Friday, May 28, 2010

Flashback Friday #27

When I was 12, my sister and I took a 2 week mission trip to Mexico with a local youth group. The youth group was pretty big (compared to ours) and they were gracious enough to open their arms to let us join in on the trip. We knew most of the kids from school... and with all of the kids and chaperons, there were over 30 people who made the trek. The first week was training. We learned a drama and got to know other people from the U.S. who were there for the mission as well. We also were forced to stay up until the wee hours of the morning after a full day of training in the Mexico July heat (to listen to the head honcho talk about things I can't even remember now... almost 13 yrs later!)... only to be able to get 4 hours of sleep before we had to be up and running again! That wasn't fun! However, I can't complain because some how we got to sleep in hotels... and not in tents or creepy buildings. I will complain about the food though!!! We had Mexicans cooking for us... and they would make weird foods that a lot of us weren't accustomed to. We were forced to eat the food so as not to offend the cooks. I understand why, however, it wasn't like we were eating food from Taco Bell... there were really, really weird things that tasted like the smell of dog food! Most of us would try to take more napkins than we really needed and then spit our food out into them on the sly... and then stuff our drink cups and paper plates into big piles to hide it. Then one person would take the whole thing to the garbage can and hope that none of the leaders saw! LOL!

Anyway--Our group would travel by bus each day to different parts of Mexico and perform a drama about a guy who is "lost in the world" and eventually realizes he is only happy in Jesus. The whole thing was in Spanish... so that was a bit of a challenge!

Here is the group my sister and I were a part of... the "partiers"... we would dance around with these ribbons and pretty much act drunk.. LOL! I'm on the bottom left... my sis was right above me.
I don't think that at 12 yrs old, I was mature enough to really "get" what we were doing and that it wasn't about being "cool" and being "in Mexico" when friends at home never got to go. But, hey... when you're a kid, you don't realize those things. I can say, however, that it was a BIG eye opener when we would travel to certain places around the city. The poverty was heartbreaking.
At one point, we performed in a dump for people who actually LIVED at the dump off of other people's garbage... and we had to be careful because there were needles on the ground, etc.

This was a house at the dump. A family with little children lived there. It's old mattress springs and sheets of metal (along with who knows what else!). Very sad!!

Over all, I know that I probably shouldn't have gone on that trip - at least until I was a little older... but I did... and it was definitely an experience!!

Join in the Flashback Fun over at Christopher & Tia's!

8 comments:

  1. wow! I've wanted to go on a Mission Trip for awhile now, but to be honest as much as I want to go and help and spread the word of the Lord, I'm terrified of that things that I know that I'll see in those places.

    It takes a really brave person to go on a Mission Trip, whether you're 12 or 112.

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  2. What a great experience, even if you didn't get it at first. I wish I'd had the chance to do that. My dad was born and raised in the Philippines and I've never had the nerve to go because I was too afraid to see the extreme poverty. Thanks for sharing your experience. I love that you guys were the "party" group!

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  3. What an amazing experience! That just shows what a giving heart you have girlfriend;) Wonderful story.

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  4. Wow. The picture of the house at the dump really made me think. I'm constantly thinking about how lucky my family and I are, every day I try to help my daughter understand, but hearing little stories that make it more personal, really make me think about it even more.

    I wonder what they were feeding you? haha. Gross.

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  5. you have way of bringing out the best in everything you do. i love the story about hiding the dog food smelly food in paper plates and slyly throwing it all away. too funny. hope you are doing great! was in disnyeland with the kiddos.

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  6. That's really cool! And definitely a good life building trip for yourself! :)
    I never was out of the country until I went to India and it was hard to see the poverty there too.

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  7. Wow what an experience! You may not have understood it way-back-when, but now that you can look back you can appreciate that experience. We pass by a half way house on the way to our church. It has a big sign out front that posts everyday, "Please slow down, 48 children live here" (and of course the number changes) But it really makes you appreciate what you have.

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