Days 3 & 4

Every night during our program time we watch a video of a football player giving a post game speech, that someone has turned into a song.  The song goes like: 

"we gonna battle, we gonna fight, but win or lose we gonna be alright...

we started slow, but we always finish fast..." 

 

These last two days have been us finishing fast!   It has been amazing, in fact so much work has been done in the last two days that I barely had time to write this!   These students are truly amazing with what they can do. I continually find myself so blessed to be with them each day and night.  

Even right now as I right this, it is 10:30 and we are all sitting in a common room, listening to music, singing and filled with an excitement of our community and great expectations of tomorrow and finishing our houses.   We all feel tired, sore, blistered from swinging hammers, and yet all feel so alive. This picture is just one of the common rooms with our students.  The other room is upstairs and has snacks, students playing card games together and enjoying every minute.  

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So onto the construction and VBS sites.  

In the last two days our teams have finished the framing, hung all the rafters, put all the painted siding on the houses, plywood on the roof, started dry walling the insides, ran electrical wiring for the house, and started shingles and tar paper on the roof.  It is so cool to watch the students work so well together as a team and so quickly tackle this project.   

Our VBS site has also continued to be a wonderful success in the community. Today (Wednesday) we gave out 80 lunches to kids at the VBS site and to other kids in community.   As soon as we start setting up our pop up shades the local kids start coming down for the day.  They are greeted by our team, which seems to grow everyday from Sunday school teachers from the local church and moms who want to see what is going on who stick around to help.  Our students know all the kids by name and we regularly hear the kids in the afternoon singing the songs that they learned earlier that day. 

Here are some pictures from the last two days.    

 

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As I was uploading the pictures I noticed a lot of satellite dishes are in them.  Just as a bit of information, satellite TV is one of the ways the Mexican government educates people who cannot afford to go to school.  So in the lower income areas, there are usually lots of them.  

 

Looking forward to tomorrow and the completion of the house and sharing these stories with you all too.  

 

~ Mike.  

Day 2 - build site first day

Wow!  What a day.  We started out this morning with an early breakfast at 7:15.  It was pretty amazing; tortillas, beans, eggs with ham, and pancakes.  That was the easiest part of the entire day.   

Immediately after our morning time we went to work.  It started with making 45 lunches for kids in the community from our VBS site, loading the vans with water, tools and students.  The drive isn't too bad, maybe 25 minutes.  

There were so many cool moments that took place today, that it will be hard to just share a couple.   

The first was the VBS site.  Our students who were running the site were defintely nervous about how it was really going to actually work.   But then something awesome happened, we showed up.  The students literally got out of the vans and 2 kids came up to them, almost as if they knew what we were here for.  They brought puppies, which seemed to instantly break the language barrier, and our students started using their high school Spanish to communicate.    Within minutes, we already have 4 kids who just followed our small VBS team around.  After 20 minutes of setting up shade canopies, our puppet show theater, and some crafts, we were up to 20 kids.  Then once we started singing, playing games and really running this site that we up to 45 kids!   We gave out all our lunches and are planning on making 100 sandwiches tomorrow, now that the word is out

Then some really cool stuff happened.  We had really wanted to partner with a local church, and suddenly Pastor Ramon showed up who just happens to be opening a church a couple of blocks away, and he called his Sunday school teacher who came down to help.  

Here are a couple of pictures of the VBS site.  

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The other cool moments took place on the construction sites.  Site 1 started off with some big hurdles that ended up lasting all day.  The team we partner with to build houses, Baja Christian Ministries, specifically targeted this area to build houses because of a recent fire in the area that burned down 36 houses.  This week being Spring Break, there are 13 other houses that are being built all around us.  But as a result we couldn't find all the wood we needed on site 1, partly because it had been taken inside by the home owners for protection from theft, it made for a slower day.  But they did have huge progress and preservered to get the entire house framed.  It was great to see how they as a team overcame the obstacles and got so much done. 

Site 2 had a great day!  First all their wood was right next to the concrete slab. Secondly the homeowners, which are a 26 year old mom with 4 kids and a dad, are home and they are all actively engaged in helping our students.  The dad used to be a painter and helped paint all the pieces and the mom and kids participated too.  They have really been great as a team too and continue to amaze me with their leadership and team bonding.  

Here are some pictures of both site 1 and 2.  The last 2 pictures are of the houses when we left.  

 

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Day 1 - Arrived

Well we made it to Ranch La Paloma yesterday with no problems.  It was awesome!  The students are all so excited!   

When we pulled up it was defintely hotter than we had expected. Going to be drinking lots of water on the contstruction site.  This is the first picture I took, which was about 15 minutes after we arrived.   

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It seemed fitting to start a soccer game immediately.    We are hoping to be able to invite the local orphanage over to play a game of soccer with us sometime this week, but we know that no matter how much we try to play and practice, they will still win. 

Last night we had a terrific dinner of tostadas with super fresh ingredients.   The students loved it and got a great welcome into the talented staff that prepares all our meals.  

 

 

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Here is also a picture of our program time Sunday night.  We brought some really cool lights to string up and had an amazing time singing worship with our worship a leader Stevie.   

Please pray for Monday as we head to our work sites and VBS site!   We will be sure to upload pictures and let you know how the day went.  

~ Mike.  

Mexico he we come!

Hi everyone!  We are totally loaded, to the MAX, and heading down to Tecate.   Looking forward to an amazing week.  We will be uploading pictures and information each day, so check back for what we are up to.   

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