Monday, April 17, 2006

We're home!

Since I've been home, people have been asking me , "So how was Mexico?" If you've been in my shoes before, you know how difficult it is to sum up all your feelings about a trip into one sentence. Saying, "It was great!" just doesn't seem to do it justice. But since this is my lovely blog, I will do my best to share about this amazing trip without typing a hundred pages. =)

To start off, I have to say that I have NEVER been on a trip that ran as smooth as this one did. I mean, we're talking smooth. No major problems. Last year there was so much wind, the tents got flown away and people's stuff got lost all over. No wind this year. It was supposed to rain all week down there. It didn't rain until the day we left (right AFTER we crossed the border). Last year over half the group became violently ill from bad water. NO ONE got sick this year. With over 80 people buiding houses at 5 different sites, there were no injuries (besides your basic scrapes, blisters, et). Last year the sites were an hour and a half away and they were all in separate villages. This year the drive was only a half hour from where we camped and the sites were all near each other (which helped with the cohesiveness of the group). I felt like all of these things were little gifts from God.

Beyond all the logistical stuff, it was so amazing to see the Lord at work down in Mexico. The students came ALIVE. It was incredible to watch. They would come home after a long, hot, hard day of making cement, setting up walls, chicken wire, or stucco and they were praising God! They were encouraging each other and lifting one another up! I never heard any grumbling or complaining the whole week. They were so positive, it blew my mind. And they were always giving glory to God.

We'd have campfire every night after dinner with singing and sharing time. The students were very aware of God being with them and helping them when they were struggling throughout the week. By the end of the week, many students had made some awesome revelations that they shared. Some were seeing their need for Christ all the time (not just when it suited them). Some wanted to pursue more mission work in the future. Some talked about wanting to change their lives once they got back to Santa Cruz. -- Campfires were by far my favorite part of every day. --

I wouldn't say the trip was perfect. I have never been a leader on a trip like this before, so I definitely saw our issues and problems (that I probably wouldn't have seen if I wasn't a leader). But God used them all. I really got to see that first hand.

It was very strange to come home. To go from Mexico where people sleep on the floor in tiny shacks to CA were we are bombarded with things we take for granted: running water, flushing toilets, clean streets and hills, matresses to sleep on with warm blankets, TV, internet, showers, homes that won't topple over in a storm. It's quite sobering. And then there's the weirdness of being with the same people for 8 days 24/7 and then waking up the next morning and you're not surrounded by them anymore. It's like we became a family and that is sort of gone. I am adjusting to what people might call the "camp high".

So as I'm sleeping 13 hours a night (I'm so exhausted) and cleaning all my clothes and trying to get some "Me-time" after being with lots of people for over a week...I'm taking time to reflect. Process all my feelings and memories from the trip. Think about what God showed and taught me and what I am taking away from this amazing experience. It was an honor to serve Him down there, that's for sure. And serving Him doesn't stop now that we're back.

Thanks for reading my rambling thoughts. And hey, enjoy the pictures. They are just a few out of the 150 I took. (Yes, I am a picture fanatic) They are of:

- the students who rode in my van on the way down (Lynnea, Kyle, Jillian, Garret, Tyler, and Brian)
- our nightime campfire
- a group of students building their house
- myself, Eduardo, and Rosa (two kids I fell in love with the first day)
- the girls who drove in my van on the way home (Courtney, Tanya, little Laura-daughter of an adult leader, Kayla, and Lila)

Yeah for Mexico 2006! "We can. We will. We did."

1 comment:

caramac said...

Are you not MADE for this job, or what?!!! love you, and happy new johnny!!!! does he have a middle name? How about GUN. Johnny Gun. Strong name. Made for a Marsh. loves- cara:)