Monday, August 2, 2010

Hola!

Buenos Dias Stamping Friends!

I thought I'd give you a little update on life for us the past several weeks!

We have returned from our Mission Trip to Mexico City, and we're slowly recovering and getting back to life here.  We have done so many loads of laundry, oh my goodness.  Five people, away for 14 days in rainy season in Mexico City leaves a lot of laundry when you return.

This was us the night before we left at our youth ministry building called The Lighthouse, with our students and their families at the packing party.  


Just off the plane in Mexico City after a very long day of travel. 


We've come back changed, it was an amazing and life changing time for us, for our students and leaders and for us as a family.  My husband has taken our HS students twice before to this location, but this was the first time that we as a family went along.  I feel so blessed that we did.  As much as it was really difficult at times and far more stretching than I imagined, it was also so rewarding, and so much more was given to me by the Mexican people than I think I gave.  I've never known people with such genuine and simple love or with such generosity out of what little they have.  I saw the love of God through them in so many powerful ways.


Our team worked with a Pastor and family and the two churches he pastors in Mexico.  First, we did a Vacation Bible School in a town outside of Mexico City called Hiuxquilucan.  It's in the hills and mountains outside of Mexico City, its such a beautiful area.  Totally green, full of vegetation.  And chickens, and roosters, and sheep and cattle, all right beside you!





We loved working with the little church there and leading VBS (this one was Avalanche Ranch by Group in Spanish).  I have such a love for Mexican children.  Oh they are precious!  And so rich in giving love.   And though we had a number of people on our team that could speak Spanish, and a number of Nationals that translated for us, we also learned to communicate without language, or to work at understanding each other or teaching each other.   We laughed, we sang, we told stories, we played games, we did crafts, we did puppets, and plays, we learned and played Mexican hand clapping games.



Our middle son was extremely popular with the young Mexican girls!  







This is our daughter and I watching our team and the Nationals playing soccer in the street (she's leaning on me with the braids in her hair) and our Assistant leader Dave.  He's such a gift to us!


Then we returned to the Pastor's Family's home in Mexico City (there were about 27 of us squeezed side by side in their home), and we did construction at the church there.  This involved a lot of things, but primarily adding a cement roof to a part of an addition they are putting on the back of the church.  This meant hauling and hoisting thousands of pounds of rebar, cement, sand, rock and water up to the roof and bucket by bucket laying that cement to form a roof.  It was a huge undertaking and I know it was harder work than most of my high-school students had ever done.




(Can you tell my husband loved this part of the job?  It was the pulley-system they rigged to get materials up to the roof)








(The finished roof)


Our team and the Nationals, the day we finished the roof.  We're filthy to say the least :)  In the bottom row center is the Pastor, Jaime.  Oh we love him!   Two of his sons on either side of him, one just to the right up a row in the black t-shirt and his wife Sara with her arm around her son).  This is inside the little church Sanctuary.



One of our hopes was to provide encouragement to the people there, and I know we did that.  And equally as much they encouraged us and will have a permanent place in our hearts forever.   I saw God at work in Mexico City, and I experienced God at work in me.  And we experienced how the love of Jesus can unite people across cultures, economic situations, and languages.   It was incredibly rich.

We did some really fun things too, including a trip to the Pyramids called Teotihuacan (a Unesco World Heritage site), went to a Mexican birthday party, ate at my husband's favourite place in the world to eat - a little Taco restaurant in Mexico City (really they were the best taco's I've ever eaten.  My husband ordered 12 Tacos el Pastor :) His excuse was he only gets them every two years!).


I love this picture below, it's on top of the Pyramid of the Sun looking at the Pyramid of the Moon.  You get a 360 degree view of Mexico City up here.  I'm the one in the bottom/middle with braids and a pink hat.  I had a total of 4 showers while we were gone, to conserve water for our hosts.  Didn't wear make-up much of the time, and learned that it really didn't matter.   




Our team experienced a closeness and some amazing shared experienced that have drawn us together in a way that only being together 24/7 for 13 days, doing what God wants you to do - can.  I have so many treasured memories, conversations, and times spent on this trip.  I feel very grateful that God told me to go.  And incredibly grateful that my children experienced it too.

So, there you have a little snapshot of the trip from me.  I'll be back to creating in the next day or two.   Thanks for your thoughts and prayers these past few weeks and for dropping by today!

9 comments:

Marisa said...

What a wonderful summary of a great trip! Loved reading about it on the blog. Your hubby is too cute with the taco feast :D Enjoy settling back into your routine. Look forward to your creations.

Susan (rainy) said...

Welcome back, Christine. It looks like in every way the trip was a success.. that both spiritual and physical needs were fed. (Yes, I'm referring to those tacos! hehe) TFS you story with us.

Lori Craig said...

Beautiful post in every way...Thanks for sharing. I know you were used in a mighty way on this trip. Hugs!

Tracy said...

Awesome! Sounds like a fantastic time and what a blessing to be able to experience it as a family. Priceless! Your hubby cracked me up with the taco's, lol. I am sure you blondies were quite the attention getters, hope your son handled all those girls okay!

Jerri Jimenez said...

Christine, what wonderful, wonderful pictures! Thank you so much for sharing them, as well as your time in Mexico. I loved reading about it all! I'm so happy you're back home feeling rewarded and blessed, what an awesome experience! (P.S. I never wear make up unless we're going to church or somewhere fancy . . . LOL!)

Louise Fox said...

Christine, Bravo for digging deep and going with God! There is no limit to what we can do with God. You are an inspiration to me and many others. Now get crafting!(LOL) Blessings, Louise

Anonymous said...

My only question to you is what is being done to help the people in our country that needs the help bad???????We don't have to go across the border we have plenty of people in the US that need our help.

Susie said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful experiences with us Christine. Isn't it amazing how God works to put us where He needs us...to do his work? And as a result, all are richly blessed!

Anonymous said...

So glad that you had a good trip! God truly provides just what we need when we need it.
We just returned from two weeks of holidays. I'm home for a week and then heading to Rocky Mountain House for two weeks with family friends.
Looking forward to your creations with the new release.
Beth Greco