Notes from the Field: Mexico Outreach Part 2
Matt Browning, associate vice president for internationalization, called from Ensenada this morning to share that it's a cold day today, but the teams are doing well and meeting many needs within the Mexicali and Ensenada communities. Earlier this week, Azusa Pacific Mexico Outreach staff met with local government officials, including Laura Valdez, wife of Mexicali Mayor Rodolfo Valdez, who expressed her encouragement and support for the service that is meeting community needs.
The first week is coming to a close, and more teams will depart Friday to take their place for Mexico Outreach: Easter 2.
-Watch YouTube videos to see what the students have been doing.
- Check out this blog from the First Presbyterian Church of Roseville for daily updates and photos on their team's work.
- Read additional updates below from APU teams, sharing their experiences and reactions to the week's events.
There’s something marvelous about waking up in Mexico after sleeping in tents alongside one thousand other leaders and students. I woke up this morning to the sunrise stretching across a blue sky and to another day at the special needs clinic about 15 minutes east of our camp here in Cuernavaca.
It was our second day on-site and we had 13-15 special needs kids come to the bright blue community center clinic. I have a wonderful team this year along with missionaries Jason and Kelly who are so dedicated to this part of God’s kingdom. There were kids and their parents waiting for us before we got there. My team is a constant flow of encouragement and energy; I have not seen or heard any complaints or negativity. I have been preparing for this trip since January and God has over and over again confirmed his faithfulness to us throughout this process. Today I saw Him give compassion and power to my whole team. I saw Him reach in and expand hearts that were so blind to or unaware of the love of Christ that has orchestrated not only every moment of this trip but also every moment of our lives for His Glory!
I took a few students with me and we prayed while walking on the land that will hold the future clinic for the community, and then we came back to camp. It has been a great experience and this is only been one day!
Natalie Rush, Leader, Team Luke: Special Needs
Today was an amazing day! We had Dr. John visit our hospice. He went around to every person at the hospice and provided them with glasses. It was surprising how many people had bad vision. It was such a blessing to have Dr. John come. Also, we got a chance to meet with Dr. Fuentes, the doctor for the hospice. He told us about his work, and we were allowed to help take blood pressure and heart rate. All in all, it was another great day!
Team Luke: Hospice
We serve on APU’s women’s prison team. The first day here we visited the Halfway House. There we were able to interact with women and children. We painted flowerpots, and it was so great to see the kids' faces light up when they painted our hands or scored a goal. There was so much joy throughout the entire day. One woman was very open about her life story and many of the girls got a chance to talk to her about God and her family. The accomplishment and happiness she got from painting the pots was a great reminder of how important it is to appreciate the small things.
The next day we were anxious as we waited to enter the prison. Little did we know God had a great experience planned. As we arrived in the courtyard with the women, our team dispersed to different activities. Vickie used her gift of cutting hair for several women. Sarah and Jess used their Spanish to share life stories among women. Marilyn, Malia, and Katie played volleyball and enjoyed interacting with the women. Lindsay was involved with various activities, spreading happiness all around. We finished the afternoon with authentic food and a shopping trip to Wal-Mart for washcloths for the women. Later we debriefed as a team shared stories of the day and our misconceptions about the women. Our biggest lesson of the day was knowing we were all the same, all sinners, yet our team is privileged enough to walk out of the prison.
APU Team: Prison Ministry
Being part of Team Steven has been an experience that can not accurately be put into words. I am confident that God has, for his purposes, brought each person to our team because He has called each one for a specific purpose. It has been great getting to know my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ because they really are like family. The opportunity that God has allowed me to have is not as simple as being able to help out in the community alongside church groups, but realizing that I serve a great and marvelous God.
At the end of the day, or even my life, it’s not about what I did or all the times I messed up and felt like a failure, but it is about God and His faithfulness. Aside from everything that I may go through or even feel, God continues to work and reveals that He alone is God. The Spirit of God is moving and the things He is doing is only a taste of all he can do. He continues to show himself faithful even when we are not. Who but God can do so much and love us always the same. Each new day He is with us in whatever circumstance that may arise. He continues to show that He cares because He takes the time to mold and chiseled to be transformed into the reality that we are in God’s eyes.
Cassandra Soto, APU Team Steven.
Related Links: Notes from the Field: Mexico Outreach Day 1
Posted: April 9, 2009