Thank you to those of you who have been keeping track of our mission trip to Mexico and praying for its success. This was a particularly great year for our group. We had a fantastic team and there was a sense of unity amongst our members that made for an impactful time of ministry.
The first portion of our time in Mexico was spent at the Christian Missionary Alliance mission in Rio Chico, Chihuahua. This is a major hub for pastoral retreats, camps for kids, and outreach to the community. During our two days there, we were able to make improvements on their greenhouse, as well as plant new seeds, and build a wall enclosure around it to keep livestock out. We also dug a hole for a septic tank, helped to vaccinate and brand some horses, and laid a foundation for a room addition to their chapel.
From there, the mission staff led us on another whole day’s drive, deep into the heart of the mountains to a little village of Pima Indians called Babicora. For the past several years, our group has built a relationship with the people there (around 400), both through work projects and the hearts of their children. Alex, the pastor of the church in there, has become a dear friend and brother in the Lord. His ministry to the people in that village has been a faithful outpouring of God’s love and we were greatly encouraged by seeing the Lord working through him there.
While in Babicora for three full days, we put on morning Vacation Bible School programs for the kids. Many of them understand and can articulate the Gospel, so in addition to presenting them with the plan of Salvation, we also did lessons to disciple them in what it looks like to walk with the Lord on a daily basis. The children in that village are happy, fun little people. Every one of our team members were blessed by their smiles and laughter as we all played together in the town common area.
Every year when we go back, there are always more improvements made by other visiting teams during the year, both on the church structure itself, and in the village in general. It brings us great joy to know that there are other people coming to be a blessing to Babicora. This year, we were able to build a concrete wall at Pastor Alex’s house, a rock retaining wall next to the church to keep the banks from eroding away, continue the welding work on the rot iron fence that surrounds the church, and other little things here and there. We also had the opportunity to set up a medical clinic, where lots of people came from miles around to receive the treatment they needed, as well as a healthy dose of the love of Christ.
Another huge part of the trip this year was the drama production of The Passion that many of our team members put on. With a few backdrops and costumes, we were able to present the Gospel in a very simple way to people who have little to no entertainment or culture. We presented the drama a total of three times – once in the Easter service on Sunday in Babicora, as well as at the church in Rio Chico, where the people asked to see it again right there on the spot.
It’s a humbling thing to witness first-hand all of the sacrifice and work that the believers in third world countries have to deal with. The missionary families and mission staff members had a joy and fervor for their work that put many of us to shame. They cooked for us, led us through rough terrain and busy cities, helped us to understand their language and culture, and shared with us a sweet fellowship that can only be experienced in the Body of Christ. We praise God for them and for the hardships they endure for His name’s sake.
Early Tuesday morning, our bus arrived back safely to the Ranch. Every last one of us came back with a renewed excitement for the church in Mexico. The time away from our normal routines provided for a lot of encouragement, as well as challenge, in our individual walks with the Lord. We are so grateful to have had this opportunity and are eager to keep up our relationship with the Rio Chico Mission, as well as the little village of Babicora. Thank you for doing your part in this work through your prayers and encouragement!