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Wednesday, March 21

Across the Border: Days 7,8

This post contains my best pictures from the week. For more about what I did in Mexico, see Days 1-4 and Days 5,6.

Day Seven-Friday

Today was our fun day! After a pancake breakfast, we went downtown to shop.


This guy paints tiny scenes on sea shells. We bought one for a unique souvenir.



Scores of little children followed us everywhere, chanting "One dollar, un dolar," asking us to buy their bracelets. They targeted me especially, because I have a nice-lady look about me. They also asked me to buy them food, and no matter how many times I told them "No, gracias," they never left me alone. But before we left, we gave them all tracts and they hugged me good-bye!  




Look at that mega bag of cheetos!

After shopping we played volleyball before heading to the beach. It was breathtakingly beautiful.




Pelicans



Me and Brian
The water was freezing cold, and after getting in, I couldn't get warm again. I didn't stay until dark like everyone else as a result, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the time I was there.

We ended the week with a bonfire, singing, and testimonies. It was a pleasure to hear the stories from the week and hear how God worked in everyone's lives.


Day Eight- Trip Home
4 a.m. Rise and shine! We dressed, finished packing, ate breakfast, and loaded up.
5:30 a.m. We officially started the drive home.
Around 11, we reached the border.
Aside from a long wait, crossing the border was uneventful for our van. The van with our translator and his son was momentarily delayed while they questioned the two of them, but soon we were all safely back in the U.S.


We stopped at McDonald's in Yuma for lunch. Normally, I'm not a big fan, but I was seriously craving an all-American Big Mac!


We ended up camping out in the parking lot for awhile, since the starter on one of the vans went out. Thankfully, we weren't far from a parts store, and the timing couldn't have been better. 

6:45 pm. We pulled into the church parking lot. As darkness settled and we gathered for prayer, it felt eerily like the previous Saturday morning before we left. The week went by so fast, and yet it felt like an eternity since we'd been home.

Speaking of which, I really struggled during the missions trip with feeling like I didn't do anything. I was sick all day Monday, and didn't really get back to mostly normal until Friday. I helped with VBS, but the teens and missionary had it all down to a science. I didn't do much there except help the kids put together their crafts for ten minutes. They really didn't need me.

As far as the work projects went, on Tuesday morning, I tried to work really hard clearing the empty lot next to the church. But since I hadn't eaten much, I got dizzy and had to sit inside. On Wednesday, I was excited about getting to work more, but the leaders decided I would go hand out flyers and tracts instead. Ultimately, I'm thankful for that, because it was a very neat experience. Then Thursday I got to go on visitation, but I didn't say a single word the whole time other than hello and good-bye. I thought my contribution could be singing, but I couldn't even remember the words to well-known hymns. 

Sitting around the campfire on Friday night, I wondered if it was really worth it. I felt discouraged that I didn't have wonderful stories to share like the others. But as I thought about it later that night and Saturday night, maybe what God wanted me to learn was that I wasn't as needed, as important, as I thought. That it's a blessing just to be used by God, and that maybe He was using me in ways that I wasn't aware of. 

I like to look strong and capable. And there was nothing strong or capable about puking my guts out at the beginning of the week. Maybe God wanted me to give up that facade and teach me to accept help from others. It wasn't easy for me.

And there's no doubt that I have a renewed sense of total gratitude for God's blessings to us, like this rental house, our vehicles, our clothes, our food, toilets, everything God continues to provide even while Brian is unemployed. It solidifies my trust that He will also provide Brian with a new job in His timing. 

So what about you? Has God ever had to humble you?
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