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.

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Reflections on our Mexico Trip

Thu Mar 31 2016 02-25-34 GMT-0400After months of planning, promoting, sending emails, meeting with our team, getting passports and other documents, checking over the packing list and praying about this adventure, our trip to Mexico was a success.

I guess I say success because we traveled to and from Mexico and all fourteen made it back safely!  (The only hiccup in the trip was a long layover in Las Vegas that had us rolling into the church parking lot at 4:30 am)

I say success because we built the home on schedule…and it was still standing when we left!

I say success because we truly felt like we made a small contribution to the big work that 1MISSION is doing in that area of Mexico.

I say success because we were able to work alongside the young couple that would be living in the house we built – Miguel and Deysi.  For some of us on the trip, this couple is close in age to our own children.  For one of the students on the trip, she made the connection that Miguel and Deysi are the same age as her sister and brother-in-law.  She said she didn’t really understand what it meant to serve a brother and sister in Christ until this trip.  That’s too cool!

I say success because the trip changed us.  Our eyes were opened to what it looks like to live in a place other than Ohio.  For most of our group, this was the first trip out of the United States.  None of us had been to this part of Mexico.  So, to see what life is like for the people of Rocky Point, it offered us a different perspective.  While life isn’t perfect anywhere, we gained an appreciation for where we live.  While the house we were built isn’t extravagant by any means compared to what we see in the US, it stood out among some of the other housing we saw.  1MISSION seeks to create community by giving people in poverty the opportunity to earn a house by serving their community.  We were humbled to be a small part of that process.

We had a great experience in Mexico and are grateful to all those who supported us and made the trip possible.

We put together a short recap video of our time with 1MISSION.  You can check it out and see what happened during our time in Mexico.

Two More Ways to Support Spring Break House Build Trip

1mission_4We are about halfway into our Upward Basketball season where we have been offering concessions to raise money for our Spring Break House Build Trip. Our church family has been very generous in providing items that we use for our concessions. We have donations of Gatorade, cans of soda, chips, candy bars, monetary donations and even pizza that we sold by the slice. It has been a great start to our fundraising efforts.

While we have five more Saturdays of Upward to go, there are two other ways that people can support our Mexico Team.
green bucket

For those in the Wilmington area: Sunday, March 6th will be Green Bucket Sunday.

We have used the green buckets in the past and we will use them the first Sunday in March. The green buckets will be located at the doors exiting our Ministry Center and any money that is placed in the buckets will go toward the Mexico trip.  This is a simple way to allow people to give toward the trip in a way that goes above what they give to the church.

Last year we used the green buckets to help reach our goal of $4,000 to send to 1MISSION to build a home for a family in Mexico. It allowed our who church family to participate, no matter the size of the gift.

For those in or out of the Wilmington area:  Give Online.

A number of months ago our church family was given the opportunity to give online.  So many of the things we do now, including paying bills, is done online.  You can now give to the overall work of WCC or specifically to the Mexico trip through our Online Giving Page.  If you want to give specifically toward the House Build Trip, you can select that in the drop down menu.

Online giving

There are so many great mission organizations and projects being done throughout the world. We are excited about our partnership with 1MISSION and appreciate all the support from our church family and friends. Thanks to all those who are giving toward the trip and praying for our team.

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!

Support Spring Break House Build Trip

assets-sharable-1mission_7We are looking forward to our Spring Break House Build Trip to Rocky Point, Mexico with 1MISSION. Currently we have twelve people committed to be a part of building a home for a family and are even looking to add a few more to our group before the end of January. The trip will take place March 28 – April 2.

To help raise the necessary funds for the trip, we will be providing a concession stand at a Karate Tournament hosted at WCC and during this season’s Upward Basketball games at the church.

You can support this trip by donating needed items for us to serve.  Anything that is donated will help defray the cost of the participants on our trip.

Here is a list of items that would assist our concessions:

12 ounce cans of soda (Pepsi, Coke, Diet Pepsi, Diet Coke, Dr. Pepper, Sprite, etc.)

16.9 ounce bottles of water

All-Star size (12 oz) bottles of Gatorade

Homemade or Store Bought Cookies

Snack Size (1 ounce) bags of chips (Potato Chips, Doritos, Fritos, Cheetos, etc)

Little Debbie Snack Cakes

Candy Bars (Snickers, Baby Ruth, Milky Way, etc.)

Ring Pops, Sour Punch Straws and other individually wrapped candies

Whatever items are donated will be helpful to our group as we raise funds for the trip.  Currently, the cost per person is estimated at $1,200 which includes our airfare, vehicle rental and cost for housing and meals.

Feel free comment on this post or fill out the contact form below. Thanks!

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.