***** NEW UPDATE****
Friday, July 6th
Today the whole Mexico team went to Casa Hogar, an orphanage about an hour from the Caravan dorms. The adventure of the day occurred on the way to the orphanage. I was in the lead van with the interns, who were making sure we had all three team vans behind us. (It was also the hottest van I have ever ridden in— everyone from our group was sweating buckets) As we turned a corner, however, we noticed that only Cass Shell’s van was behind us, and so decided to stop at a gas station to wait for them. After a few minutes, some of the interns had come to the conclusion that the other vans had taken a wrong turn. For some reason, we stayed, however, and a short time later, the Brinker van came into view, being pushed by some of the riders! The McCormick van was right behind them, protecting the pushers. After a while of sitting at the gas station figuring out what to do, Eddie Passmore came to give us a new van so we could all travel to the orphanage.
At the orphanage, we played with a bunch of kiddos, hand mixed concrete to build a retaining wall, prepared food, sanded sheet rock mud, and painted a wall.
Mixing concrete was a unique experience, and proved to be hard work for the ten or so people from our group who helped with it. We would shovel wheel barrows full of sand and gravel then dump them on the ground to be shovel mixed with concrete powder and water.We then shovel filled 5 gallon buckets of the concrete and carried them to the cinder block wall we were filling.The hard work was made more fun by Jaqueline, who, with my help, surprised a few people by dumping water on them. During our time at the orphanage, we were able to finish filling the cinder block wall with the concrete. Those who helped out with the concrete also got an extra shower tonight. :)
There was a small group of 6 who helped with the sanding.One person used an electric sander and the rest hand sanded sheetrock mud on the walls of a building that had been previously sheet rocked. Once that dusty project was completed, the room was painted.
Those in the kitchen our served by preparing about 90 plates of ham and cheese sandwiches, Doritos and watermelon for lunch.We were able to enjoy our late lunch with the kids.
The rest of us enjoyed playing with the kiddos by making animal balloons, water color painting, making rubber band and bead bracelets, coloring color sheets, playing with stickers, playing soccer and painting nails with polish.
The Team is all doing well now! Thank you for praying!
Thursday, July 5th
Today the whole Cornerstone group served together at Missionary Church. This is a mission group that Ruth Brinker’s Uncle Vince is associated with and is a church/women’s shelter/hang-out place for kids. We enjoyed playing with the kids, leveling ground area for bathrooms, and putting a support beam in a house. We also reinforced some of their church pews.
Upon arriving at the Missionary Church, we were served a meal of nachos and watermelon. The watermelon and nachos were delicious and super generous on the part of our hosts, considering they fed an additional forty-two people! The kids were as excited as we were to play with a parachute, soccer ball, coloring pages, and balloon animals. We thought playing with the kids couldn't get any more fun, until Saul (one of the interns) started squirting people with a squirt bottle. Upon this discovery, most of our team found themselves being sneak-attacked by all of the Mexican children and completely soaked! While this activity would be awful during a Minnesota winter, it felt refreshing in the 97 degree weather we were experiencing!
Meanwhile, about six people from our group were working on leveling the ground for bathrooms.This was exhausting and muscle-building work for the servants on our team.
Putting in the support beam was pretty uneventful, as was reinforcing the church pews.
For dinner, Patti (a national staff) cooked a meal of pork, beans, noodle salad, and tortillas.
In our team debrief tonight, we discussed what we have been learning, which included discussions about being a missionary and its difficulties, focusing on eternity, hearing God’s call, being convicted, and deciding what you want to live for. By listening to the speakers and serving others, we’ve all learned many things this week. Hopefully these lessonswill stick with us, convict us, and be applied in our lives once we return
Thank you all for praying for us! We can’t wait to share all the details of our adventures with you!
“If we wait until there’s no risk, the gospel won’t be shared.”
Today we broke up into 3 teams:
Team one consisted ofScott, Sam, Anna Jo, Daniel, Noah, Malia, Bobby, Eric, Joe, Tia, Carmen and Quenton.
We built a 12X12 house fairly close to the dorm. The terrain was rough in the area and made it a little difficult to get very close to the site. It was also closed in, so not much of a breeze to cool it down. This home was for a family of five that had just adopted three children because of a sister’s death, which made it a family of eight.
The crew worked great together and we finished the house up at 2:30. We decided to take a more scenic route on the way back to the dorm (that means we got lost) We were able to find even worse roads on our way back.
Prayer request for our team would be for Noah (Hammered finger) and Sam (Tweaked back)
Also continued prayer everyone remains healthy through the week.
We were able to give the kids a few small gifts and the family a Spanish Bible at the end. A blessing for them and also a great blessing for us!
Team two was Jim, Ruth, Catherine, Emma, Doyle, Amity, Arien, Aliya, Ethan, Isaac, Marisa and Evan. We built for a grandmother named Marta. She was excited for her new home because she has skin cancer and wanted to get out of the sun. Team two had excellent attitudes, and we worked well together! Marta’s grandsons came to visit, and Amity had a chance to play Uno with them. Then Doyle and the boys were able to have a fun game of soccer with the grandsons. After the builds, each team prays for the family and gives them a Spanish/English Bible. It is truly a blessing!
