We started planning for our Mexico 2018 trip in the summer of 2017. After months of planning and emails and meetings and fund-raising, we were able to make the trip over Spring Break (March 26-30). We flew from Columbus to Phoenix and then drove to Rocky Point, Mexico, to meet our house build family and get to work on their house. In two and a half days we were able to work together with the family and the 1MISSION team to provide a home for Cesar, Carmen and Carlos.
As I think back on the trip, I found myself thinking about people.
CESAR. Even though there was a language barrier (I know barely a handful of Spanish words), we were able to communicate and connect with Cesar. Here was a young man who is a husband, a father of a four-year old and preparing to welcome a son this summer. He was able to express one evening his gratitude to 1MISSION and our team for the opportunity to earn this home. He spoke about his love for his wife and his excitement to have a home after the struggles he and Carmen had in the past. You could just sense his gratitude.
On the first day of the build, Cesar wanted to express his thankfulness to the work team. His job is that he is a vendor, selling fruit bowls and various drinks from a portable stand that he sets up on a street corner in the tourist area of Rocky Point. He made us a coconut beverage that he sells from his stand. It was a refreshing drink that was his way of saying “thanks.”
As we worked together, I saw the care that he was taking in building this house. As we mixed concrete, I saw him pull out large rocks from the gravel and concrete mix. I watched as he examined the walls and made sure there were no nails sticking out. As we put stucco on the exterior I saw him going through and smoothing out spots and adding stucco here and there. While I knew it in my mind, it hit me again: we were building his house; this was his HOME. It was a good reminder to me that to him this was way more than just a mission trip or building project; this was a home for his family.
PEDRO. When we took our first trip with 1MISSION, Pedro lived at the base camp. He welcomed us and served as our host. This time when we arrived, Pedro didn’t live at the base camp. He and his family live in town so he can devote for of his time to the work of connecting with families and leading a team of 20 who oversee the community development for 1MISSION.
I had a chance to talk with Pedro for a few minutes one morning and found out that he is helping to plant two churches in Rocky Point. He said that one of the churches had 50 adults in attendance that most recent Sunday along with “a lot of kids.” He also shared that a high percentage of the families who attend are families who have received homes through 1MISSION.
In Pedro, I see a man who has a heart for the people of Mexico and is giving his life and energy to making a difference.
There is a recent blog post on the 1MISSION site which gives some insight on who Pedro and is and what he does.
OUR TEAM. The first time we went to Mexico we took a total of 14 and 5 in our group were students. This year our group number was 20 and 12 in our group were students. 15 of our group had not been to Mexico before and a few had not ever been on a plane. So, I was mindful of the fact that I had a number of parents who entrusted the care of their student to me to take them to another country and bring them back safely. Our team did great!
As far as the building of the house, we stayed either on or ahead of schedule through the process. The students (and the rest of the group) jumped in to do what was needed and kept us on track.
Beyond that our group did a good job of connecting with our build family and the people in the neighborhood. There were a number of students in the neighborhood and our crew took the time to talk with them, learn their names, play some games with them and have some fun together. They even got to hold brand new puppies!
We had a great experience and are thankful for the opportunity to go to Mexico and work with 1MISSION. We also had a number of people support us in various ways and we are truly grateful for that.
Here is a recap video we put together of a number of the pictures we took over the week. It will give you a small window into our time at Rocky Point.