|in San Diego - Coronado Beach|
For a few months I've been dealing with an internal battle. It's a war between what my head knows is true, and what my heart (truly deceitful...Jeremiah 17:9) will believe or not believe depending on my emotions. I find myself in times of doubt of God's faithfulness to come through for me. I truly hope I'm not bringing down the friends and family who look up to me and my faith by admitting this. But there are times I don't feel hope 100%. I mean ultimately, I have 100% hope in the eternal future, and while that should also provide hope in the near future, unfortunately my heart does not always make the connection. In this case, I think going to Mexico helped me find God's faithfulness (yet again).
When we first arrived we stopped for tacos. That absolutely has to be done....
After gaining sustenance for ourselves, we stopped at a grocery store for supplies and sustenance for others. Our team filled two shopping carts with food and supplies for 12 families sheltered at a church-turned-refugee center in TJ.
After shopping we split up the supplies into 12 separate bags. Our FIRST mission trip task!! The man from the local ministry who gave us this task was Dave. He said some teams get it done efficiently and some take 2 hours. (Happy to say, we were on the quick side....organized chaos, as the video below shows.)
What we've seen or heard on the news about the immigration crisis and the caravans coming from Central America seems pretty far away when we are up in the Northwest. But seeing it firsthand and hearing the stories from the refugees themselves was different. A group of ladies asked us (in Spanish) what kind of documentation the kids travelling in our group needed to cross the border. They desperately want to get their kids into America, safe from the violence and poverty they left behind. What our kids wanted to do, though, was play with their kids. Soccer is a universal language. God showed up in the smiles of the immigrant women who really just enjoyed a chance to talk and laugh with us (and our rusty Spanish.)
|Our team with Dave in front of Agape immigrant shelter|
|Joanna, Hilary and Grace cut up hamburger fixin's|
|Adam & Soren chat|
|Desserts (it was Valentine's Day)|
The next day in Mexico would be a busy one. We helped at a home for girls (and a few boys) by serving them in ways they needed help. That's what I love about these short-term trips arranged by Strong Tower. We do what the ministries need done. No make-work projects. Just showing others love in Jesus' name by doing what THEY need done.
|Grace & Lillian|
|Joanna & Shane|
|in the kitchen with our finished product: Spaghetti, meat sauce and salad|
Later that night...following a long afternoon of manual labor, two homeschooling moms (and a few friends) head into the red light district of Tijuana. Sounds like the start of a bad joke. But that's exactly what happened. We visited a ministry called Selah House where we worshipped, prayed for and ministered to the ladies on the street in TJ. If ever I was out of my comfort zone, this was it. Public speaking? I can do. Leading worship in front of hundreds of people. I'm on it. Talking one-on-one with and praying for prostitutes. Umm. Duly challenged. Only in God's strength.
|Esther with puppy Obi|
All of the kids stayed back at the ministry building with Adam and Rich and prayed some more (and played with Ana's cute puppy) while the adults hit the streets with team leaders from the ministry. What happened that night was pretty much life-changing for the adults in the group. We were all thoroughly moved, hearts pricked for what breaks God's heart, in this area of human trafficking. More to come on that in the future.
On Sunday we headed up to the hilltop to see the progress on the warehouse, to fill in a ditch and to collect some wildflowers. Again, this trip up the hill showed me, how faithful our God is. Last time we visited Baja (Nov 2019) this hillside was a charred wasteland. SEE BLOG POSTS from that TRIP. Now the hillside was lush green, littered with wildflowers, oranges and purples and whites all over. Just beautiful!
|inside the warehouse that was being framed in Nov2019 when we came last time|
|Beauty From Ashes - poppies across the hillside|
|filling in a ditch with loose dirt - part of septic system|
|collecting wildflowers for Bonnie|
|crossing the riverbed|
This sweet puppy reminded me of my own puppy back home....
|church in Santa Rosa with our team|
|Our Team - headed back to San Diego|