My wife Liza and I have been on a number of mission trips – both together and apart. When we were pastoring in Beasejour, we led a number of trips to Costa Rica. While leading the Revolution Master’s Commission at Bible Fellowship (Horizon) Church about ten years ago, we led a team together up to northern BC and the Yukon Territories. Both of us have gone on several mission trips to Mexico. Our three oldest children – Caleb, Tori and Austin – have all been on mission trips with us to Costa Rica.
One of my first mission trips to Mexico was with Regent Christian Academy during the school’s spring break back in 2002. I agreed to go on the trip as one of the leaders before finding out that my wife Liza was pregnant, and that she was due in the middle of the two weeks that we were in Mexico. I prayed the whole time I was away that our fourth child wouldn’t be born until I got back as I had been there for my other three children’s births. I’m so thankful to the Lord that she held out and Hannah wasn’t born until we returned – less than 24 hours after we returned to Canada!
And so this spring break, three of my family members are away on mission trips. My son Austin is in Uganda with a team of 12 from the school, led by our church’s pastors Craig and Shanda Millar. They are partnering together with Father’s Heart Mobility Ministry, providing wheel chairs for many needy people there. And my wife Liza and daughter Hannah are in Mexico with a team of 21 students and 7 leaders. This is Hannah’s first mission trip. After a three day bus ride along the west coast, they are now in Vincent Guerrero building a home for a poor family in the community. Here is a first hand report from my wife Liza about the past couple of days of their trip.
Sunday: Day #1 in Mexico:
So we have made it into Mexico after a day full of adventure. We headed to the Mexican border this morning only to be turned away. As that border no longer let buses go through. Handy info to have had. So we tuned around after causing a bit of commotion at the border as you well imagine trying to turn a bus around that is meant for cars. So we headed towards the Tijuana border which was a bit of a drive. And of course we started to have many on the bus in need of a bano (bathroom). So as we discussed our bathroom options we came across a lovely RV park and decided to see if they would allow a bus of 28 to use the facilities They were very welcoming and all bathroom needs were fulfilled. As the temperature started to rise we continued on our journey to the Mexican border. Spirits were high so the detour didn’t seem to affect anyone. We approached the border just after noon and had a bit of wait in a very long line of cars. When it was our turn we were asked to COMPLETELY unload the bus and walk our belonging through the border. So after some team work and heavy lifting we managed to get everyone and everything through.
After loading up the bus again we headed to Ensenada a couple of hours away, to have a late lunch and pic up a few items needed for the week. Then as the sun was going down we headed down a very winding and bumpy road to our home away from home – IDT. As we arrived into Vincent Guerrero at 8:00 pm a stop was made at the taco stand. Where we were served some authentic Mexican tacos. They were so good. Back on the bus again and headed to our new home. We arrived in the dark and got a small tour of IDT and were assigned our rooms. We were so tired from the long day that we all pulled out our sleeping bags and headed to bed.
Monday: The House Build Begins:
After a great nice sleep, cocooned in my sleeping bag we rose to the beautiful sound of a variety of birds and no hot water. After a cold showers we had a fabulous pancake breakfast and then got all our gear together and load the bus for a short drive to our build site. As we drove down a very dusty road and headed into small community, We saw many homes pieced together by scraps of wood and plastic. As the big yellow bus pulled up in front of the build site we were greeted by the family who by the looks on their face were as excited for us to be there as we were. It took the team a bit to get organized as they looked over house plans, the supplies and also the skills of the help. The sun was shining as jobs were being handed out we started to cut wood and nail boards together in hopes that it would turn into a house.
The team worked well together as many this was their first time building anything. It was amazing. We worked hard in the heat and the wind and got all four walls up and the roof framed in our first day. The enthusiasm of this team is incredible. It was amazing to see everyone just eager to learn how to hammer a nail and how to make a wall straight. Some were determined to get the nail in straight. After a long satisfying day of work we headed back to IDT for a delicious well deserved meal of rice and beans and chicken enchiladas. After dinner we had a time of worship, reflection and journal writing that was led by the students. It was wonderful to hear what God was doing in some of the students. After a eventful situation involving a shower, the tap flying off and water flooding the bathroom, we all “headed to bed” for an early night.
I’ll give you some more updates over the next few days!
Jesus said: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.“ (Mark 16:15-16).