I started writing this post on January 10. It began with the title and that’s as far as I got. I feel like I’m still in the recovery season from Christmas and our trip to Mexico. Actually, I’m the only one who hasn’t gotten sick…yet.

After we cleaned up from Christmas, we moved into packing and preparing for our church’s first mission trip to Mexico. We went with 9 others from our church to work at the orphanage that my brother and his family started in a small town named Bachiniva in Chihuahua.

As a team, we painted walls, stained cabinets and doors, poured cement for a basketball court, organized closets, bought and delivered food and toiletries to those in need, and played soccer and cards with the kids. Our time felt short, but well spent.

It’s difficult to summarize our trip. It was amazing to see my brother and sister-in-law following exactly what God called them to do. They were incredible; going from not knowing Spanish to speaking it regularly, leading a great team of people at the orphanage, working tirelessly day after day, and being parents to nine kids who absolutely adore them. I felt honored to be a part of the work that is going on there. A bonus was spending time with my aunt and uncle and cousins who I haven’t seen in years.

There are so many different emotions both during a trip like that and after. The thing I’ve thought of the most since being home is thankfulness. Of course I’m thankful for warm water whenever I want it and machines that do much of my housework for me, but I came home thankful for other things and people as well. I’m thankful for the other staff who supports Jason and Jackie and their vision for those kids. I’m thankful for the ways I witnessed local people ministering to those who are less fortunate.

One of the things our church has been talking about both before, during and after the trip is that God has blessed us all with different gifts and talents. Some of us have more money than others or more resources, but God cares most about what we are doing with what He has given us. That’s what I got to be a part of in Mexico; watching people from all different backgrounds serve Him by serving people. That’s happening here in the US, just like it is in Mexico and all over the world. What an honor for each of us to be a part of that.

Jackie, Ayantu, Josie, and some very delicious tortillas
The kids opening some late Christmas presents
Leveling the ground for cement

Mixing cement
Putting together bags of food to deliver
Some family leading worship at church: Aunt Kim, Jose Nieves, Becky, and Leti
Uncle Luis preaches, while Nieves translates
The three amigas: Josie, Ayantu, and Sandra
Delivering food bags

Andy washed dishes. By hand.
Erasmo and Aron doing what they love most, hanging on Jason 
The best churros I’ve ever tasted, made by Reyna, Becky and Lupe
Judah scored some pretty sweet boots while shopping in Cuauhtemoc 
The red and brown are new paint
Sandra and Josie
Calvary Wedgwood team
Mi familia: Sanchez, Hirschman, Vargas, Wuissar