Team three had Cass, Mandi, Christie, Mark, Brent, Candy, Pete, Marcy, Christian, Soren, Leif, and Annika. We laid concrete for a new home. Many members of the family and friends were there to give a much appreciated helping hand. It was very physical labor, carrying the water in buckets up a hill, shoveling gravel and concrete into a small mixer, then into a wheel barrel down a steep hill to the pouring site, and pounding out the air bubbles by hand. There were several kids as well who enjoyed interacting with our team playing with bubbles, balloons, and kicking a soccer ball around. We were served a wonderful meal of hotdog ceviche and tostadas. It was a great day working side by side with the family and learning a few new words in Spanish. We were able to give the kids a few small gifts and the family a Spanish Bible at the end. A great start to the week!
Thank you for your Prayers!
Tuesday July 3rd
Today we broke up into 3 teams again.
Team one consisted of Scott, Sam, Anna Jo, Daniel, Doyle, Amity, Arien, Aliya, Ethan, Isaac, Marisa and Evan. Eddie Passmore also joined us for the build. We built a three wall structure that attached to a Caravan house already on the property.This addition resulted in a two room house for the family.A mom and her small son were the only two we met today.As we worked on completing the house, we enjoyed time playing ball, playing with bubbles and coloring with both of them.The build went smoothly and our team was supportive of each other.We are thankful for safety during the build, the wonderful meal prepared by the family and for the time we spent building and being relational with the family.
Team two consisted of Cass, Brent. Candy, Mandy, Christie, Mark, Tia, Noah, Malia, Joe,and Eric. (Daniel was also on this team in spirit ;) ) We had the privilege of building a 3 wall structure and connecting it to an already existing Caravan house. The build went smoothly and quickly! We had everything but the roof finished before lunch which allowed us to have an amazing and relaxing lunch with the family. Mark was able to practice his Spanish quit a bit.
We praise God for a safe and fun build. Our team worked great together and it was a sweet time of fun and fellowship.
Team three consisted of Catherine, Emma, Ruth, Jim, Quenton, Carmen, Bobby, Christian Soren, Pete, and Leif (for part if it as he came home sick). Marcy stayed back with a sick Annika. We built a full 12X12 structure. There were five children who were part of the extended family and had a great time playing with them. Quenton was able to practice his Spanish and had a great conversation with them. They found out he was a pastor and had an English family Bible they could not read. They gave it to him as a gift and we gave them the Spanish Bible they could read. We had a tasty lunch of Papa taco (Potato) fried in a large cast iron pot. Catherine and Bobby enjoyed painting with the kids, and the kids had fun putting paint hand prints on the back of Quenton, Bobby, and Catherine. Soren and Carmen walked the roof on for the first time.
Please pray for those who are recovering from illness and feeling sick, and continued prayers for safety.
Wednesday July 4th
We sent out three very different teams today
Team one was the Cornerstone Youth Group. Sam McCormick was the driver with Quenton, Arien, Aliya, Anna Jo, Emma, Joe, Soren, Christian, Carmen, Marisa and Malia. The car ride to the site was long and bumpy, as most of the road was dirt and full of potholes (I was sitting on the ground in the trunk, so I really felt it). Once we got to the site, the first thing that was noticed by our group was the bathroom. It was much nicer than the others we had had, which was a blessing because many of us were having “issues” from the virus that was being spread around Caravan. We constructed the house quickly and were mostly done before it was time to eat our delicious lunch of tamales; however, we slowed down towards the end to spend time with the family. It was really fun to have a group that was just high schoolers. You can’t go wrong when you’re working hard with your friends.
Team two was Scott, Bobby, Cass, Mandy, Christy, Brent, Mark, Eric, Tia, Noah and Daniel.
We traveled about a hour away. Fortunately it was toward the ocean so it was cooler there. Wednesday is the day we have to find our way back to the dorm, so we were all concerned about getting back.
The build went very well. We finished the house in two and a half hours, so the staff stayed around to lead us home. We were all very thankful for that because we only have visas for seven days and none of us liked our chances of getting back in that time.
The house was for a family of five. They prepared chicken, noodles with mole sauce (molay). It was fantastic! The family was very gracious to us. We really enjoyed building for them.
Team three was Jim, Ruth, Catherine, Doyle, Amity, Ethan, Isaac, Evan, Leif, and Annika. We had an adventurous ride up a mountain to a beautiful spot that gave the family a panoramic view of the city. We built a bright yellow house for Via, Katrina, Samuel, and Dulce. Our junior high student team worked hard and had fabulous attitudes! It was so neat to have the dad, Via, paint the house with his kids and Annika. Plus Katrina helped Amity with the window shutters on the house. It made for fun conversation! For lunch, we had barbacoa and tortillas cooked over an open fire. At the end, we took a group photo with the family in front of the house. Katrina wanted a picture, too, so Dulce ran to get the camera as Doyle jokingly said, “Rapido. Rapido.” As Doyle took the picture, Katrina shouted out, “Rapido!” which made all of us laugh!
Tonight we are being treated to homemade tacos by the Eddie and Maggi Passmore, the directors of Mexico Caravan Ministries. They appreciated our team loving and caring for the Caravan interns when they were in Minnesota for the missions conference in June. While they were in MN, we took care of their housing, transportation, meals, and entertainment. They wanted to return the hospitality. This is only the second EVER that he has treated a group!