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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Some post-trip thoughts-Student

From Jenai's xanga:

"buenos dias!
dias? tardes hombre!!

well i dont really know what to say.

mexico was a freaking blast! i loved it! but i was asked by someone while there if the trip was a let down, or if it wasnt what i expected..and my answer was; no. it was more than i expected cause ive taught myself to not have expectations about things like that. but i was dissapointed with some things..well people acctually, even with me. i was dissapointed with the way we all treated each other and the attitudes that we all had. and i was also asked by the same person what i would change about the trip..and my answer was "nothing,, well thats a lie...i would change the length of the trip, make it longer.. but other than that, nothing..cause i cant change peoples personalities..even tho at times i wish i could, theres no way i could..." so i accepted that..and i still had the best time of my life there but i do wish people could change. and that the people who i had problems with could have sucked it up and gotten over their problems. cause that was a let down.

but on the flip side, i got really close to a couple people. and im super happy about that, cause they're my best friends now. and i love them to death!! all of us have our inside jokes now, and they are the best ones EVER!! and we have our memories, pictures, creepers and bruises that will hopefully never go away.

well, i dont know where im going with this..and probably none of that makes much sense...but whatever..cause i dont feel like going over it and re-writing it, again. lol...but i do feel like going back and never leaving!!

so off now...if you want to hear stories lemme know...or look at the pictures, and watch the videos...cause they're freakin awesome!!!"

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Over the nest few days, our students will be posting pictures, videos and thoughts of the trips on their various blogs and Facebook sites. I posted my thoughts this morning on my own blog. You can read it here.

The kids and adults who went need time. Time to think. Time to express. Time to share. Here's what I suggest. Listen. Look at their pictures. Listen to them tell the same stories 8,000 times. Allow them to be excited. Allow them to shed tears. And then, and only then, ask them what it all meant. Ask them how they grew.

I'll be visiting each of the families of those who went over the next few weeks. God did what He always does, He was amazing. I ask that you be patient with me as you listen to your students talk about the hardships that we went through while there. I'll see you all soon.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Big Debrief Days

We made it safely back to the US, and have had 2 tough, but amazing days of debrief, but GOD IS GOOD! I'm looking forward to putting all of their thoughts down and meeting with all of the students and families of those who went over the next few weeks.

We're leaving KC tomorrow morning by 9am, and should be home by 3pm. In the meantime, one more video!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

The last few days


No posts. Why?

We've been busy.

We've been up early climbing mountains. That morning, both Elva Jean and Samantha tripped and injured themselves. It was hard to see that happen, knowing that nothing could be done as they fell, then bled. Sam's twisted knee has been a downer for her as she watches the rest of the students play games with the kids.

We've been spending long days at Pavon and then the Mission, then returning to eat and have devotions. Our times in the home have been the most challenging. Relationally, 15 people have been put in an environment that is more conducive to stress than not. There have been great moments of dysfunctionality.

Yesterday, it rained. A lot. It also hailed. We left the Mission and drove through streets flooded because of the lack of sewers and storm drains. We got back to the youth home to find water everywhere. And our team had a breakthrough. We worked together as a group. There were no speeches about what needed to be done, we did not need to prep for 6 months in advance...we just worked. And it was beautifully encouraging.

Last night, before dinner, the power went off, and remained off for several hours. We'll post the recap video from the last few days when we can.

This week, our devotions centered on people in Scripture who underwent struggles, temptations and trials. Jesus, Job, David, Daniel, Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego. It was no accident. It was what our group needed to through and with, and I hope and pray that they will see that while growth comes through happy times, and joyous interactions with one another, it also comes through times of challenge and hardship. On this trip we have experienced both happiness and hardship.

We just had our AM devotional. 24 hours from now, we'll be in McAllen. Culture shock will be in full-force. Please pray for our group as we work through our trip together over the weekend.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

VBS Day 2 Video...

Long day today...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mission Mexico-Pavon/Mission VBS Day 1

Hey guys this is Nate and I just wanted to say that I'm having fun, this is what I'm doing.
we started VBS today and I'm a leader with the 9-year old girls and they're lots of fun. We have been playing lots of futbol. Where going to climb the mountain tomorrow at like 5 in the morning!!!!! The food here is great and new. At the market I bought a poncho and souvenirs for family and friends. I have been taking lots of pictures of cool things we're doing to show you all.

see you soon,

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday Update

From Nickie Smith...

