Mission Trip to Tijuana, Mexico
June 29th – July 2nd
Friday morning our caravan took off on a 9 hour trip through Central Valley, the Grapevine, L.A., and San Diego to make our way to Tijuana, Mexico.
This statue met us soon after we crossed the border.
Here is most of our team at Rancho Solo, run by Sergio, in Tijuana.
The team was made up of 17 people from four different churches and of all different ages (from 13 to mid-fifties). It was so amazing to see how God unified us and how we were all able to be used by God in different and unique ways during our time there. We had hard-workers, encouragers, mechanics, construction workers, cooks, moms, grandmas, but most of all servants.
This is the building where we stayed, also known as the “Ark”. There is another building across the street that made up El Rancho Solo, but there was another church team there.
View from where we stayed.
View down the street.
We took Pastor Chuy out to eat in celebration of his 60th birthday. He pastors a church and also the Refuge of the Elders, one of the places that we worked at.
The following morning several of us were sick all day, we are not sure if it was the food we ate that night or dehydration, but we all recovered by Thursday.
We came back to our place and we celebrated Mark’s 21st birthday
! We bought Mark a cake and a Batman pinata (his first pinata), which we both enjoyed tremendously.
We all took turns beating the candy out of the guy, which brought forth lots of laughs.
One evening we walked around downtown Tijuana and then Ron took us to one of Sergio’s favorite taco stands. Don Francisco and his wife (who makes corn tortillas by hand when you order) have made amazing
tacos for 36 years! They had to be some of the best tacos and best taco stand environment ever.
Juaquin or “Tin Tin” was a great helper to Mark and Logan.
Tereca was an incredible intelligent woman with fluent English. She was always willing to help us out and was delighted when we brought her some cottage cheese, her favorite food. If I could’ve asked someone for any type of food, I’m not so sure that would be my top choice. Tereca had some sort of nervous system disorder, but that didn’t slow her down at all.
Several of the guys on our team, including Mark, helped build the foundations for a roof for the hospice section of the Refuge. There were already several people sleeping in one of the rooms and they only had half a roof.
The other construction project was at Pastor Tito’s church in Periferico. He had requested a lower ceiling to help the ventilation. They made it half way, but were able to put up ceiling fans for them.
When we visited with Pastor Ire at a church located in the dumps, he had told us that one of his church member’s house burned down the night before. So Ron & Jeremiah helped put up a little home for a mom and her two kids.
Tony, NorthCreek’s youth pastor, had a teen outreach event at the Periferico church one night. We brought as many kids that lived or worked at the Refuge as we could. There were about 70 teenagers who came and about 20 of them stayed to ask questions and pray with some leaders. One kid just walked in from the street, heard the gospel for the first time, and put his trust in Christ! Hallelujah!
Alicia and the pup she found in the streets. She is on the roof that the guys put up.
Alicia and I (Lauren) worked at the Refuge the whole week. In the morning we would serve breakfast, help with cleaning whether that we making beds or cleaning the moldy shower room. Then we would help our cook crew serve lunch. The two ladies from cook crew stayed and helped us give women showers. It was such a humbling and growing experience. We were pushed out of our comfort zone and were able to bond with these amazing ladies in such an incredible way. They were so grateful for showers, some had gone two weeks without having one.
Frank was thrilled to meet Mark, though there are very few people that Frank is not thrilled to meet. Mark worked with him while he was at the Refuge.
Maria, a former opera singer, and I have known each other for 6 years now. I met her on my first trip to Tijuana in 2004. She is such a joy to everyone, singing and talking away all the time.
I became good friends with this sweet lady, Maria (there were many Maria’s there). It was such an encouragement to me, as she was a fellow sister-in-Christ and to see her patience towards the people around her and genuine concern for others, in the midst of such a trying circumstance; she was such a dear testimony of Christ.
Tony made Andy and Nina get rid of their pollitos before we got to the border. So here we are at 3:30 in the morning, we get Jeremiah (the driver and who doesn’t speak Spanish) to roll down the window and ask the vendor lady if she wants two chicks. The outcome was a very sketchy-sounding “?quiere dos pollitos?” and the poor lady quickly scurried away haha, it made our morning. We arrived at church at 1pm.