Well, this is it. The final Mexico post. I hope you have enjoyed getting a glimpse of my time down at BPS. If you did enjoy the photos, you should consider joining the ministry on one of their trips next summer. Seriously. It's worth the money. It's worth the time. It's worth the "risk". It will change your life.
Before the Wednesday noon service, a few of the guys played fútbol with some Mexican kids. Hehe, the Americans got schooled.
Us girls had a little fun at the park before the meeting too. Allie and I both work with kids...I guess we were just missing our jobs...
...not sure what these guy's excuse was though... :)
Hector - always doing his job with a smile on his face
No wonder these kids are so good at fútbol; they start 'em early!
This picture just makes me laugh...Nick smiling in his 'sleep' and that oh so awkward and uncomfortable look on Bill's face
Just chilling at the Soriana. Josh was acting a bit uncharacteristically goofy for some reason. ;)
Quick story behind this one: the whole time down at BPS, Rob would check the calories on everything he ate...and would then proceed to ask us "Do you know how many calories are in that???" So, when he got ice cream at the Soriana, it was a big deal. :D
Beautiful brown eyed children...I miss them.
Thanks to Allie for capturing us puppeteers in action
Hector switching over the guys to Spanish
Hector and his family were so awesome to us summer workers...from nursing us through our colds, to inviting us over to meals, their hospitality was a huge blessing!
Our "family" photo...great group of people, great memories.
The guys headed out early Friday morning. We all got up to say goodbye to them, so I was able to catch the gorgeous sunrise. The El Paso desert is a beautiful place.
The third week brought some good lessons. Of course we were all really excited to be heading back into Juarez for meetings. The meetings that week, however, ended up being fairly small; especially compared to the first week when we had 300 people show up. At the service on Wednesday night, there was a handful of kids, but only one adult. I kept praying throughout the service that more people would come, but when Hector gave the invitation, it was still just the one man. That man did pray to receive Christ, though, which was exciting. I felt like God was really trying to impress on me the value of one soul. Jesus would have done what He did for just one person, so even if only one person got saved the whole time we were down in Juarez, it was worth it!
|One last look at Juarez|
The night before we left, Kenn gave one final message. He spoke out of Philippians 3, which has always been a favorite passage of mine. I really appreciated what he said. He was talking about pressing on toward the things that lie ahead. Charles Spurgeon once said "a cake made of memories will do for a bite now and then, but it makes poor daily bread." Kenn reminded us that we need something new everyday. My time at BPS El Paso was simply a springboard, a starting place to the rest of my life. Summer 2012 is a landmark along the way, a stone to set up in memorial, a testimony to carry with us, but there is so much more ahead. So much more that God wants to do. My life after BPS El Paso proves what I learned at BPS. If we are not faithful in 'Jerusalem', we will not be faithful in the uttermost parts of the earth. Going home is where the rubber meets the road - but the same God who saw us safely in and out of Mexico, the same God who quieted distractions, and controlled street lights, the same God that spoke the mountains we climbed and the caverns we toured into existence, that same God goes home with us. God doesn't stay at BPS El Paso. People see God more clearly down there because they are actively looking for Him and depending on Him for everything. That same life of faith can be lived in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, it's just up to us to make that decision.
|Layover in Phoenix|
Integrating back into "normal" life after 3 weeks away, was interesting. I would find myself wandering back, thinking, "Oh, it's Tuesday, the group is having Ofelia's pizza for lunch...now they're crossing the border...let's see, right about now they're starting the meeting." It's hard to shake the images of those children with their big brown eyes staring up at you. Or the run down city streets litered with garbage. Or the church congregation that welcomed us like they'd known us forever. Eric Ludy, in his video "Depraved Indifference" says that "heroes are made because they are moved, not in their head, but in their heart. Jesus Christ was moved - 'for God so loved the world that He gave." I don't want to forget what I saw or learned in Juarez, but I don't want to merely remember it in my head, I want it to touch my heart and affect the way I live. I don't want to be the kind of person that goes on a mission trip every summer and then lives unaffected by what I saw the rest of the year. Shortly after I got home, Ann Voskamp, author of the "A Holy Experience" blog, was documenting her own trip to Haiti. She wrote a really good article containing practical ways to serve long after you've left the foreign mission field. "You don't look into the eyes of the poor", she wrote, "and plead the 5th amendment - your life is always the answer...I need no words, just hands and feet, and a heart to act." I would encourage you to read it, and pick out 1, or 3, or 10 things that you can do to make a difference.
|Sunrise over the Twin Cities|
As I said at the beginning, consider making a trip down to BPS next summer - you'll come back with a new perspective on life and a new understanding of God.
"How can we who are saved, who are resting on the wood and righteousness of that Cross, look at a whole world out there drowning in a veritable storm of darkness and just breathe this happy sigh of relief that we've been plucked out to safety? There's a whole aching, drowning world out there, and they're asking: 'if what you say is true, and you really care about us, what in the world have you been doing, and why in the world didn't you come sooner?'"