There and Back Again

We got back a week ago from our family mission trip to Mexico. It was quite an experience...that's for sure.

The kids did amazing! They are such little troopers.

Here are just some of their extra challenges:

*almost non-stop rain
*much colder weather than mom packed proper clothes for
*strange food - which they ate almost every bite of...Brett especially!
*different language
*no toilet seat
*forced to do what we needed to do and not what they wanted to do 95% of the time
*30-40 minute team meeting times w/ 20-30 minutes spent in prayer twice a day
(the kids joined us and sat quietly in our laps or next to us)
*all meals served in an outdoor ampitheater with stone benches...not so easy for
a young child to eat without spilling everything(...which for some reason was the most annoying thing ever. I think at meal time Michael and I were starving and then we had to get them all set. When that was done, any spill or mess was a challenging experience in parenting. All I want is to sit and eat my tortilla in peace, you know!)
*Dad was away for most of the time doing work projects. We were actually on different teams. I was on the craft team and Michael was on the work team. We would see him at meals and occasionally chad or brett could help him. They missed their daddy. I missed their daddy.
*Meals served on 'Mexico time'. Lunch at 2pm/Dinner at 8pm.
*nap times with workers on the roof.
*bed time at least 2 hours later than normal./breakfast at normal time.

Things I said often while we were there:

-"Don't let any water touch you anywhere on your face!"
-"No we can't swing right now, we have work to do."
-"Let the other kids paint now and you can paint later."
-"We don't climb on that."
-"How about a lollipop!"
-"Remember what we talked about...we came here to what?_________Serve others.
That's right. It's not about who?________Me. That's right.
-"Kaylie can you work on smiling or saying Hola to the nice kids." The kids
in Mexico said she was 'muy timida'. She warmed up by the last night.

All in all, we are very, very proud parents. They were pushed so hard. They had to think about others before themselves and they still managed to have a great time. Chad cried at our last team meeting. He never likes to say sweet.

All of this parenting was going on and we were busy with ministry the whole week too. Ministry was amazing! The kids there are beyond adorable and sweet. We were so inspired to watch ministry happen in a different part of the world. The coolest part...they are doing the same things that we are doing. It reminded me so much of my time with Young Life. I saw the counselors praying one-on-one with the kids. I saw them playing silly games to get everyone to lighten up. I saw them being 'oh, boy! leaders'. I saw them sitting with the kids in circles, Bibles open. I saw all of this and it was beautiful.

We were able to bring all the supplies and provide a craft time to them when they don't normally get to do crafts at this camp. You should have seen these little artists! The counselors and even some of the ladies from the kitchen came out to paint and make crafts. It was very special. The things we all take for granted.

It was an honor to be able to love these kids, these counselors, and 3 missionary families who live in the town we were in. I especially had a heart for these young adults who were the counselors at the camp. It is hard to be a believer in Mexico. It is hard to make a life in ministry there and yet they are devoting their lives to ministry. Many of them want to be in ministry full-time, which in that country is a guaranteed life of poverty. One of the counselors was in seminary.

Here, men who choose to go to seminary and want to be pastors are making sacrifices for sure, but to walk willingly into guaranteed poverty. Poverty is not guaranteed here for pastors. I love their heart to hear the call of the Lord on their life, regardless of all other factors.

I am inspired. My kids are changed forever. My family will never forget the week we spent in Mexico.

Thanks be to God!