and new testaments that had somehow gotten overlooked. One of the local pastors gave the invitation. Two adult men accepted christ and we do not know for sure about the children because when one comes forward lots come forward to pray to receive Christ. Some of those are probably very heartfelt and genuine and some are probably just going forward with their friends. But any step toward God is a great thing.
We cleaned up about midnight and headed back. We unloaded Missionary boy Aaron's truck at Leslie's house. The truck bed was filled to overflowing with leftover school supplies. It took a long time to get back across the border. We pulled back into the dorm at about three in the morning. Got up for breakfast at six and now heading home.
This may have been my favorite mission trip ever. I loved going to a variety of locations , and I loved working with the missionaries Dewayne and Aaron. Two lessons I am bringing home: 1. I need to strategically plan a variety of mission opportunities back home. Ministering to those in desperate need should not be a rare event. 2. I need to learn the language. Whatever people group we decide to focus on long term, I want to be able to communicate without a translator. We had lots of salvations this week. I have lost count of how many. But how many more people could we reach if we could speak the language? I am excited about coming home with renewed focus and being refueled and reenergized and ready for more ministry!
Thanks for all your prayers. It made such a huge difference! To those of you who came with me... It was an adventure of a lifetime.... Thanks for the journey!!!