Looking Back on our Mexico Trip 2018

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.

Advertisements

Kelly is a Kingdom Worker

Most summers we attend the Christ In Youth MOVE Conference with our high school students. It’s a great environment for our students to be challenged to live as Kingdom Workers. A few months ago I shared about a project our students took on because of the challenge.

Last year one of our former students, Kelly, was able to be a part of the Kingdom Worker Crash and share her story. While in high school, she accepted her Kingdom Worker Challenge and took part in a ministry in our church for ladies with special needs. It was encouraging to see how she was able to serve and then able to share about that experience through the Kingdom Worker Crash. MOVE chooses ten students from across the country to video their stories and then show those at the various MOVE Conferences they host each summer.

We showed Kelly’s video a few weeks ago in our church services and plan to show it in our small groups this Sunday as springboard to our discussion. Kelly does a great job sharing not only her experience, but how God shaped her through it.

Reason #195 Why We Love Small Groups

Like typical small group leaders our volunteers give time each week to meet with their small groups.  They take time before the small group meeting time to review the questions that will be used during the discussion time.  They show up at ball games and concerts and special occasions.  They send “we missed you” and “praying for you” texts.

They show up and are a consistent presence in the lives of students.

Then, sometimes, our small group leaders go above and beyond.

It’s just another reason why we love small groups.

One of our area high schools was having a Winter Formal Dance.  Students make plans, for the evening: buy tickets, determine what they are going to wear, find a date (if necessary) or arrange details with their group of peers, select a restaurant to eat and, of course, take a number of pictures.

This year some of our small group leaders decided to host our group of students for dinner.  Rather than the students picking a restaurant and making reservations to go out to eat, our small group leaders, in the words of one of our students, created a “homemade 5 star restaurant.”

The leaders met them at the door and took their coats.  They offered them appetizers and a menu.  The students were served beverages while being asked how they would like their steaks prepared.  A tasty meal was served and dessert was provided.  On the way out the door, students were offered a beverage for the road – “Mexican Coke” (Coca Cola served in glass bottles and made with cane sugar) – it’s a favorite of several of our students.

Our small group leaders went the extra mile to create a fun dining experience for our students prior to their arrival at the school dance.

Here’s what a couple of the parents posted on Facebook following the dinner:

“Seeing your son and his friends going to a dance and having their small group leaders offer to make them dinner makes me thankful!”

“Winter Formal. Blessed to have wonderful small group leaders who were willing to provide and serve dinner to this good-looking crew.”

I know that there are countless small group leaders serving in churches all over the globe.

But I think our small group leaders are pretty great!

This is just another reason why we love small groups (and our small group leaders)!

House Build Trip is Two Weeks Away

Two weeks from today our group will be on our way to Mexico. Monday will be a travel day and we will spend the next three days building a house with 1MISSION. Hard to believe that we are closing in on our departure date. Our team has met a couple of times and we are getting ready to go.

Thanks to everyone who has supported this trip through prayers, financial gifts, donations to our concessions during our Upward basketball season and just inquiring about the trip. We can’t wait to share what we experience while there.

Please be in prayer for the family we will be serving, 1MISSION as they continue the work they are doing and for our team as we travel and work together.

Mexico House Build Team is Set!

1mission_4Our team for our Spring Break House Build Trip to Rocky Point, Mexico is set. We now officially have 14 people who will make up the team that will travel at the end of March.

Our airline tickets have been reserved, travel insurance has been purchased, a van and trailer for our post-flight drive is set and we are in the process of raising funds for the trip. Over the past two Saturdays we have provided concessions for a Karate Tournament and the first game of our Upward Basketball season. We have 7 more weeks of Upward and hope to be able to underwrite some of the trip costs through those efforts.

Several of our team members have also been sending out support letters to those outside of our church family and people are responding with generosity. One of the humbling parts of a mission trip such as this is to experience how many people offer financial and prayer support.

We are looking forward to our experience with 1MISSION as Spring Break week draws closer. Be watching for updates!

House Build Trip Deposit Due 12/13

1mission_4We’ve been talking for a number of weeks about our upcoming Spring Break House Build Trip with 1MISSION (March 28 – April 2, 2016). We had a good turnout for our information meeting that took place a little over a week ago. We are now nearing the deposit deadline of December 13. That will give us a good idea of how many are planning to participate and will allow us to begin firming up travel plans.

I posted some general information a couple of weeks ago regarding our Information Meeting.  That gives a general overview of our schedule, travel plans and approximate cost. If you haven’t had a chance to look at the Information Packet, it is available to view and download on our church website.

Here are some other facts about what we will be accomplishing through our build trip.

The family we will be serving has already volunteered over 200 hours to their community. These hours have included building houses for their neighbors, volunteering with local organizations and participating in community development programs.  A few weeks before the trip we will receive a family biography which will include information about the family.

We will be working alongside local volunteers and community members who have come together in cooperation to improve their community.

Here’s a fun fact for you:  We won’t use any power tools! Why? The house construction is a community project involving
inexperienced people of all ages. The goal is to involve everyone in a fun and safe manner.  So, if you are intimidated by the construction process, you can rest easy knowing that you won’t have to mess with power tools.

The House Build Trip will be a new and unique experience.  It is open to high school students and older.  Check out the information and feel free to make contact if you have questions.

House Build Trip Info Meeting – 11.22.15

1mission_2Thanksgiving is just around the corner, but we are looking ahead to Spring Break and our House Build Trip with 1MISSION. The trip is open to High School students and older and we’d love to take a group from Wilmington to Mexico to build a home for a family there.

We are having an Information Meeting on Sunday, November 22 right after the morning service in our Student Center. It’s a great time to come hear more information, ask questions and get a better idea of what is involved in the trip.

Here’s a quick overview of the trip and some important information::

 

Schedule of our Trip (Monday, March 28 – Saturday, April 2, 2016):

Mon: Fly to Phoenix / Drive to Rocky Point
Tues: Build Day One
Wed: Build Day Two
Thurs: Build Day Three / Visit Families
Fri: Beach Day
Sat: Drive to Phoenix / Fly Out

Total Approximate Cost of Trip: $1,200

Cost breakdown:
– $320: includes all food & accommodations once we arrive at Rocky Point
– $700: round trip airfare from Columbus, OH, to Phoenix, AZ (current approximate cost)
– $100: van rental while in Arizona/Mexico

Once we know how many will be traveling with our group and lock-in both airline tickets and van rental, we will have a more accurate cost. This also includes some margin for extra expenses as we prepare.

Information on Traveling to Mexico

Students under 18 only need a birth certificate and a notarized cover letter included in this packet. This is based on the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (U.S. and Canadian citizen children under the age of 16 (or under 19, if traveling with a school, religious group, or other youth group) need only present a birth certificate or other proof of citizenship. The birth certificate can be original, photocopy, or certified copy. http://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/whti_state_factsheet.pdf)

What About Fund Raisers?

We have some plans already in the works to help our group raise funds for the trip. We are scheduled to provide concessions for a karate tournament held at WCC on January 23. All the funds raised from the tournament will go toward the cost of this trip. We will once again be providing concessions for our Upward Basketball season. We will encourage each group member to help with both of these efforts.

The meeting will cover this information and more.  Join us to find out how you can serve in Mexico this Spring Break.