Spring Break – Mexico Mission Trip

Where do I start?  I work for the youth minister at Central Baptist Church.  My job is wonderful and provides me with many opportunities to serve.  One of those opportunities is to go on the mission trip every year.  Last year was my first trip with them and it was fun.  This year, I decided I would take my family with me. 

We left Saturday morning at 9am with the bus, 15 passenger van pulling the long trailer, and 2 rented minivans.  We stopped in San Antonio to eat lunch and the trip had been uneventful to that point.   One minivan was acting a little crazy electronically but we thought it would be ok.  Once we got back on the road, the electronics were acting worse so we decided to send it to the nearest rental center to get a replacement.  The rest of us continued on. 

When we got about 60 miles away from Eagle Pass, TX, the 15 pass called us to report they had a flat duely tire.  We were in the middle of nowhere, basically…… at least there was nowhere to change that tire.  So, we had to drive 40 miles an hour til we got to the Wal-Mart in Eagle Pass.  That was a VERY long stretch!

Once we got to Wal-Mart we decided that we would go eat dinner while the tire was getting changed.  This gave the minivan that had to go back into San Antonio a chance to catch up with us.  The original plan was to cook dinner in Mexico, but it was getting too late.  So, we ate, got the tire changed, and headed south of the border.  We crossed over with no problems and got to the place where we were staying.

Central has a relationship with a church in Piedras Negras and Pastor Reuben.  The church has a Christian school and that is where we stay.  We divide the youth into 4 teams.  Each day a team does VBS at the school (6 times, once in each class), and the other 3 teams do work projects – paint at the church; run electrical wire and put up insulation at the new school building; and help dig trenches, set fence posts, and burn trash at an orphanage in Acuna and do VBS at a school in Acuna.  At night the teams did VBS at 3 different locations.

Todd was the official bus driver and griller.  What an AMAZING help he was!  We could not have made it without him!  His favorite thing was helping at the orphange.  The rules for adoption are very different in Mexico.  Once a child goes to the orphange, they almost never get adopted.  The Mexican government doesn’t let American’s adopt the children.  And, even though the children have been taken from their parents, with their rights being terminated, they still have to sign off on the adoption – which they almost never do.  So, these children live in an orphange or foster care all of their lives.  They basically become a family at the orphange.  Todd liked knowing that we were helping this “family,” making things a little better for these kids. 

B1 was on a team.  He enjoyed the little kids and playing basketball at night.  His favorite thing was helping people and seeing what others have (or don’t have) compared to us.  I heard something about a staple gun war with a ZEAL leader.  Glad I wasn’t there!

B2 hung out with me or Todd.  He enjoyed burning trash, digging trenches, being around Corbin and “John” (Jordan) and walking to the store.  His favorite thing was playing with the kids at the school. 

K hung out with me.  Her favorite thing was going to the church service, the prayer circle, helping with VBS and playing with the kids at the school.  I think she made friends with every girl in our group.  She had no problem joining their group and hanging out with them.

My favorite thing was having my family there with me and watching my kids experience a whole new world.  This was their first mission trip.  I loved having Todd there to help me cook dinner.  We make such a great team!  I enjoyed being around the youth.  Those kids are great and so willing to work hard and play with the kids.  They were awesome!  I also enjoyed spending time with the ZEAL leaders.  They are an amazing group of college students, giving up their spring break to take a bunch of youth on a mission trip.  You guys rock!  And, our fearless leader who was constantly having to come up with plan X, Y, and Z. 

What a great week!  I know God is at work and will grow the seeds that we planted in the hearts of the people in Piedras and Acuna.  Isis had the ULTIMATE experience as she was able to lead 6 people to Christ!  God is SO GOOD!!!

We got home Friday around 4:00 pm.  Needless to say, the trip home only took about 7 1/2 hours compared to the trip there that took about 10 hours! 

Oh, and I have to tell you about crossing the border coming home.  I prayed all week that the border crossing would be easy and it was more than I could’ve imagined.  We pulled up with the bus and they look at Todd’s ID.  The guy wanted to step onto the bus but there wasn’t room for him to get around the open doors in that small space, so we had to pull forward to another space, like where they check your vehicles.  The guy got on, asked if everyone had a passport or ID.  The kids, all at the same time, held up their IDs.  The guy looked around and said, “Ok.”  AND THAT WAS IT!  We were allowed to cross!  AMAZING!  Last year, everyone on the bus had to walk through the immigration office and the guy at the counter had to look at our ID and type our names in the computer.  This time it only took us 30 minutes from the time we left the school til we got to HEB for gas.  Boarder crossing was a snap!

So, we drove to HEB, filled up with gas, and waited for the rest of our group to arrive.  The only vehicle that was searched was one of the minivans from the TN group.  (10 people from TN joined us on this trip and they had 2 minivans).  Once everyone was across, we got on the road to home.  There is a Boarder Patrol right outside of Eagle Pass.  We stopped, Todd gave him his ID, the guy say, “Coming home from a mission trip?”  Todd said, “Yes.”  And the guy sent us on our way.  They didn’t even look inside the bus.  So AMAZING!!!  God is SO GOOD!!!!

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