Why Mexico? Because I like to scare my mother - it's a wonderful past-time.
Michelle, one of my good friends, asked me if I would be interested in going down to Mexico for a mission trip. I, always up for wanderlust, jumped at the chance to go to the orphanage. I had no idea how much I would learn from it.
A team of eleven of us left at the end of January for the 1700+ mile journey. Before we even got to Mexico, I knew that I would be coming back next year. We shared our testimonies on the way there (plenty of time in the spanse of three days!) - it was so wonderful to hear the backgrounds from close friends and from new ones too. We are not what we want the world to see, we are so much more broken than that. Really brought us all together. We also went through Forgotten God by Francis Chan (about the Holy Spirit, I highly recommend it!) as our devotions. It can be easy, even if you go to church and Bible study on a regular basis, to just sit back and go through the motions. It was wonderful to be challenged. One night I remember feeling so unworthy to read the Bible, not because I clutching to my own sin, but just realizing how often I ignore the Bible as it sits on my nightstand waiting patiently to be read.
The kids amazed me. They had so much joy amidst such heartbreak. Once you hear their stories, you question if you are thinking of the right kid. How could THAT have happened to him?! Molestation, exposure to sex at such a young age, false accusations. What do you do with all of this despair? How can it be turned into hope? We are so much more broken than we let on.
It was phenomenal going to church in a different country. We went twice, Sunday and Wednesday night. Even though we couldn't understand 94% of what was being said, we all really loved it. There is comfort in knowing that you are worshipping the same God.
Though we have brokenness, joy can break though.
I learned that images can really bring people together. I've known this for a long time (and especially true with kids), but it was lovely to be surrounded with the kids looking at images of themselves and their friends. I was really debating having such a large memory card though, my fingers got tired of pushing buttons! :) Images transcend where language and cultural barriers begin.
Some of our accomplishments:
- Fixed broken tiles in the girls' dorm
- Fixed braces on the girls' beds
- Changed out lights
- Kitchen cabinets
- Painted kitchen ceiling
- Started walls for laundry room
- Got rid of black mold in the house parents' bathrooms
- Gaga Pit
- Benches for additional seating
- Fixed knobs on drawers
- Changed faucets
- Started new relationships with the kids!
Make sure to check out the video I put together. (If you are using a blog reader, the embedded video isn't showing up for some reason.) A lot of the images are the same, but you can get a better feel of what we did if you watch it. I also put up a shorter version.
I also started an account with YouCaring - it's a great website for fundraising. If you feel the urge, I'd appreciate it. You can click the link or get to it by the widget on the top right. If you click on updates, the needs list for this coming year is right there.
I still don't understand how these kids can turn such despair into fierce joy, but I'm anxious to go back and find out.
joy | alegría