Have you ever wanted to go on a Missions Trip but didn't feel you had a talent to share? Or maybe wondered what you would do with your children while you were out of country? So have I. We have been so blessed to find this opportunity for the second time to go on a short, family-oriented trip just across the border from Yuma, Arizona in Mexico. Can you cook? Can you put up sheetrock? Are you able to sand or paint? Can you scrape paint? How about shovel out weeds or sweep a floor? All of these became ministry opportunities for someone or another on our team. Mostly what is needed are willing hands and a willing heart. Granted we did not take Caleb and Steven partially because they still have Ukrainian passports and I was uncertain how that would be at the border; secondly because they require quite a bit of supervision to keep them safe--especially with all the power tools around.
This year our team was pretty small: Pastor Tellez, his wife and their 3 teenage kids from a nearby church; Kevin and I and our 4 older kids; and "Grandpa"-an older gentleman from Pastor Tellez' congregation who has been on 20-some missions trips over the years, has lots of construction skills and is just in love with Jesus and people. We didn't get everything done that we had hoped but I hope that we were still a blessing. And I so enjoyed getting better acquainted with the other team members.
As last year we spent the first night at Boulder Station in Las Vegas. That is a long, long drive across miles and miles (did I mention MILES) of desert and sagebrush and lava and some pretty unique plantlife-- kind of like a flight across the ocean but without the anticipation of a new child at the end. :) I think it was around 11:30 pm when we finally pulled in. And our kids still wanted to go swimming. Unfortunately, the only pool was in the chilly outdoors with tree debris sunk on the bottom.
Our first meal in Mexico on Monday evening. It was yummy.
At the church in Morales. One of the projects we'd hoped to complete was to better support this power pole and power line but we ran out of time.
Here's the inside of the church. The drums and guitars got lots of exercise from the kids on this trip. At many, many hours of the day (or night) you could hear someone banging or strumming.
Here are my two weed/grass diggers, T above and J below. As you can see the surrounding area was very dry and dusty so whenever I couldn't figure out what to do, I would just sweep.
Here was my first main assignment--to scrape paint and stain and smeared silicone--off the inside and outside of this cube-shaped glass and the pie-shaped glass arcs on the two front doors. Believe it or not that seemingly simple task took me about 8 hours but wow! the glass sure looked shinier and the whole entrance more welcoming. Yep, scraping paint for Jesus! Actually I'd hoped to get the entire cross above this scraped as well but could only safely reach about the bottom 3 cubes. Bummer.
Kevin's main task was to install Sheetrock over the walls/ceiling of two cinder block rooms in the parsonage then to mud and tape the seams. (Another of his tasks was to install a new toilet) Some of the kids and I got in on sanding in this second room to prepare for painting that a brother from Mexico was going to complete after we had to leave.
In this first room the kids and I actually did the priming of the walls and ceiling and then Pastor Tellez and others did the painting.
Here's our team along with the pastor (the tiny little lady next to S.) and people of the congregation. La Pastora (as I liked to refer to her to myself) is such a precious woman of God and the mother of the Pastor Tellez who led our group.
Our son, B, is on the left in the green shorts; the other 5 of us are on the right. Pastor Tellez was taking the picture.