Hola from Penasco, Mexico!
Let me start off this blog series by giving a little background as to how this trip came about:
In the beginning, it was just an idea. “We should offer a mission trip for families!” And while that seems like an obvious suggestion, the logistics like where to go, when & how long were just a few of the considerations.
The where was the biggest factor. Where is a “safe” place for a family to go together on a mission trip. Even places that once seemed safe in the past, are commonly now in the news. It’s also a fact that fear is a major obstacle for one person deciding to go on a mission, let alone making the choice to expose their whole family.
The when was easy; June, because that’s when kids are out of school. How long was a little more tricky. What’s a good amount of time to really experience a mission trip? But not too long? And last, not so expensive that a family couldn’t afford it.
Ultimately, the obvious answer to all those questions came easily from our mission partners Heidi & Conrad. They run this mission center, they have kids, so just let’s rely on their expertise and let God do the rest.
So we had the info meetings. Several families came, but in the end, three families committed to the trip. With my family, that would make four families, 18 people in all. The perfect amount as it would turn out! I can honestly tell you from the start that this seems like the Lord has been orchestrating it all. It’s hard to put in words, but we all have a sense that this was meant to be.
Day 1: Meeting up at the airport sounded like an easy plan. This decision was made to adapt the various plans within the plan. Let me explain: One family decided to do this trip in the middle of a longer road trip, so they drove down (and hit a major detour). Another family decided to come a day early and stay a day later. The third family flew in today, but are staying longer. My family turned out to be the only ones not altering the set dates for the trip. So to accommodate, we decided meeting up at the airport was the easiest thing to do. It took a little more communication to get us all in the right spots, but we made it happen. Phew!
Then for the bad news: Conrad met me at the bus saying it was not working properly and the AC is out! The good news: he has a plan but can’t guarantee anything. Sure enough, the bus’ problems were evident as we made stops around town to pick up supplies and eat. While we did the shopping, Conrad and Nick worked on the bus. More good news: together they got it fixed!
Then it was time for the long hot drive to Mexico. I think we were all praying we wouldn’t get stuck on the side of the road in the 100 degree heat….And it worked! We made it! Then we enjoyed a home made dinner of fish, rice and vegetables. After dinner, the adults sat around the table and talked, while the kids played soccer outside. I am sure we will all sleep good tonight. I for one will fall asleep praising God for what I expect is going to be an amazing adventure!
The Harkness Family: Nick, Jody, Schuyler, McKenzie
The Huntley Family: Jim, Angela, Derek, Reese
The Reese Family: Drew, Claudia, Matthew, Juliana
The Niemi Family: Charlie, Kim, Hannah, Amelia, Claire, Kate