Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Teen Mission Trip

A few weekends ago, a few staff members took the teens that live on our campus, on a mission trip to an orphanage about 1 ½ hours away in the desert. It’s hard to put 500 pictures and a weekend of memories into a short blog but I’ll do my best.

We loaded up 2 Back2Back vehicles with food, luggage, work supplies, and teens to try a new adventure. None of the teens were sure what to expect but we wanted them to experience what our work teams experience when they come to Back2Back.
The teens took turns helping prepare meals and clean up and actually they all were very willing to help!

The morning started with breakfast, quiet time, a small group time, and then prep to leave. We headed out Saturday to the nearby pueblo (small town) to do a work/outreach project. The clinic needed repair and we painted, did electrical work, and repaired doors, etc. There were lots of children hanging around watching. At lunch we handed out lunches we had packed to these same children and had lunch together. After a day of work, our teen girls had prepared a kind of Bible School for the local children. They had a Bible story of David and Goliath and an art project, and games. I loved watched our teens faces as they played and helped the children. There were so many smiles everywhere!
Meanwhile we also gave out sheets/towels and food to the women of the village. The day ended with us circling around and praying for the people who had come out. I watched as our teens lay hands on the children and prayed over everyone and my heart was full of joy!

That evening in debriefing almost everyone of our group said they hadn’t been sure about this trip and didn’t really want to come, but their minds had been changed and they loved it!

Sunday we visited a local church and went back to hang out a little more with our new friends at the Casa Hogar ?. I know I saw some tears as we pulled away to head back to Monterrey.

What an amazing opportunity for these teens who have groups coming to them and serving them, to go out and do the very same thing! God is moving in them and they are learning to serve Him. They are ready to go again!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Please pray for my friend, Melina. Melina was a part of our Hope Program but is no longer. I still keep in touch with her and meet up with her when I can. Today I visited her in the hospital. She is having eating issues and may have to have her gall bladder taken out. She is on an IV and can't get out of bed. After visiting, I felt very fortunate for the hospitals in the US and for the life I have been blessed with. I wanted to cry seeing her lay there in an old metal bed with a thin mattress. There are no TVs and the walls are bare. Pray for a quick recovery for her!!
I wrote a week ago about visiting the childrens' home called 'El Retiro Juvenil'. They are doing some neat things like growing a garden to supply their vegetables and also 2 cows were donated by a group from the United States, to be used for food and for animal therapy...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The hot weather is here to stay. It's been in the high 90's all week and this calls for pool time! I have been spending a lot of time with the little girls dorm at Casa Hogar Douglas. A few of us staff women went and got the girls on Friday afternoon to bring them to our pool! The water was cold but the girls did not want to get out...What a fun time - we all had smiles on our faces!!

Of course there was snack time, too!

Friday, April 8, 2011

New life changes...

For those of you who didn't get my newsletter or haven't had time to open it and read it, I am inserting most of it here:

Dear friends,

These past few months have been another growing time in my life, as if every day isn’t! I
came back from Christmas vacation in the States ready to seek the Lord on what was next for
me. I started a Daniel fast for 21 days. It is a fast that Daniel did to set himself apart from
the others in the King’s palace and to give up the finer things the others had. It is a time to
put your focus on a specific thing. I kept hearing from God to trust Him that he had a plan,
but I didn’t need to know everything - that I needed to only take one step at a time. I knew I
was ready for a change and I felt that change was moving back to the States for a time.

Well right at that time our director announced that there was a baby that needed a home and
was adoptable. My heart skipped a beat and I felt that I needed to pursue that. I then started
a process of meetings and planning, and waiting and waiting and a roller-coaster ride that
ended in things not working out. It is a difficult process here and things are done differently
and it was out of my hands. I was heartbroken and I don’t know why I had to go through that
but some day I will know. I know that baby was covered in prayer for a long time and I hope
that his life will be changed because of it.

So, over a month later, I was back to where I started. Seeking God, I feel a peace about
returning home for a Sabbatical of 6 months as I figure out what’s next for me! It’s
never an easy change to leave relationships and my ‘family’ I’ve been with for 4 years!
Please pray with me for the transition, especially the teens who have felt a lot of
abandonment in their lives as I leave them. Pray for my future and that I will be
content to not have a ‘plan’. Pray for my many fears... how to make ends meet, finding
my place in the world again, leaving relationships, finding fulfillment...

It has been an amazing 4 years here and I have grown so much and I don’t regret any
moment of my time here!

I will be going back to Indiana at the end of July. I have no job or home at this point. For
my Indiana friends, please keep me in mind if you hear of anyone who has a room to rent or
needs a house-sitter...

The Lord is faithful and awesome in power! I am trusting in Him!!


Thursday was Maria Luisa's birthday. She turned 8 and lives at El Retiro Juvenil, a childrens' home we serve. Maria Luisa just came to the home and has never had a party for her birthday, but this year changed that. All the kids and caregivers got together and surprised her with a wonderful celebration. She was so excited and I loved being there and being a part of it!!

She opened her eyes to a decorated palapa and all the kids shouting!

There was a meal with meat, which is a treat for them all!

And the mordida 'cake in the face' tradition, which goes along with all birthdays

All the kids participated in games

And last, of course, the pinata!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Yesterday I got to hike the "Cerro de la Silla" or the Saddleback Mountain that Monterrey is known for. It is a huge landmark and I've always wanted to do this hike. Tim, Kathy, and I went about 1500 ft. straight up and didn't go to the tip (the antennae). But that was enough for me. I am feeling sore today!
The mountain from the city

From the trail

We bought oranges along the trail!

At the platform where the city below looks so tiny

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A little treehouse picnic!

A few of my students chose to have lunch with me as a reward and so we decided to make use of the new treehouse! It was fun!

Monday, February 28, 2011

SMCA Spirit Week!

We had our first ever Spirit Week and the kids loved it! It was a good break from their uniforms every day.
Monday was hat day!

Tuesday was jeans day!

Wednesday was crazy hair day!

Thursday was backwards day!

Friday was Pajama Day!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Since Christmas I have decided to add yet another role to my week. A lot of the children at the childrens' homes are struggling in their schoolwork and reading and since that is my specialty, I decided to help. I went and tested letter sounds, words, and reading and then am creating games the kids can play to improve in those areas. We have already seen some improvements and they no longer need to be bribed with candy to play the games!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's day in Monterrey

Mexico really makes a big deal about Valentine's Day but it's called the Day of Love and Friendship. Everyone gives each other candy and gifts. It's a lot of fun!
I got flowers from friends, Valentines from my kids at school, and candy from the teen girls!!

My students making their Valentine boxes:

Our Valentine party!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rio 3

Yesterday I got the opportunity to go to the Rio3, a poor community, to help translate for a medical team! It was a wonderful day getting face to face with the people and getting to show them a little bit of Jesus. I was checking people in and filling out a form with name, age, symptoms, etc... We saw about 60 patients!
The check-in team:

The waiting line: