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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Another Way to Support our Mexico Team ’18 // March 4 & 11

Our team of 20 is making preparations for our trip to Rocky Point, Mexico, March 26-30 . . . we are about one month away!

Many in our church family offered their support by purchasing a Build Hope shirt. We sent in our second order last week and between the two orders we purchased almost 80 shirts. The sale of those shirts will generate approximately $500 for our team. Thanks to all who ordered shirts.

Our group, along with help from our church family, has provided concessions at a Karate Tournament in late January and continues to provide concessions at our Upward Basketball League. Our Upward families are generous in not only buying items, but also donating toward our trip.

Many of our team members have sent out support letters to family and friends to assist with the fundraising part of our trip.

There is another way our WCC family can support our team. On Sunday, March 4 and Sunday, March 11 we will have the Green Buckets set out around the Ministry Center. Anyone who desires to give toward the trip can use the buckets for that purpose. This is, of course, on top of what individuals and families give to the church. We don’t want to take away from the support that is already going to ministries and missions in our community and around the world. We are grateful for the support that so many have already shown us. If you desire to help with trip, the green buckets are another way to do that.

Below is our team for ’18. I’m excited that we have a dozen high school students, a few returning members from our ’16 trip and even family members participating in our adventure together.

Please keep this group in your prayers as we prepare to serve in Mexico.

’18 Mexico Team
Rachel Barker
Angela Blouse
Jacob Blouse
Zach Davis
Ken Driscoll
Lauren Ellis
Andrew Garrett
Megan Halloran
Matthew Horn
Cory Huffman
Drew Huffman
Christian McCamish
Beth Puckett
Talent Sagraves
Shane Streber
Terri Streber
Nathan Twine
Calvin Walls
Jeff Walls
Tony Brackemyre

Support our Mexico Spring Break Trip // Buy a Shirt

Over Spring Break this school year (March 26-30, 2018) we will be taking a group to Rocky Point, Mexico, to build a house with 1MISSION. 1MISSION is a community development organization giving people living in poverty the opportunity to earn a house by serving their community. Individuals serve over 200 hours in their community to earn a home. We took a group over Spring Break in 2016 and look forward to returning in ’18.

The current projected cost for each individual to go on the trip is just over $1,000.  To help underwrite some of the expenses for our group, we are making available shirts designed just for this project.

We have two different shirt designs you can view by clicking here.

One is a Short Sleeve shirt and the color is heather clay.  The cost of the short sleeve shirt is $15

Please note:  the short sleeve shirts are “Soft Shirts.” They are a tad less generous of a fit than a normal t-shirt. They’re a nicer, softer t-shirt… but if you are between two sizes it is suggested you choose the larger size.

Long Sleeve shirt and the color is charcoal black. The cost of the long sleeve shirt is $20.

Both shirts have the same design on the front, which says BUILD HOPE, 1MISSION Mexico 2018

If we sell 25 of each shirt, $6 from each shirt (40%) will go toward our trip to Mexico.  Orders will be taken through the month of December. Shirts will be available mid-January.

If you are a member/attendee of our church in Wilmington or live in the area, we will have hard copies of order forms available at our IMPACT Student Kiosk in our KidCity Lobby.

We do have an online order form where you can place orders for shirts.  We currently do not have a way to pay online.  Payment can be made by cash or check (checks can be made payable to “Ministers Fund.”)

If you live outside of Wilmington, contact me and we can see about shipping a shirt to you.  We will add a few bucks on for shipping.

Shirts were designed by Fund the Nations, a company created in February of 2008 with the desire to help others fulfill the Great Commission (take the Gospel around the world) by providing them with a great fundraiser.  Check out their Instagram account for samples of their other designs.

We are looking forward to our trip to Mexico and serving with a family.  Your purchase of a shirt will help support our adventure!

Honoring the Class of 2016

It’s that time of year again when we celebrate graduation.  One of our county schools has already hosted commencement exercises and more will take place this weekend.  This past Sunday we honored our seniors during our two morning services. As we’ve done the last few years, we put together a brief video highlighting the members of the graduating class.  Here is this year’s class of seniors.

Congratulations to the class of 2016!

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.

House Build Group Leaves Next Week

1mission_4The time of departure is getting closer. We are now counting down days, not weeks! Kind of hard to believe that at this time next week, we will be in Mexico working on a home for a family. Pretty exciting!

Our group has been making final preparations, talking about final details and insuring all paperwork is done. As I mentioned in a previous post, we have received great support from our church family and community. Over the past 9 weeks, we have provided a concession stand for a Karate Tournament and our Upward Basketball Program. After running the final numbers, we raised just over $2400! That’s pretty exciting! Thanks again to all those who supported us.

Please be in prayer for our group and for the family we will serve. If you are from the Wilmington area (or even if you aren’t), please be in prayer for our team. Here is a list of our team members: Scott, Leyah and Avery Bradshaw; Susi Bradshaw; Bob, Dianna & Bethany Brausch; Ken Driscoll; Lauren Ellis; Andrew Garrett; John Luttrell; JB Smith; Jeff Walls; Tony Brackemyre.