Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Project 365 - Catch up!

Hello Friends,

Maybe some of you were wondering where I had gone to :)

Well, myself and 29 others, including our 3 children left from Canada on July 20 to head to Mexico City to take our High-Schoolers and Leaders on our bi-annual missions trip.  This is the 4th time the team has headed to a Church in Mexico City that we've partnered with.  This time we did a Vacation Bible School for the kids in the community surrounding the Church and then did construction at the Church as well.  It was a very full and rich trip!  We just returned very early Sunday morning.

Once again it was a profound experience for all of us.  I saw God at work in my students, leaders, in my children, and in the lives of the Mexican people we treasure so much.  I feel very blessed that our Church continues to support us to go.  Words won't be able to truly convey the depth of the time there.  So, out of my hundreds of pictures, I thought I'd pick the top ones to show you, and that should catch us up on the last weeks of 365.

All my pics are on my husband's computer and I don't have my watermark here on this one, so I'd ask that you respectfully NOT copy any of the pics please.

In random order....almost all of these pictures are mine, but a couple are one of my leaders' photos - she's a photo-journalist and has a fantastic camera.  I'll try to note hers. :)  These are pretty much un-edited too - no cropping, color correcting or enhancing etc.  I'm very much in catch-up mode so no time for extra pretties :).

This is our team the night before we left with family members.  

This is the Pastor we go to work with.  He and his family are amazing and very special to us.  They demonstrate a true and rare love to us, so sacrificial and self-less.

A gorgeous and massive rose bush in the Church compound.  Taller than I am!

Some of the cactuses that grow there.  The large stone mound to the top left is Teotihuacan  - the Aztec pyramids.  More on those later.  

This is the Church we serve.  

The front sign on the gate was so faded from the sun that you couldn't read it anymore, so I freehand painted them a new sign.  I ran out of time and couldn't add the leaves that the sign needed around the flowers....so next time, God willing I make them a new one.  

First day (probably) and our youngest scraped his knee and feet pretty good on the concrete, one of our students has a lot of medical first aid training so he was doctoring him up :)  Our son plays hard :)

This is one of our favourite places to take the team, a place called Xochimilco - a network of canals that you go on pushed by a driver with a 12 foot stick that directs/pushes the boat.  There's mariachi bands to serenade you, and markets to see.  Very fun. 

This is the team at the pyramids, we've climbed the pyramid of the sun (246 very tall, uneven steps), and are at the top, looking toward the pyramid of the moon.  

My very favourite flower in Mexico City - Bougainvillea.  The trees grow to 2 stories high, covered in blossoms of deep purple, red, orange, etc.  Stunning!

A trip down-tow after the pyramids.  Talk about amazing architecture, some from the 1700 - 1800's, I felt like we were in an old world European city.  This is the fine arts center.  

Our daughter with one of the little girls from VBS.  

Crafts :)

One of my leaders comforting a little girl in the courtyard one day.  Very precious

VBS!  With our team leading songs.  Here you can see what the Sanctuary looked like before we re-painted.

And this is what the Church looked like AFTER we painted :)  They asked me to pick the color, and since Mexican people love rich color, and their nature is SO warm and loving, I chose this sunny yellow.  Some of you might wonder what Hechos 29 means.  Hechos refers to the book of Acts in the Bible, as Acts ends at chapter 28, this Church seeks to be continuing on the work of Jesus in the next chapter.  I love it.  It had originally been in the Church, then was painted over, and this trip we added it back.  

While we were there, our youngest took a huge spill, slipping on an air mattress into a wood bed-frame, knocking out his permanent front tooth, cutting the inside of his lip deeply and the outside of his chin and lip.  We had to see an emergency dentist there in Mexico, who also turned out to be a Pastor (most Pastors are "tent-makers" with more than one job, as Pastors are often not paid).  All that happened there with our son is a remarkable story of God's healing.  Ask me about it if you'd like -  it's pretty amazing.  

Skipping.  My team and the Mexican kids loved to do this. 

Thought I'd should have at least one in here of me.  This was taken by my photo-journalist friend.  

We had the kids made bracelets one day.  One of the precious boys that we came to love very much decided he wanted one of our students to have a bracelet too.  

This is my leadership team.  In the very front is our Senior Pastor and my friend - his wife.  They came along with us this trip and I was so blessed they could share the depth of this experience with us.  

This is a mural that I helped with.  The Pastor asked us to put it together on one of the 2nd story walls.  As the Church is called Monte Sion (Mount Zion) he wanted mountains and a verse he had chosen from.   One of my leaders is an artist so she worked on the mural and I mixed her paint colors, and then I freehanded the verse from 1 Peter 2:6 "See I lay a stone in Zion (Sion), a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame. "    

(pretty awesome to do something like that :) 

And one of our good friends we work with each time.  See the little lizard on his shoulder?  

So that gives you a small taste of the beauty of my last two weeks!  Good to be back with you too....


LeAnne said...

Christine, this looks like an awesome missions trip....except for your youngest, who seems to be accident-prone! Glad you were able to participate and got home safe & sound. Praise the Lord!

Linda Carson said...

What a blessing to not only serve the Lord on a mission trip but to take your children to experience it also!

Conniecrafter said...

Looks like the team managed to get a lot done and see some sites too! Sorry to hear your youngest had a few spills, ouch!

Jill Norwood said...

This is such a beautiful post full of love and giving! What a beautiful experience you all shared! Thanks for sharing it here too! :)

Earline said...

Wow how neat.

Earline said...

Wow how neat what a blessing you guys are, in doing what you do.