The next few, ok 7…(I took ALOT of pictures!) posts are on our recent trip to Tijuana, Mexico. Eric and I have spent the last year talking and praying about how we could get our whole family on a Mission Trip. Not an easy feat if we were not going to join any organization and completely fund ourselves. 9 people equals 9 plane tickets…and Eric likes places like Papua New Guinea or Nicaragua or Sierra Leone. We are talking days of travel just to get there! So whats driving distance? Mexico! We drive to So Cal at least twice a year, and Mexico is just another hour south. So I called up our pastor from our church down there and asked if any trips over the border were on the calendar that we could tag along on. He said they had been talking about one, but nothing was set. We talked about Eric’s desire to run a dental clinic and another building project that was being planned. He asked for Eric to choose the days that worked best for him. At that moment, I knew this was exactly where God was sending us! The children have been working on Spanish and can babble a little. The drive down would be long, but totally doable, saving the cost of plane tickets. And we would be going to a place that our church has been supporting for years. (Not like the time when we lived down there and I goggled Tijuana Orphanages and randomly chose one for our family to go and play with the kids at. Later we found out that many drug lords use this as a front to bring Americans down there so they can rob and kidnap them. By the grace of God, we ended up at a honest for goodness Catholic orphanage which we visited once a month for about a year after that. Even the workers there, which were Mexican, were horrified when they asked how we had found them and I explained that I had “Goggled” them. Note to self, next time go with a trusted source. 😉
So with the date set, excitement grew with our family. Passports were a breeze. 7 passport applications completed in 45 min. They were in our hands 2 weeks later! It was such a delight to see our children so excited to go and serve these boys. Laura spent one day a week learning Dental Assisting skills at Eric’s office, so she could be his assistant at the clinic. The children asked hundreds of questions about our trip. My heart truly bubbles over to see them so excited to go and bless others who have less than we do. They knew their accommodations could be less than what we are use to. Even camping we sleep in a huge RV, with all the amenities of home. They knew the food would be different than what is served at our table, and that they would politely need to eat what was given them. They heard the horrible stories adults would offer to Eric and I about how children are kidnapped and Americans murdered in Tijuana. Dead bodies left rotting in the streets. Drug wars that would end with us in the crossfire. But Eric and I assured them that when God opens doors and calls you to a place, He goes there with you. He does not leave you or forsake you. For goodness sakes, we have criminals right here in our town. A few people get murdered each year right here. We only have 20,000 people, not 3 million. It can be dangerous to go Christmas shopping at the mall these days with all the crazy people out there. You might get shot.
Our trip down was the fastest, easiest trip yet. We stopped north of the border to pick up the one other person who actually was able to make the trip. A lot of things happened at the last minuet and the original group was down to him and our family. And what a blessing he was!! Having been to the Boys Home many times, he knew the roads well. He was far better than any GPS!! 😉 Eric and I were also blessed as having him along meant an extra set of hands and eyes. That almost gave us a 2:1 ratio for children to adults! And he was pretty fluent in his Spanish. An added blessing! Crossing the border was uneventful. They didn’t even ask Eric about all the drugs (dental) that he was bringing in. I think Eric was mildly disappointed. It was noted by my boys that the guards were carrying very cool AR10’s. We made it to the mission compound uneventfully. We settled in and planned the next days schedule which was to head straight to the Boy’s Home for Eric to begin dental screenings.
So here is where the pictures begin. I carried my camera everywhere. I love taking pictures of people. Especially children 😉
Oh, and the bubbles…we had to stop at a Walmart on the way down and they had the big jugs of bubbles clearanced for a buck so I bought all two of them. This brought hours and hours of delight to the children!