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Monday, March 19

Across the Border: Days 5,6

Home sweet home! If I learned anything from the mission's trip, it's to be grateful for all of the rich blessings I have, including little things I don't normally think about, like being able to take hot showers and flush the toilet paper (read about Days 1-4 to see what I mean about the toilet paper).

Day Five- Wednesday
By the time VBS ended on Wednesday, I was wiped out. But, because the church had a service that night, we didn't get to go home and eat dinner like usual. People from the base were going to bring us food for dinner, and we'd just hang out at the church all day. During the church service, we would take the kids out and entertain them. I really wasn't looking forward to it, after being with the kids all day. Plus, taking a hefty dose of immodium after my bout with Montezuma's Revenge completely blocked my digestive system, giving me cramps and bloating. Whenever I tried to jump rope or run around with the kids, I felt like throwing up.

But when the church service started, my attitude changed. There's something so special about singing hymns in Spanish and English. It made me think about what heaven would be like, when people of all tribes and tongues sing God's praise.

When we took the kids out to the next room, the missionary's daughter-in-law took over, telling the kids stories and organizing the games. She's brilliant with kids. We all learned some new games that we want to play as a youth group when we get a chance. Even though running around still upset my stomach, playing with the kids was the highlight of my day.

Day Six- Thursday

VBS group picture
Thursday was an exciting day filled with blessings. Brian, the other guys who were hanging the drywall, and I got to go on visitation today. Brian, two other people from our church, the translator's son, and I went with the Mexican pastor to visit two families. They were two very different homes.

The first house was basically a two room shed, with cracks between the boards that sunlight shone through, and a blanket for a door. A mattress on the floor took up one corner, where the family of five all slept. Marguerite, the woman of the house, kept everything as clean as could be. The pastor explained that she accepted Jesus just two months ago and was being taught weekly. We sang a few hymns, and the pastor read some scripture and taught from it. The two oldest children, a boy and a girl, paid close attention as he talked and followed along in their children's Bible. When the pastor read from Philippians, including the passage about rejoicing, a lump rose in my throat, and I swiped away tears while we prayed. They have so little, even though I know that much of the world is even worse off. Yet, they were content. They could be content, knowing that God would provide for their needs. 

The second house we visited was very different. This family was actually the pastor's mother and step-dad. He told us before we went in that his step-dad felt discouraged and hadn't been attending church, so he hoped that we'd be able to encourage him. We read scripture together and sang in both Spanish and English, and then the pastor taught in Spanish for awhile. The pastor asked if we were familiar with a hymn called "100 lambs," and when we hadn't heard of it, just the Mexicans sang it. It was based on the parable about the shepherd who left the 99 sheep at home to go find the one lost lamb, and when he found it, he rejoyced more over that one lamb than over the 99 who had stayed. Afterwards, the pastor's step-dad told us that that song really touched his heart. He was thankful that the pastor cared enough about him to come visit him and see why he hadn't been going to church, and the song reminded him of God's love for him too. He told us that it was no coincidence that we came to visit that day.

To make the day even better, around ten children went forward and prayed to accept Christ as their savior during VBS. That was a thrill to witness.

As icing on the cake, after VBS, one of the girls, Lisa, came up to me out of the blue and told me something like, "Tu ojos bonita," meaning "Your eyes are beautiful."

Since it was the last day of VBS, we had to say good-bye for the last time to all the kids and the church people. They were very sad to see us go, but repeatedly thanked us for our work with the VBS, handing out tracts and flyers all week, the dry-walled ceiling, and the yard work we accomplished.
the yard-work crew

the pile of debris
Because I have so many pictures from the last two days of the trip, I'm going to end this post here. I'll finish my updates on Wednesday!

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