Mexico Mission Journal – Day 1

Greetings from your Mexico Mission team in Weslaco, Texas! We have safely arrived and will soon be tucked in safe and sound in our “home away from home,” the Weslaco First Presbyterian Church.

Photo Courtesy: Faith Ministries

Our trip here, via the church bus, was easy for the most part. We departed from Kay-May, where we picked up our breakfast road food, and met Pastor Dayton and D. for a traveling prayer at 6:00 on Saturday. You may or may not know that Don and Diane Payne drove their own car, as they
will be journeying on at the end of this week to visit their relatives in Texas. Because of that, Kayo ended up being the main driver of the bus, and he did an excellent job, both in the rain on Saturday night and in the very windy weather today. (We are always so grateful for a safe passage to our destination.)

Unfortunately, Karryl Anderson, our faithful Mission from Alabaster, received word late Saturday afternoon that his wife Becky had fallen and fractured her shoulder. Karryl quickly decided that he would have to leave the trip and return home ASAP to be with Becky. Any of you who have
missioned with Karryl know that he is an essential member of our team, and he had definitely found his gift for serving others as part of this Mission in Mexico. Even as we traveled down the interstate, we prayed for both Becky and Karryl, and then we set to the task of getting Karryl home
as quickly as possible. Thank goodness for technologically savvy younger folks! Kata jumped right in and served as Karryl’s personal travel agent, securing him a reservation on the first plane to Birmingham this morning. Because the Paynes had their own car, Don was able to drive Karryl to
the Houston airport bright and early today, and Don was still able to meet us at the Sugarland Starbucks for our second round of coffee, compliments of Matthew Pinson. Thanks, bunches, Matthew, for our Starbucks treat!

We arrived at Weslaco FPC around 2:30 today, and were greeted by Charles Bell and Terry, affectionately known as “the iceman.” Colleen and the Faith Ministry intern, Victoria, also were here, as they had just brought our van for the week. With all their help, we were able to offload our
personal “gear,” as well as our coolers, tools, and the coats you all so graciously donated in record time. Both Colleen and Victoria headed back to meet the second group who is working here this week. (That group is a small inter-generational group from Austin, a group that is returning to work with Faith Ministry for the first time in ten years.)

So we were soon off to WalMart for our usual shopping trip to purchase water and food for the week, as well as some of the gifts we will give later this week. We paired up and each team took two of Diane’s grocery lists; there were 8 lists in all, and while we shopped, Kayo and Doug
purchased the water for the week. In record time, all ten of us were gathered back at the front of the store and in line to check out with our seven buggies! Sandra checked us out with only one small hitch: when one puts 12 five pound bags of sugar on the conveyer belt, it actually stops
conveying! Those bags of flour and sugar and cornmeal all had to be manually moved down the line in order to be scanned.

By the way, we also unloaded those buggies and put all the purchases on the bus in record time, too!

As in past year, we all wear crosses made by The Potter’s Hand, with the directive to give that cross away whenever called to do so. WalMart always gives us many opportunities to share the love of God as well as a handmade cross, with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Tomorrow, we
will continue to share that love in every way possible, as we become the presence of Christ in all our daily activities.

Tonight, we shared a delicious potluck meal prepared by our friends here at Weslaco FPC. It was great to re-connect with these folks who have made it their mission to serve us for a week each summer. As we told them, they are our family while we mission across the border this week, and
we are so grateful for their love and support. After dinner, David Rodriguez, the Executive Director of Faith Ministry told us a little about the current cultural climate in Mexico. He mentioned two particular things that are affecting all of Mexico right now: the economy, which has an exchange
rate of 21 pesos to the American dollar, and the fact that it is an election year for the President of the country. David also said, “I know God is in control, and we are meant not to stay; we are meant to go. So, go, smile, preach, and tell your Mexican friends and co-workers that God loves

At our evening devotional, we were joined by the minister, Pastor McCann, and a few of his church members here. This year, we have streamlined our worship time a bit, so after singing a couple of songs, we talked a bit about our day, and, in the words of Karryl, “told what we would
have missed if we had not ventured on this journey of faith and service.” We reviewed our schedule, and Kayo outlined our work schedule for the week. (Tomorrow, we will be prepping the floor and then mixing and pouring the concrete floor for the home we are building.) Following our
intercessory prayer, we closed with the Lord’s Prayer, en Español. For several years now, Kayo has been encouraging us to learn this prayer in Spanish. (In fact, Karen Catlett even typed it out and laminated it for us, so we could carry it with us across the border.) This year, in honor of Kayo
and Karen, we are going to try to master this prayer in Spanish … by the end of the week! After packing the water in ice coolers, prepping the morning coffee, setting up the lunch-making table, as well as the breakfast-serving table, and organizing our gear for the morning, we were all
off to bed. Lights out is actually 9:00 p.m., and we try to honor that time and get ourselves tucked in for the night as close as possible to that time.

We are honored to be your hands and feet across the border this week as we build a home for some of God’s dear children in the colonias of Mexico. Please continue to pray for us as we serve the Lord this week.

Your pen pal in Texas and Mexico …