In October, I went on my very first mission trip to Mexico. I didn't know a single person going on the trip & was extremely nervous about leaving dude for a week! I took a leap of faith and I'm so glad that I did. Here is a recap of our trip.
First let me introduce you to our group!
Aaron & Laura
This was Aaron's second time to Cancun & he was our trip leader. It was Laura's first time to Cancun and she & I were backseat van buddies. They are both God-loving people & have an amazing testimony. I can't wait to see what their future holds!
Courtney & Kevin
This couple is awesome. Kevin, Courtney, and I got to share the good news together in Milagro. Kevin can say a prayer like no other & Courtney is a blast! They truly are best friends.
Alison & Debbie
This mother/daughter duo is pure awesomeness! Deb is absolutely hilarious and Alison is probably the nicest person I have ever met. Deb kept us laughing the whole trip! I love them both.
Laura, Leigh, and Me
These were my girls. We roomed together for the week and it was as if we'd known each other forever. Laura doesn't have a shy bone in her body and will talk to anyone about Jesus! She even gave a live television interview about the hurricane and slipped a little bit of Jesus in there!! Leigh is a bit more reserved, but still has a heart for the Lord and is one of my favorites!
We left early Saturday morning and spent the day settling in our hotel & getting to know each other!
The hotel was nice and clean. As long as it had one of these, I was good to go!
Sunday, we worshiped at Alfonso's church Vida Life in Cancun. It was my first bilingual service & was very powerful! It was so awesome to see God praised in different languages. Here is our group at Vida Life.
That afternoon, we shopped a little in the market and then headed out to Bennie's church in Milagro.
Looks a little different from Pinelake, huh? But it is all they need. They don't care where they worship Jesus, just that they do. Makes me wonder if we get away from this simple fact from time to time.
Throughout the week, the Milagro church community was there to help us. They brought their precious babies & helped with whatever we needed!
On Monday, half of our group went to Milagro to do construction & the other half walked the streets to spread the gospel.
I was in the walking group with Kevin & Courtney. The first "house" we went to was at the very end of a dirt road, probably had never been visited by missionaries, and was held together by tarps & sticks. I will never, ever forget their faces. We asked them if we could pray for them & if they needed anything. They were very humble & said they didn't need anything at all, but that we could pray for them. So we did & this continued on to the other houses. These people had very little & we had to practically beg them to let us buy some things that they needed. Talk about a humbling experience. Each house had a different story, but here are a few from the 6 houses that my group went to. At one house there were two women, one with a small child about dude's age. They asked us to pray for their husbands who were battling with alcohol and looking for a job. Alcoholism and lack of work are huge obstacles for the men in Mexico and sadly was the case in many of the homes we visited. Another house was a mother of four small children, whose husband was out looking for work. At another house, a mother was forced to send her two girls to live with family far away so they could go to school.. These are only a couple of stories, but I don't want to turn them into sob stories. These people are not spoiled like we are; they don't have the finest of things and really could care less. They love and take care of their families & will do anything for anyone. It was quite the humbling experience to say the least!
|This is what it's all about.|
It was an amazing experience delivering the goods (mostly flour, oil, beans, shoes, etc) the next day. We were worried that it wasn't enough and really it wasn't, but they couldn't be any more thankful. The fact that people took the time to visit, pray, and bring them bare necessities was more than they ever expected! I just hope we did enough for them and my ultimate prayer is that they felt the love of Jesus. There definately was a language barrier, so we did more showing than telling. Luckily we were blessed with great translators, who loved God just as much as us..
God put it on Laura's heart to get a few things for the children in Milagro.
I'm so glad that He did. These children had very little, so we got those sweet babies some clothes and toys!
Tuesday, we went to the children's program at Rancho Viejo.
I have a heart for children & this was one of my favorite days! Abigail is the director of the program and it teaches children to love the Lord at a young age. We helped with the lunch program and then played & loved on them the rest of the afternoon. They were so hungry for our attention & wanted to know when we were coming back. It broke my heart that I may never get to see them again. My mom's last words before I left were, "Don't bring back a Mexican baby, Hagan's enough for now."
Let me just tell you that I could have easily taken her home
Though I'm not sure her mom would have liked it too much! Here are some more pictures of Rancho.
Wednesday morning, we heard the news of a hurricane heading directly toward Cancun. This post pretty much sums up what happened Wednesday. We hated so bad that our mission work had been cut short, but we seized the day. Thursday was spent in Merida, Mexico.
You may not know, but I have always wanted to visit Merida. At one point in time, we contemplated moving there & may still one day! It is rich in history & has beautiful architecture. Here are some pictures of the city of Merida & the Mayan Ruins.
Friday we headed home! Courtney & I both cried when we saw our boys at the airport. It was good to be home, but I left a piece of my heart in Mexico. For those of you who are contemplating a mission trip, I want to encourage you to go. Take that leap of faith! Others will be blessed by you and you will be blessed also. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to go with such a great group, that dude was taken such good care of, and that we showed the love of Christ to the beautiful people of Mexico.
P.S. I am thrilled to announce that I'm starting Spanish lessons in preparation for going back to Mexico someday!