Thursday, 19 March 2015

our day of rest and pic-ups

Sunday started off in the hot tub and by mid day moved on to beach patrol and sun worship.
After having trouble with choosing dinner and online/phone/ordering problems with a few pizza places, we went out for a walk and dinner.

It actually turned into dinner and a show as we watched the ladies eat sushi with potent doses of wasabi. You know - that short time of "ohwowIputtoomuchwasabionthatlastpiecehowdidthathappen" panic...

As the evening went on and google sent me updates of Daniel and Dakota's waiting adventure. Plane delays with the airline were sent and were very helpful as we didn't have to phone to find out if it was on time or not...  They even told me what terminal and gate they were arriving at. Cool.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Saturday - a travel day

It's hard to believe we have to pack up and leave this little piece of Heaven already.  We have built stronger connections and leave pieces of our hearts at Mount of Olives - Casa Hogar (orphanage), and look forward to leading future missions trips here!!  Thank you Darrell and Maureen for being such gracious hosts and may God continue to bless the work you do in Uruapan and beyond.

This morning I got up a little early and watched the sunrise while listening to bethel Music. So good. Peaceful, contemplating life and death and our purpose of being here. All with a good cuppa joe in hand. Today's word of the day was 'resting in peace'.

After another wonderful breakfast we played a short game of soccer on the field they levelled off since we were there last, and then said our goodbyes to Brian, Alice and Susan, and also to Darryl and Maureen. We were all off to the states again- each through a different border. The three amigos through Mexicali to get to Yuma, D&M through Tecate to San Diego, and us through Tijuana.  The road back was uninterrupted.  The weather was excellent, the Starbucks delicioso, and the Pacific Ocean beautiful and rugged as we travelled.

As we closed in on the border, traffic certainly got busier, and as we reached the last 1.5km to the actual crossing booths, the vendors who sell day after day after day became more numerous very quickly. Afters months and years of practice, they certainly refined their haggling and negotiating skills down to a fine art. Following, line of questioning, what they carried with them, knowing intuitively what it was you actually wanted, what colours sell best and what don't. It was fun to watch and experience, although this time we were happy about the line moving faster than last time (when we almost ran out of gas in line), we weren't able to truly enjoy the 'people haggling' and 'people watching' time in line.

When we crossed into the USA we had the honour of driving through the X-ray machine and another line of questioning in a 'random' check. That was pretty boring, apart from watching the motorcycle guy next to us have to empty his pockets, helmet and shoes, submit to a dog sniff and open a few compartments on his bike... Quite the process.

Once up in San Diego we checked in at the hotel, and within about 1/2 an hour met up with the Jellema tribe who had just landed and picked up their van. It was a warm day and the kids were happy to jump in the pool and enjoy a little screen time in the A/C rooms. Wandering about a little, dinner at Chipotle, and talking about our journey and theirs took care of a good deal of the night. Tomorrow will be a relax day...

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Friday, March 13

We had a full day today, from seeing the poverty of the migrant workers camps to experiencing the beauty of the landscape and La Bufadora, and then visiting a farm that raises 500 sheep, chickens, turkeys, goats, and of course some puppies.

The migrant camp was an experience I will never forget.  Our first stop was at Calimax - a grocery store in Ensenada, where we bought 30 litres of milk, 30 bags of rice, 30 bottles of oil, and 30 bags of pasta.  Then across the street we bought 2 crates of oranges.  After driving a ways to get there we stopped at the bottom of the mountain, where a few shacks were set up.   It looked deserted but after Darrell honked the van horn, slowly but surely a number of women and children came out and walked toward the van.  We didn't know what Darrell was doing and thought we'd be getting out there to give out the supplies we had but he just opened the doors and in they climbed!  I ended up with a beautiful babe on my lap.  We crammed in as many as we could and then another bunch of kids climbed into the back of Brian's pickup truck.

The owners of the farms also own the land where the camps are and some provide the camps with water and sanitation - these are the good camps.

We drove about half way up the mountain on the bumpy dusty road and pulled into a levelled off area where some shacks were set up - the camp.  We all piled out and met the others that lived in the camp.  The kids immediately lined up in 2 rows ready to kick one of the soccer balls we brought into the hole in a piece of plywood we brought up.  If they get it through the hole, they get to keep the soccer ball.  This went on for a half hour or so until one boy skillfully lined up the ball, took a shot, and YES! got it in.  He was one happy boy!! And both of the balls we brought were won.  :)

Then we brought out the clothes, tooth brushes, candy and blankets that we took along and divided them amongst the Moms and kids.  Some will stand right beside you and try to take everything you bring out of the box.  It's a bit of a zoo at that point, but the need is great and the people are anxious to get what ever they can.  After this the Moms stand in a line and receive a bag of food and then everyone gets one or two oranges.

I talked (mostly with actions and the wee bit of Spanish I have learned) to a 16 year old girl who just had her second child..a beautiful boy.  She was so proud of her 2 children, showing me her new son, nestled in her snuggly.   I prayed a prayer of blessing over her new son, that he would grow up big and strong, and we were on our way.

