As most of you know by now, we made it back from Tecate safe and with all of our luggage. It was a great trip and we had a great time serving the Lord. We tried on several nights to get the internet up and running so we could write you from Tecate, but we had no luck. So I thought I would write and let everyone know some of the details.
First, all 40 of us made it to Tecate with all of our luggage and in good spirits. We were assigned our rooms and we relaxed for the rest of the evening. To the best of my memory, I think we arrived in Tecate around 9:30pm their time.
Monday brought the usual day of confusion, waiting on supplies and what our jobs were going to be. Mondays are always the worst days of the trip because of all of the changes in projects. We went there with the intentions of building rooms onto a church and doing work around the seminary that we were staying at. When we got up on Monday, those jobs had changed. So the hassle of waiting on supplies and information began. At about 10:00am we finally started working on the project. Our project was to get the building ready to stucco. Now I know that I spelled that wrong. We had to wrap chicken wire around the building which was actually, 3 classrooms. They thought this would take us the entire week. We almost had it finished in the first day. Monday was also our first day of VBS. We saw about 70 young people come on the first day which was awesome. We had crafts for them, a skit with a Bible lesson, snacks and games for them to play. Words will not do VBS justice, but it was awesome. On Monday we also layed a brick patio between 2 buildings to make a walkway. On our time off we went to the local park to see what we could get into. We had the intentions of inviting children and youth to VBS. When we arrived, we were immediately surrounded my several children. We broke out the toys and began to play with the children. We went to the soccer field there at the park and began playing some of the youth in soccer. It was not pretty, they beat us bad, but we had a great time and made several new friends.
Tuesday brought another day of service and VBS. We finished the chicken wire and we actually began to stucco the building. This requried many different jobs. From the sifting of sand to make the mortar to putting it on the building. By the end of the first day we only lacked about 3 feet of one wall of being finished. Everyone that wanted to had a chance to try their hand at it and it was fun. Messy, but fun. We also built another brick patio between 2 more buildings and moved a trash pile. VBS was a great success again and even more children came that night. A new crew from our church lead VBS with the same activities as the night before. We had a different skit for each day. Eladio was our interpreter for the week which meant he was reading the skits 4 times a day to each of the groups. We also had the chance to visit where we were 8 years ago on our first mission trip to Mexico. It was the first time that any of us had seen the camp since we left. It is now a fully operational church camp and it used through out the year. The pastor of the church where we are staying had just been there with his men for a prayer retreat. Seeing the camp grounds brought back many memories of that trip. In my mind I could see the tents set up under those trees, the kids playing Frisbee, the cook in the cook house and so many more. It was great seeing the camp grounds.
Wednesday brought our day off and we were heading off to the city of Roserita, I know I spelled that wrong too. This is a fun day of shopping. Everyone had the chance to barter with all of the store owners. Some were battering champs and others have a long way to go. Everyone had a great time and a lot of items were bought. On our way to the town, we did get pulled over by the military. When you see 4 white 15 passenger vans going down the road, it does cause some suspicions. When they pulled us over I was the lead van, so they came to my window first. Speaking very little Spanish, the only thing I could say was "No Espaniol". I gave them my drivers license and waited. They quickly let us go. We went to the park again and had a great time. The children and youth were waiting for us and we had established a relationship with them. We only lost the soccer game 2-1 and friendships were taking place on the soccer field.
Thursday began with the finishing of the stucco the beginning of the drywalling and with putting in the electric. Remember that we ran out of work the first day. We had 3 rooms to insulate, wire and drywall in 2 days. This made it exciting. The mission team attacked the rooms, but like usual, the plans changed during our work. So we had to take things down to make the changes and began again. It was starting to get frustrating. By the end of the day, we had almost all of the insulation in and the wiring done. We had the first room almost done with drywall. VBS grew a larger crowd and some of the children we had met at the park came to VBS for the first time. It was great. Lloyd and I went on a trip to try and find the homes we built 4 years ago in the colonias. With a little effort, we were able to find them and made plans of taking the group there. This was our last night at the park to play with the kids. We grew a larger crowd than ever and had a great time with the children. Then the news came that they had changed the plans for the 3 rooms. Which meant that we had to take things down to begin again. Now there was frustration.
Friday started very early. We began at 6:00am because we knew that we had to make changes and to be finished by 5:00pm. About 30 people got up early and started working on the project. Some others got up to prepare breakfast. We stopped at 7:00am for breakfast and then went back to work. VBS grew on the last day. We probably had over 100 children there for the last day. Several were from the park. It was great. At lunch we took off in the vans with our food. We were heading for the colonias. When we got there i could tell that the emotions of those who were on the trip 4 years ago were high. Some were crying and others began to relive the time that we spent there. We stopped at the site of Eric's and Eladio's house first. Here we found out that the couple were expecting their second child and the wife who was pregnant at the time we built the home had little girl. Then we moved up to Lloyd's site. There the family was home and we spent some time talking to the family. The little girl Leslie was not home at the time, but we got to talk to some of the kids that our group played with 4 years ago. One of the girl's even remembered April and said her name when she saw her. Then we were off to my house site. We knew where the road was, but we were having trouble finding the house. Eladio talked to a family and we soon discovered our house. The house that we had built for them had burned down and they rebuilt a new home. We went to the house and talked with the family and kids for a while. It was great seeing the families that we had worked for. After returning from the colonias, we went back to work. We finished the drywall and had everything cleaned up and put away by 4:00pm. This included windows and doors. The night ended with a worship service with the church and dinner.
Saturday began at 4:00am. We had breakfast and loaded our vans for the trip to the airport. We were stopped by the border patrol trying to get back into the USA. There were no problems, they just wanted to make sure we were legal. Then off to the airport. Everyone got checked in and we waited for our flight to Charlotte. At Charlotte, we had a minor problem. We discovered that there was not enough room for everyone on the plan and 4 of us would have to stay behind until the next day. So Tyler, Kenton, Mic and myself stayed behind. It was an amazing adventure being left behind. We befriended a young woman who had been bumped like us. She was staying at the same motel so we had plenty of time to talk. People on our team were home before we got out of the airport. I mean they were at their own house before we even got to the airport. But to make a long story short, she e-mailed me on Sunday and wanted to know more about Christ. So I wrote her back and told her how to accept Christ. There is much more to tell and we will on Sunday Aug.5 during the evening worship.
If any of the youth want to post a blog about the trip, send your story to:
and i will get it on the blog.