Hola! Como estas??? ... lo siento... or sorry.. right now I speak Spanish quicker than English.. which is stinkin AWESOME!!!!

Today was really amazing. We went to church this morning and heard the entire thing in Spanish, which was really, really cool. Amy (the missionary) interpreted Johns message, which was interesting. I wore a dress... *watches everyone who knows her pass out* ... that I bought at the market on Friday (?) I believe. It was cool. After the service we ate at the church; they were celebrating their 15th year of being a church. Juan and Armando (2 kids from Rancho Nuevo, who are the most amazing kids EVER!!! I love them a lot!) and David and all of us teens played Tag before and after church, and again at Rancho Nuevo this afternoon. When we got done, we started helping Amy prepare for VBS tomorrow at the church... which consisted of coloring, coloring, and more coloring, lol. We also testing to see how long it will take to get from one station to the next. It soon became a race, and was so much fun. There's nothing quite like running around screaming "DONDE ESTA SHERI'S CUARTO?" at the top of your lungs, and finding Sheri's room 20 seconds before Amy blows her whistle. It was pretty darn amazing. We ran back "home" and changed (this entire time we were all still in our dresses and dress shirts.. hahahahaha), and then headed out to Rancho Nuevo for our last time. Tengo muy triste!! I'm sad. I really miss Juan screaming "TENGO PAZ COMO RIO" ("I've got peace like a river") at the top of his little lungs, and all of the kids asking for my camera the second I pull it out of my pocket. "Bateria al fin".. "Battery all done" became one of the most used phrases.. along with "Que?", "Lo Siento", and "Aqui Aqui!" (Here, here!). The kids were amazing, some of them less than a year old. After Rancho Nuevo we went back to the church to finish up for VBS tomorrow and for a prayer meeting, then we came back here to Brigido's to work on them and hang out with the youth in the Youth Home. They are all really really funny. After dinner Adam and I were doing the dishes, and I was telling him a story, and I started jumping up and down and hopping on one foot explaining. 2 of the guys, Marco and Jeremy just looked at me like I'd lost my mind. My nickname is now "Loca".. hahahahaha.

So, right now a bunch of us are coloring and cutting out stuff.. everyone is exhausted, but no one wants to go home. Life in Mexico is amazing. I love the kids, and the adults are amazing. Yesterday I was trying to take a group picture of all the kids, and instead of saying "Smile" in Spanish, I said "Cerveza", or Beer. Brigido was definately smiling.

We have 2 Katies here, and so right now we're trying to figure out how to tell them apart. Katy is an intern here and has been interning for 3 months now. I think that's really cool. She speaks as fluently as the Mexicans.

Okay, I'm gonna go back and help so that we all can hopefully sleep tonight (hahaha). Buenos Noches!

From San Luis Potosi,

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Saturday @ Rancho Nuevo

Today's student blogger...Katie Mulholland

This morning we slept in because it rained last night, we couldn't climb the mountain...: (!!!! We had an amazing breakfast of eggs, sausage, and fried bread. Yummy! After breakfast we chilled until we went to the church and colored! My fav past time! We came back "home" for lunch of chicken and rice. The most amazing chicken in the world. We hopped on the bus and went to Rancho Nuevo. Every time I go there the kids rip my heart out. We drive down the "road" and kids come from everywhere just to see us! The kids surround us and try to hop on our shoulders or hug us! It's truly incredible. The lessons start and the kids are sooo excited that they talk non-stop until we tell them to listen to the story. After we colored again but with stickers this time. Afterwards we play outside with the ball or just them climbing on us. Tag is my personal favorite because they don't know who is it and they all chase you!! Back at the home we chilled and I slept...shhh! A bunch of messing around later is dinner with ham sandwiches. Devotions are later then to bed for an amazing day tomorrow at church.
-Katie Mulholland

Friday, July 18, 2008

Video Recaplet...

Work day-1

We arrived last night (this morning??) about 12:30am in SLP. we got to Brigido's house around 1am, had some ham sandwiches, and then went to bed.

We awoke this morning about 8am, and had our devotional time. The focus was realizing that we are away from the "normal" things that mark our lives...XBox, cellphones, Facebook, etc and how we needed to make a transition to focusing on what God wants with us. We spent time in prayer, and then had a great breakfast of pancakes and bacon. The kids ate well. Then we were off to Pavon Church of Christ to do some work there. We cleaned chairs, created a wall where there was none before, and the swept the whole building. We returned to the youth home and ate lunch: taquitos and salad, and the students had their first taste of "real" coke in a bottle. In about an hour, we're going to head to Rancho Nuevo for a day of VBS, and then to the market tonight.

