July 27 2015
¡Hola mis amigos!
My team and I arrived in Ensenada Mexico on Thursday after 3 days of driving. The drive was 40 hours, which was the longest I have ever traveled. The 6 hour drive to see my sister will seem like nothing now ;). We spent most of the time sleeping but we did end playing catch with a tennis ball, giving each massages, playing the alphabet game and sharing crazy outreach stories. I also listened to an audio book. I got to travel to and experience 4 new states: Idaho, Washington, Oregon and California. I want to go back to California but the other 3 states I think I had enough of, as they are all full of trees, ghost towns and emptiness.
Crossing the border into Mexico was surprisingly easy, they didn’t even check our passports. I didn’t expect a huge change from San Diego to Tijuana because San Diego is heavily influenced by Mexican culture , but it was a huge change. All the signs were in Spanish and something in the air just felt different.
The YWAM base we are staying is right across from the beach. From our window you can see the beach and the base’s skate park. It is incredibly beautiful. I am rooming with 10 girls and we all share 1 shower, toilet and mirror which can get kinda crazy but we make it work. The food here is delicious. Our first meal was fresh salmon, asparagus, roasted potatoes and mango juice which was all wonderful, especially after eating only PB&J and snacks in the road. All the other meals have been good too. We thanked the cooks and told them the food was delicious and they responded, “It’s Mexico it has to be good food,” which I agree with.
There is a group of 40 high schoolers here from England and they are here for 10 days and are building 3 houses with the Homes of Hope program. I got to have afternoon tea with them. Milk in tea is good! And on Sunday they cooked us a traditional English meal which was also delicious.
On Friday we hiked to the top of a mountain that overlooks the city. We spent some time in worship and prayed for the city. Later we split up into groups and did a prayer walk. The further you get away from the ocean the dirtier the city gets. I took this as a metaphor to God. We are dirty and grungy but God wants to take us to the ocean, himself, and clean us right up and make us new. I prayed that the people here would experience that.
Saturday we had a free day and went to a secluded beach. We drove to the top of a mountain and had to hike down it and climb down a rope ( as there was a 30 ft drop) to get to the beach. The waves were strong so we had fun jumping in them, surfing and boogie boarding. We also played soccer. I climbed onto a biggish rock and looked around at the ocean, mountain, rock caves and friends and knew that this is where I am meant to be and this is the way life is supposed to be lived. Full of peace, relaxation, spending time in nature, having good relationships and spending alone time with God.
The cliff we climbed down:
Today was our first day of legit ministry. We were told 20 minutes before church started that we were leading the whole service. So we had to be adaptable, they tell us to be FAT as in
-Flexible -Adaptable and Trainable as our plans frequently change quickly. We ended up with the band leading worship, us dancing Lost, and 2 people sharing their testimony. It ended up going well! The church we were at was up in the mountains and with our whole team there we doubled the size of the church. We sang two songs in Spanish and all the adults were dancing around, shouting Gloria Dios (glory to God) and Cristo vivo (Christ Lives) and passionately clapping. It was cool to watch everyone praise God and be excited to be in his presence. Afterwards they cooked us tamales and we got to talk and meet everyone. No one really spoke English so our conversations were limited but I did manage to ask for the kids ages, names, where the lived, and if they liked dancing or the guitar. It’s amazing how you don’t have to speak the same language to communicate and enjoy being with other. I also got to speak either the adults and leaned that it hasn’t rained here in 3 months which makes farming hard. Also there used to be lake there but it is almost all dried up. It was a good day of talking to people and praising God together.
My friends and I in our free time have enjoyed going to the beach, listening to the Mariachi bands, drinking piña coladas, learning Spanish and German, and attempting to juggle a soccer ball (it is pretty comical, although we all are improving slowly).
This week we are running a kids camp, performing at a girls rehab center and are going to be on a Christian Mexican TV station. It is going to be a great week!!!