Well, for those of you who don’t know…I just got back from our church’s annual service trip to the Rancho 3M orphanage in Guadlupe, Mexico. It is impossible to relate all that God did while we were there, but hopefully I can share a little of my experience and let the coming pictures and video projects relate some of the rest.
We, my family and I, arrived several days before the team and were greeted by a small army of children clamoring for attention. But for me…the moment each year I can never forget is the first few little voices ringing out from the crowd calling my name “Mississippi, Mississippi” and in that moment…I feel at home.
Our team this year was smaller than previous years, but the to do list never seems to get any smaller. My friend Kristin and I were given the job of tiling. Neither of us had a clue how to tile and our first and only lesson consisted of “here’s the thin set, there’s the tile”. It was a learning experience and I will be the first to admit that our initial efforts were…well, after a ruined bag of thin set and getting drenched with the wet saw…we started getting into the swing of things and by God’s grace finished the assigned rooms and are still walking and have all our fingers.
The other big project was remodeling a bathroom for one of the staff families. I won’t go into the details, but it was a small nightmere and again…it was only by the grace of God it was completed by the time we left. As you can see from the pictures…they riped out the walls, floor and celing and put it all back beautifully.
We also had a game time with the kids in the afternoons and then more time to hang out with them after dinner each evening. We were all so blessed by their eager and persisstant desire to play with us. Everything from having your eyes dug out by little Marco who wanted to play guess who, to the little girls who learned how to say “push please” and would beg us to push them on the swing, to the older kids who loved basket ball, to the slightly varied version of Duck, Duck, Goose (pato, pato, gonzo) we would play with the little boys, not all of whom even got the game in the first place and would simply run around in circles and laugh.
A highlight of each year is the group’s devotional times. For the five weeks prior to our trip we all participated in prayer, fasting and bible study for our trip. This year we were going through the book “Whiter than Snow” by Paul Tripp which is a study on Psalms 51. I was so blessed through the book, the bible study we did along with it and the group discussion times we had each morning after our personal devotions. It was such a blessing to start the day in God’s word confronted with our salvation from sin and ending each day remember Christ’s work on the cross and rejoicing in the testimonies of his specific work in our hearts that day.
Each year has it’s unique joys and struggles, but for me personally this year was overflowing with peace and a nearness of the Lord. God answered my prayers for this trip in ways over and beyond what I could have even asked for. Not just in a general way, but He very specifically answered my prayers, in a way that I know it was not by my hand, but by His work alone. I have gone back and forth writing this trying to find a way to really express the waterfall of grace that the Lord not only gave me on the trip, but continues to give me each day, but I can’t seem to find the balance in what to share, so I will just leave you with this. Our God is great and to Him be all the glory!
There were three main photographers on this trip. You can view our pictures at the links below.