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Mexico Mission 2011

Before I begin, I just want to thank everyone who supported us with all the donation and prayers. None of this would have happened if it wasn’t for your help. So thank you very much. ^_^

Alright well here it is. Don’t wanna read the report? Then just watch the video. Sums it all up pretty much.

Anyways this was my first missionary. It’s also my first time visiting San Diego and Mexico. So you know lots of first times for my experience. I never built a house before going to this trip but I have say, this is worth it.

July 23 is the day we left to the Milwaukee Airport. Why there? Cuz plane tickets were cheap. Then we flew to San Diego  which was a 4 hour flight. After we landed, we spent the night at one of our church buddy’s (who didn’t come with us to the trip) parent’s house. What an amazing house it was. It’s got a backyard with water fountain and the inside is very spacious. It’s only a single floor home but still looks like a millionaire’s home. The parents were awesome making us delicious dinner. The seafood/spinach curry and fried cutlets erected my taste buds so crazy that I had to get seconds. That’s day 1.

Best curry ever!

Day 2, the parents served us breakfast. Typical but good stuff. Then we went to a Korean church that only had Korean service. After the service, the parents dropped us off at the airport cuz we had to meet our main driver from Mexico.  We’re truly thankful to our buddy’s parents. I’ll never their hospitality. So we waited about an hour at the airport and met another church group from Oregon who was participating in the same missionary as us. Apparently, they drove all the way from that state down to San Diego and now they’re gonna have to suffer a bit more on driving all the way down to Mexico for 5 more hours! I find it incredible how much they endured such a tiring journey. We met our van driver who is also a pastor named Asher. For lunch, we ate at “In & Out”. Great burger place, unfortunately only available in a few states. Then drove took a 5 hour trip down to Baja California, Mexico. For dinner, we were able to get all you-can-eat tacos place. I had most the amount; 3 small and 3 large. Finally, we reached our destination where we’ll stay for the whole week. Forgot the mention, the weather is so nice in both San Diego and Mexico. No humidity.

Outside the Dorms. Bathrooms located in the middle of the pic.

Inside the dorms. Floors are concrete. Watch out for insects and spiders crawling inside!

Day 3:

  • Went to the build site and met the family we’re building the house for. A mother with 4 kids and a grandma with cancer.
  • We started building by doing the walls first. Lots of cutting, measuring, and nailing involved.
  • The work lasted for 8 hours.
  • So many dogs at the work site. 4 new born pups discovered a couple yards away from our build site.
  • All 4 sided walls were up. Took a lot more effort than I thought.

Nice place to relax after work

2 of the 4 pups

Day 4:

  • Putting the roof together and lifting it up took everyone of us to get it up there.
  • The family choose the color of the house to be blue. So we started painting the walls.
  • More wood cutting for inner walls.
  • Half the crew had to dig a ditch on the dirt road for water pump. Took almost the whole day.
  • The inner roof covers nailed in.

Day 5:

  • Tar on the roof
  • Roof covering was applied
  • Cutouts on the walls for windows and door
  • More nailing and wood cutting for inner walls
  • More painting

Day 6:

  • Window framing
  • Door cutout and installation
  • Bunk beds built
  • Leftover roof cover increments sawed off
  • Dedication for the family

Shrimp/Fish tacos are the best!

Orphanage

Orphanage Garden

Day 7:

  • Tacos for lunch!
  • Worshiped at the campfire.
  • Visited the orphanage. Huge! Interesting history behind it.
  • Packing and preparing for departure.
  • Donated clothes and blankets for the family. My luggage got so much lighter.

Day 8:

  • 7am we left the community and headed back to San Diego.
  • While on our way there, we visited a handicapped engineer who spoke very good english and designs wheelchairs for others free of charge. Well devoted follower of Christ. Interesting enough, he graduated from that orphanage.
  • Some developments happening on the border of Mexico and Cali. Tons of traffic, many street vendors, stupid drivers honking pointlessly. One major event that occurred in our situation was at check off borderline, one of our buddies had a student passport visa that wasn’t properly processed. The security had him get off the van and wait somewhere in line to get it processed. All that took 4+ hours! We were worried sick about him that he might be sent back to Mexico. I would never leave a single team member behind. Oh and the borderline patrolls are a bunch of dicks.
  • Once all that done, we finally headed to San Diego back to our church member’s parents’ home. We were literally in the van for 12 hours ever since we left Mexico.
  • The parents gave us so much food for dinner my stomach almost exploded.

Day 9:

  • Went to that same Korean church for Sunday morning worship. Said our goodbyes to the generous parents who gave us a place to spend a night and eat to our hearts content.
  • Ate at “In and Out” for lunch. This time I went for Double-double.
  • Went to the San Diego beach for fun. It was packed! Took us almost 40 min to find a parking space.
  • For dinner, we ate at a sushi buffet similar to Todai but better called Tora. Our pastor paid for us.
  • Then we went to the airport and departed San Diego around 10pm and headed towards Chicago O’hare. (Aug 1st)

Before going to Mexico, my expectation were at the lowest. I thought we gonna sleep in a cottage in the middle of nowhere with no running water but that was complete opposite. The bathroom did smell horribly, oh well at least we had bathrooms with showers. There were many challenges I had to face but I’m only gonna list a few. First off was getting off my comfort zone. I’m so used to living in such a luxurious country that it was not easy living in an area where the environment was poor. The main thing was no computer, tv, or internet. It felt weird not having used a comp for a week but it also felt refreshing in some ways. Didn’t have to worry about emails, news, or new entertainment releases. There was wifi at the camp but the connection was so bad it wasn’t worth the time. I could go on with this but you get the idea. 2nd was fundraising. The first couple weeks of preparation, I had nothing in my individual funds while more than half the people in our group already pitched personal funds up to $200. I was freaking out a bit because I couldn’t find anyone who was willing to donate at the time. From that point on, everyday I couldn’t stop praying for donations. About a week before the trip, I ended up with the highest amount of donations, of course the catch is I have to write all those thank you letters to everyone who donated. Sad to say but I believe only 2 friends of mine donated and the rest were from my mom’s friends. It just shows how difficult it is willing to donate. Then again, I’m also one of those victims who falls under that category so I understand. With that objective met, I didn’t stop praying due to the sake for others. One guy had nothing in his funds up until the very last week, BOOM a thousand dollar check appeared. Thank the Lord. 3rd would be, sitting in the van for 12 hours. My mind totally exhausted that day. Those are biggest challenges I experienced. As far as my most memorable moment, that would be the first time meeting with the family. Just by looking at their expressions, I can tell they waited a long time for this, a home of their own. Thankfully they’re Christians so understanding each other made things easier. When the translator spoke with the mother, she cried out of sheer happiness and appreciation. A tear slipped out of my eye right at that moment. We all shook hands and gave her a big hug afterwards. Here’s a family who can’t get the most basic needs of life and here I am who’s got more than enough and yet I yearn for more. I felt so pathetic! Looking at them, I humbled myself just thinking how I don’t deserve to live such a happy luxurious life.

So now that I’m back home, I ask this question to myself, have I changed? Did I spiritually become stronger? Honestly, I have no idea. Since I’m back to my everyday life here, I could revert back to what I was before. But there is one thing I noticed, I prayed a lot more and relied on God at a higher rate than when I was at home. Suffering is the only way to bring you back to the Lord.

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