Sunday, July 26, 2009

Only one week left! :(

Long time without blogging!!! We have had two teams since I last blogged. The large team of 40 went very smoothly, getting two houses built and making two families very happy. One of the house dedications, where we pray for the family and eat at the new house, ended up with the whole family crying and not knowing how to say thanks. It was beautiful. I got to help some young girls lead an extra vbs every day, which was a lot of work, but ended up being something the kids really enjoyed. About 20 showed up daily even though it was super hot (our crayolas on a table outside turned to soup one of the days!!!)

The last group we had was small, and most were young adults. We had a HUGE VBS while they were here. The theme was "Esther", and it was everyday, consuming about 6 hours a day. Each day we had about 150 kids!!! and we had about 20 local helpers. It was so cool to see the locals working together to actually LEAD it themselves. It really could have even been done without us americans. This was a good thing however, since the goal of missions is to EMPOWER the community, not try to do everything ourselves or pretend we are the only ones with something to offer.

My job for VBS consisted of making chocolate bananas with each group of kids (9 groups in total), and hanging out with the kids in their tribes. It was so much fun! Worship and dancing was probably the best part. Think of a big field of dirt in the hot sun. A huge tent that advertises beer set up right in the middle. A bunch of chairs that advertise the local beer company set out in numurous rows. And then the whole tent filled with eager kids wanting to dance and sing and worship. Beautiful. Jesus was definitely there.

And now it is my last week!!! I can not believe it at all. Tonight I have a bridal shower to go to for one of my really good friends here. Tomorrow we will be getting up early to go mud the walls of a house we didnt get finished last week. By about 3 something tomorrow our last group should be here (which consists of the leaders I had for my trip here in march, and my sister!). I will spend the week working with them, go to a quincenera on Saturday night (this is a girls 15th bday party. It is pretty much as big as a wedding party. You go to a womans house, and the two pictures on the wall are of her quincenera and her wedding!), and then leave with them on Sunday morning. My emotions have been all over lately. I really want to stay and yet I do miss home and school. I have a family here. The church that I've been going to has so graciously taken me in as their sister in Christ. I hang out with the youth so much... spending time talking about secrets and playing soccer and eating icecream :) It's been so fun! There will be alot of tears at the farewell...

Which brings me to my latest thoughts on missions in general and my future thoughts. Not much on it, but just a little heads up, I'm still in love with Mexico, even more now. And Croc... oh man. It has taken up a lot of space in my heart. I could totally see myself moving here right after college. I was just talking to the leaders here about how some sort of youth program would be so beneficial. VBS and afterschool programs get the little kids in, but it would be good to get the youth more involved. So i'm praying about being apart of this. Maybe I'll move here and get it started up ;) They really want long-time people to commit. More than just a month or a year. I really want to seak God and see if this would be for me. We will see... but for now I am praying!

Thanks for reading guys!!! This may be my last blog made in mexico!! ahh!

Prayer quests for now:

God to prepare my heart to leave. I do not want to leave these beautiful brothers and sisters that have become part of my family. Pray for our relationships to continue, and for the opportunities to return and visit them.

pray for the incoming team, that God would speak to them and stretch them. Teach them new things.

I really want God to speak to me more about my place in missions. I feel like what he is callling me into hasn't even barely surfaced yet. :) this excites me, and also scares me. I want to be ready, and want to be willing and able to push through all of the obstacles that come along.

Other staff here. Many are praying about how long they should be here, and when they should return home. Pray that God would strengthen them, and even renew their visions for this place.

I love you all!!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

a breath of Beauty.

Have you ever seen something so beautiful and exhilerating that it makes you want to cry in delight? This week we went with a team from Orange City (yes, it blows my mind that orange citian people find their way out to here, Croc, Mexico!), and we went to Mantecanas... probably the most lovely of lovliest places I have been to. To be honest, I had been tired already the first day (tuesday) the team had arrived. I snuck little naps in before and after VBS, and prayed for the week to go fast. When the group of 8 dutch people from OC announced they were going to go do the river hike up Montecanas, I knew that that would put me over my limit and probably be anything but enjoyable.

I was wrong.

So, this place called montecanas... take a 2 hour drive from Croc all the way through Monterrey, the beautiful city life all around you, and then, as the business slowly dwindles and bumpy roads become bumpier (there are no smooth roads in MX), you start to twist and curve and bump and slide down and up the mountains. A river starts to grow on the side, promising an adventure that is soon to come later on ;)
Finally we arive to the base, where we get out and start to hike up the river. This includes rock climbing, skipping around on rocks, and full immersion in the water at times when the paths dissapear. after 2 hours of hiking and swiming and climbing up waterfalls, the rocks dissapear and the river gets deep. It is then swimming up curent and climbing up more waterfalls.

3 hours into it, you come to the most beautiful thing ive seen. A cave; the river running through it and reaching its deepest parts. It's a long cave, so it gets dark and you can't see or touch the bottom. water drips from the top. the temperature drops. I don't think i've ever been so cold in Mexico. and so you make your way through the cave, until you get to another waterfall, climb up it, and then climb up ANOTHEr huge waterfall, and then get to the part where i couldn't get up. Sorry, but my arms can not pull me up this 20 foot waterfall. But it was all so beautiful. Im sure I saw hundreds of butterflies, tadpoles, frogs, and lizards. The water became such a wonderful turquoise the deeper it got on the way up. AHHH... and to think we might return next week because we have the week off :)

So yes, our time spent with the team from the OC was fun and in the end, refreshing. although my body is sore, and i have realized i have muscles that I never knew I had!And now we get the whole weeek off. I'm very tired, so it's good. We will most likely go up into the mountains, where it is cooler and we can stop sweating for a bit. Sounds energizing already! But really, all has been well. Again, God is steady, and always sends spiritual rain when neeeded. I only have 4 more weeks here, and know i will miss it greatly. My relationships with the locals are becoming so wonderful and beautiful. Not only is my spanish growing, but my love for the people here. I'm seeing that relationships are the main vessels to impact a person. My question to the Holy Spirit is how can I let him lead me more in my conversations and time spent here. I want to bear much fruit.

Thanks for your faithful prayers. They are ever so needed! PLease continue to pray:

~week of rest (i need this so much. we are all pretty tired from the teams, the heat, and energy spent on relationships.)
~ upcoming team of 40 people! that they would be free to "flex and flow" (most famous quote here in Mx)
~ that I would learn what it means to be in FULL comunion with the Holy Spirit, and to let him guide me.

I love you all! I'm expecting to go on coffee dates with all of you after the summer, so make sure to remember all of the amazing and beautiful things of your summer and how God stretched and changed and challenged you :)