Well the busyness of life never seems to slow down, even in the apparent wake of a tragedy. Not my tragedy, someone else's but nonetheless....and no not someone I personally know but....tragedy still the same.
I never finished my Mexico tale, and from what it looks like, I barely started it as well. Let's just say God is amazing and He always knows what He's doing and from time to time He blesses us by letting us be a part of His plans! Mexico forever changed me and I can not wait to go back on another missions trip. Funny, I remember being in 8th grade and so mad that they made me take a semester of Spanish (I was more enthralled with the French language at the time) and thinking, When on earth will I ever need this??? HA! Guess what that 8th grade Spanish came in handy. I was able to say "Uno momento por favor" to everyone LOL and then I would yell for Solie to come speak to the kids!
So what did happen in Mexico?
Well remember how we were there to pass out shoes to the kids? Well we did, but in a different way than in years past. And it was all God's plan all along! Remember that friend of mine telling me I wasn't going for the reason I thought I was, she was right! There was something bigger going on, much bigger!
La Vina, the Vineyard in Vamos Tamaulipas, Reynosa, Mexico, is currently on "loaned" land. The way things work down there is the government "grants" you land, but you have to fill out paperwork and blah blah blah and its a five year process. Anyway the land the church is currently sitting on is still owned by the government, the new government. The government that granted the land is no longer in power so this new regime could come in and just take it. Just like that, especially if they don't like what it is used for. The new government is not exactly what we would call a group of believers, either. So on Wednesday when they said they are coming on Friday and want to see what the Vineyard is all about and what we are doing there, the pastors of La Vina were more than a little nervous. God's plan....
So rather than pass out shoes on Wednesday we cleaned up the area around La Vina. There is no garbage service, these people literally just put their garbage in their front yard or in the road or where ever it happens to land. Its not because they want to be this way, they just don't know what else to do. So we cleaned up the grounds and burned the garbage, cleaned up the mobile kitchen to serve lunch from on Friday, the guys poured concrete, dug fence post holes and we burned what will one day be a soccer field. (see pictures)
We were truly tired, but it was a labor of love, when we got back to the houses that night. I'm not sure I made it much past dinner. I headed to bed early. The next day was scheduled to be a "fun" day. We had planned to go shopping in a little town called Progresso...oh geez, the name escapes me at the moment, I think Progresso is soup, maybe its a Mexican village too, at the moment, I have no idea! But our plans changed slightly Thursday morning.
It was the "girls" turn to cook breakfast so we were up at the crack of dawn to get cookin for all us. Cooking, as it turns out, had to be put on the back burner for a moment. Troy, our assistant pastor, came running into the kitchen to ask if we knew where the owner was. I said we didn't, and asked what was going on. He said Rhonda, our trip coordinator, had fallen down the stairs and possibly broken her arm. What??? You can't be serious! Serious is exactly the way to describe Rhonda's injuries. The four of us that were cooking stopped and prayed for Rhonda and then headed into the house they were staying in. Rhonda was pale as a ghost and had a huge bump on her forehead. She had wanted to take a shower and in order to get to the bathroom she had to go down a steep flight of stairs and go through the room that our pastor and the assistant pastor were sleeping in. To not disturb the "pastors" Rhonda did not turn on the hall light over the steps and she thought she had made it to the landing, when she was still 3 steps up. She fell head first and hit her head and landed on her shoulder. Fortunately we had a nurse with us and she was able to get Rhonda upright again, but she did end up in the ER that morning. Rhonda was told she may have broken the bone in her upper arm but they did not want to cast it, because she would still be able to move, so they put her in an immobilizer and sent her back to us. We asked her if she wanted to go home, but she wanted to stay and finish the trip with the rest of us. I really had no idea why on earth she would want to put herself through another 30 hour van ride with a possibly broken arm...but she truly is a servant of God. After Rhonda made it back to us, we did end up heading out to Progresso to do a little shopping.
Let me just say that if you never have to drive in Mexico...consider yourself VERY blessed! Holy Moly! What a trip! You won't believe me and I don't think I can upload a video, and even if I could the video would not do the tale justice. We entered highways on exit ramps, drove the wrong way down one ways, drove through active construction, I can't even tell you what an adventure we went on! It was truly the ride of a lifetime getting to this town of Progresso. Once there we only had a couple of hours to go shopping, which was more than enough. Lots of fun little shops and cheap cheap prices! I could have spent a fortune! Thank God we only had 2 hours!
We got home and got our game plan in place for Friday and went to bed. Friday am came way too quickly. We had to be in the colonia even earlier so we could get the shoes to the school and get the kitchen set up to cook and be ready for when the government officials showed up. Some of the kids pitched in on Friday and it was so much fun to be able to see their faces when they received their shoes. The government officials handed out shoes for about an hour and then asked most of our team to come into the superintendents office to chat. They were so impressed with how well Vamos Tamaulipas is doing and they contribute much of its success to the Vineyard being there! In fact they asked if we could go into other colonias in Reynosa! How cool is that?! It wasn't official when we left, but it sounded, well we could be pretty confident that the land was La Vina's for good! Only one piece of paperwork left to be filed until the land is permanently La Vina's!!! God is so cool God is so cool!
So that is my Mexico adventure, paraphrased of course ;)
I hope you can see how present God was in our adventure, because we could feel His presence every single day! Thank you PaPa!