We just returned this past weekend from a visit to our friends down in Tecate, Mexico. There were about 80 students, young adults, men, women, and families who were on the trip and it was a great time of ministry and fellowship together. Over the weekend we built two houses for families in need, ministered to orphans at Rancho San Juan Bosco, and brought clothing and other necessities to the impoverished community of El Mirador. The spiritual emphasis for the weekend was on bringing God’s justice to those in need of it, and there were so many beautiful stories of this fleshing out; from a VBS put on for the children of El Mirador, to the emotional dedication of the houses and handing over of their keys. It is always a joy to “be the church” in such an intergenerational way as we reveal God’s goodness to our friends down in Northern Mexico together!
Here are a few stories from the weekend:
“Last May our service team built a house for an amazing woman, her husband, & her small son. Her name is Maria. This past weekend, we got a chance to surprise her with a visit. Before our van could even park, Maria was already outside with her son & a wondering face. As soon as she saw who we were, her face lit up with the biggest smile & she ran from her house to meet us. After we all exchanged hugs & hellos she looked at Jess & I and said “last night it rained here and for once my family and I didn’t get soaked. And its all because of you guys. I am so thankful.” Her words brought me so much joy. It made me realize the huge impact our team has on these people’s lives. You see, going to Tecate & building houses…that’s not just what this is about. Its about serving; blessing others with the same things God has blessed us with. We were able to bless them with a home & God blessed us with fulfilling joy & the chance to establish strong relationships. Its a way we can shine God’s love unto other people & let them know just how great He is. Let them know that they are so loved, by us & most importantly by Him. Because of this I always look forward and impatiently wait to go back each & every time. Tecate is an amazing opportunity that God has blessed me with so that I may learn to do justly, love mercy, & walk humbly in His love. ” – Cat Guevara
“It was a joy seeing how wonderfully the students worked together in less than ideal weather conditions. They pitched in, did what needed to get done, didn’t complain (too much) and kept a very upbeat attitude. Since they were soaked returning from the worksite, Lisa Gels, Soheila Crane (both first time Tecate trip people) and I got to explore around town a bit! Our mission was to find a “laundromat” to dry a huge pile of very wet clothing and shoes. We ended up driving around 3 square blocks for 45 minutes in pouring down rain through flooded streets to find the “laundromat.” Once we found the “laundromat” (which looked nothing like one of our typical fluff and folds,” we were incredibly well taken care of by the proprietor. This lovely woman not only cleared machines and helped to load all the laundry, by the time we got back to pick it all up she had it all folded and ready to go!” -Rachel Stone
“It was an honor working alongside the youth group in sharing Gods most caring love with the locals of Tecate. The impact of this trip on the St. Andrews youth, not to mention the grateful hearts that were touched in the hills of El Mirador are priceless. I look forward to continuing this ministry with St Andrews and the folks of Tecate.” – Carl Fuller