I left thinking about what it would take to transform that little migrant camp to where it didn't have to exist anymore because all of the inhabitants would have their own house, work that could provide a decent living for them, and education for the children and the young adults that are no longer in school because they have children.  That would be the end goal of transformation in that community...meeting felt needs through education and support until they are supporting themselves. Another step in the direction of eliminating systemic poverty one person/community at a time.

Darrell and Maureen frequent that camp as they take each team that visits them there doing what we did.  The people there respect them and they have become family to them.

It was difficult to leave there and carry on with our day.  We drove further south and reached 'La Bufadora'.  After a tasty fish taco lunch from a place that Darrell and Maureen also frequent (a brother to one of the "house dad's" at Casa Hogar), we walked down the street lined with venders, all wanting our business, to the end where we saw the guyser/blowhole.  It performed without fail and we enjoyed the spray of the cool ocean on our faces.

On the way back to the orphanage we stopped in at another friend of Darrell and Maureen who they help to support.  Sarah has 2 children, Angel and Jesus.  Jesus has epilepsy and is mentally and physically handicapped.  He just stared at us and smiled as we held his hand and prayed over him.  Sarah is a remarkable Mom with a beautiful attitude and carries such joy in her despite her difficult circumstances.  Her son Angel is a huge help to her as he loves on his brother, and she was so proud of him, showing Darrell and Maureen his recent report card with excellent marks.  This is actually a success story compared to what we witnessed in the migrant camps - there is employment, a home (albeit a trailer with an added plywood room for Jesus),  and education.

We arrived back at the Orphanage to another wonderful meal prepared by Rosa and Patti, 2 women that Darrell and Maureen employ to cook for the groups that they host.  After dinner we chatted with Brian, Alice, and Susan (3 retired snowbirds from that drove up from Yuma...that's another story...) and then called it a day.   Thank you Father, for your provision, faithfulness, and love that never fails. We are grateful for the opportunity to be your hands and feet in this fallen world.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Yesterday I found myself thinking about the Grandfather I never met. He was a bee keeper in The Netherlands and died During WW II, When my Dad was just a young 9 years old. I was cleaning bee hives - the white square wooden box kind - of all the left over bees wax. It felt special to me to be doing something I know my Grandfather That Would Have done many times in His lifetime. :)

Duane and Liam continued to map out the prayer garden Duane That drew plans for the last time we were here and Dominique, Jamesa, and Evan spent the better part of the day doing odd jobs for Darrell and Maureen.  

We were privileged to sit in on the music lesson of some of the kids here. Some are learning to play the guitar and the piano and some of them are all part of the choir. Man, They can sing !! It was beautiful to hear the kids belting out songs about the love Jesus has for them. We pray that what they are singing is going deep down into their heart! I was in my element as I sat down beside one of the girls and Helped her learn to play Here I Come To Worship on the piano. :)

Being here has been such a gift after the pace we were living before we left. God knows what we need and is eager to give us good gifts!  

Today will be a mix of work and play. We are headed to the migrant camps to visit and play with the kids there as well as La Bufadora  
Tune in tomorrow for a peak at today! 

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Time is so strange When you travel. This morning we woke up in Seattle and esta afternoon we find ourselves in Mexico! All Went so smoothly today from shuttle busses picking us up at 5:30 a.m. to flights, to rental vehicle, to finding our way-through Tijuana and driving across the border without even stopping, driving-through to Ensenada and finding our way to Urupan! Praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow !!  

Have Three years passed but it feels like yesterday That We drove up the hillside to visit the Mount of Olives orphanage. God has-been so faithful to this mission as we can see from the Changes That Have taken place here. At the top of the mountain stands a beautiful building now houses teams That When They Come here to work to complete with rooms full of bunk beds, a bathroom, a huge kitchen, and a picturesque "living room" complete with fireplace and big windows overlooking the incredible olive groves. Outside is still a work in progress and Duane will leave a phase 2 plan for the prayer garden / fire pit area. The massive bolder That the kids Climbed 3 years ago has not moved (ha) Which we spotted as we turned off the highway and made our way up the hillside.  

The last time we were here we came from the other different direction so we prayed for God to show us the turn off to Urupan so we would not miss it and I did. It is amazing how the sights and fun Become so familiar again!  

We feel so privileged to be here again, to share in the work of this amazing mission, and to Strengthen the ties that so Quickly Grabbed us 3 years ago. The kids are off Already exploring and taking pictures. We are looking forward to seeing the resident kids later today or tomorrow and Have An Excursion planned to visit a local "camp" where some of the kids That meat from live here. These kids Have very little and live in poverty. We will bring some of the soccer balls That We Have with us and play some games with them, and leave them some other needed items That Mount of Olives supplies.

We are Being called for dinner ... more to come later!   We are so thankful for each day and for the opportunity to be here together. Thank you, Jesus !!