Today's guest blogger is Jenai are some of her thoughts...

yesterday was A LOT of fun! :) we woke up super early so that we could get on a really small plane too Houston, Texas then about 15 minutes after landing we got on another to McAllen, Texas. on that flight we went over the Gulf of Mexico..and that was really awesome. the water was so blue and calm..beautiful! and then, we went to the bus station and waited a while there, eating $5 foot longs from subway (eat fresh) and tried sleeping a little. and so at about 1:15 our 10 hour bus ride on the Noreste bus to San Luis Potosi started. we got to the border not too long after leaving and that took longer than expected. :( but all is well! cause everything worked out without a hitch and we were in Mexico at last! :) while on the bus, spiderman 3 started playing, of course it was in spanish with no subtitles. so some people watched it others went to sleep (which was most needed in my case) then finally after 5 spanish movies, one english flick that you could not hear and looking at God's creation (which was incredible) were all finished, we were in SLP at last! :) Brigido was there waiting for us in the bus station and helped us load up the truck and brought us to his home. which is the cutest house i think i have ever seen! :) done now cause that was longer than john wanted im sure. lol :)
te paz guys! see you all when we're back. :) ~jenai

From now on, click on the link on the left (at the top) for the photo albums of the trip. It'll be easier than adding a link to each post. Each album holds up to 60 photos, so when they get full, I'll build a new one!

Travel Day 2-Kansas City to Houston to McAllen to SLP


I cannot get yesterday's video to compresse properly, so there will not be a video recap today...sorry!

We made it here safely last night. There are some new photos here.

I'll try to post a video update later in the day.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Travel Day 1

Travel Day photos here...

And now for something new...

Today is the day!

All of the planning and preparations are done. Expectations are set. This is my 13th time going to Mexico and 9th time going to San Luis Potosi. This group of 15 is the largest that I have taken, and I am excited to see and participate in God's good work with them. My 2 oldest children, Katie and Nathan are a part of this group, and I can't wait to experience this with members of my family. I am proud of all of those going. They have worked hard and earned it. The months of d-group, LIFE group, the hard work they put in, is all about to pay off.

I'll post later in the day from Kansas City.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mission: Mexico

It's hard to believe that we are just 2 short days from leaving for San Luis Potosi. We'll be posting comments, observations and pictures over the next 2 weeks.

Please be in prayer for our students, leaders and brothers and sisters in Christ there in San Luis Potosi!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Mission Kansas: Home!

What an incredible week! We painted a fenceline that was over 1400 feet long...stained some bleachers, picked up after a massive storm, and had an incredible 4th of July.

Please take a look at ALL of our photo albums (some pics have been added)

Album 1

Album 2

Album 3

Album 4

Album 5

Album 6

Album 7

Album 8

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Lot's of things going on...

We finished the fence!
We had an amazing storm last night, 4-5 inches of rain in an hour, hail, flash-flooding. It was crazy.
We spent the morning today doing storm clean-up and the afternoon at the high elements course. Pictures updated!

Talent show tonight!

Pictures are here, here, here, and here.

Mission Kansas: Update

We have had some internet troubles over the last few days, so I have been unable to update when I'd like to. I'll work on it now, hopefully there will be new pictures up soon...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Mission Kansas: Day 3

Tuesday was another busy day here at Morning Star Ranch. We spent the morning and afternoon working hours doing some serious painting on the corral. We'll be done with this project by Wednesday noon. We'll all be thankful.

Anne and I made a run to our "local" Wal Mart for water. It took about 2 hours to get there and back, but now we have what we need to finish the week out. Last night, Ben built us an awesome fire for roasting hotdogs and marshmallows...and I even had 3 hotdogs!

After a few games of "nuke-em" on the volleyball court, we had our night time devo and called it an early night for bed.

We talked with Val and Meg from the ranch about our Friday the 4th plans...high ropes course, zip line, fireworks, it will be a great way to end the week.

The kids are working really hard, we've accomplished a lot and I hope when they leave they'll feel good about the work done and be excited about coming back. We've had some good quiet times as well, I know that God is speaking to them through our time here, and I hope that they'll be listening to Him!