Every year my wife and I lead a team from Cleveland, TN to Ixmiquilpan, Mexico. It is an exciting and amazing time for us and I wanted to break it down here for you to understand what it’s all about.
The (as-brief-as-I-can-make-it) History
The history doesn’t start with me. It start’s with my wife, long before she knew me. At age 14 she was given the chance to go on a mission trip to Mexico and it changed her life. In high school she took 4 years of Spanish and while not fluent, she is very conversational with her Spanish (I took French). We joined our current church around 2001 and soon after my wife started going on the yearly Mexico mission trip. Each time she would come back so excited and would beg me to go the next year. I had absolutely no interest in going and each year I would decline. Until the third time she went. She came back in 2009 and after constantly “bothering” me about it I finally told her I’d think about it. I honestly thought if I went once, for 8 days, I could get her off my back about it once and for all. A few months later I begrudgingly told her I’d go. As soon as I did, God started doing some interesting work in me. By the time the trip rolled around in July of 2010, I was actually somewhat looking forward to going. Somewhat…
Then I got there. Everything changed.
In what seemed the blink of an eye, I fell in love with Mexico, with missions, with my brothers and sisters I had never known. Suddenly I had found my calling.
Here we are a few years down the road and my wife and I lead the trip each year. It is a trip I think about almost daily. It has shaped my vision for our family and the future.
2013 was the first your our oldest daughter Olivia went and she fell in love with it like I did. In another year our youngest Emma will go and my dream of having my entire family on a mission trip will be realized. God is good!
What We Do
Some people aren’t sure what happens on a mission trip. Each one is different. There are trips for building churches or schools, medical trips, evangelical trips…all types! Like most, our trip is somewhat unique. We have a long term and very close relationship with an established network of pastors and each year we go down for a pastor’s conference where we speak and serve. In addition we also go out to local churches to preach, teach, worship, encourage and give testimonies. Our trip is combination of encouragement and evangelism. Some years we take clothes or jewelry to bless those there. Each year is different in how we serve. This past year we took several youth and they performed some very powerful songs and skits that had a great impact.
Where We Go
The place we go is Ixmiquilpan, Hidalgo, Mexico which is roughly 2 hours north of Mexico City. You can read more about it on Wikipedia, but it is an interesting place, a place I love. Weather and georgraphy wise it is much more moderate than what some people might think of Mexico. It is “high dessert”, usually sunny and around 80-85 degrees and dry with a breeze and low humidity. There are occasionally times of rain and times where it is warmer or colder.
Culturally it is both familiar and foreign, but many have said it’s a great first mission trip because of the similarities to life in the United States. It is a mix of rural and somewhat urban. There are a lot of comforts of home such as vehicles, supermarkets…even iPhones! But there are also open air markets where you buy everything from chicken to clothes, blenders to car parts, some churches with no plumbing, etc. It is a diverse and interesting mix. There are a few older people in the areas we go that do not even speak Spanish, only local dialects of older languages. In the area we go its a dialect of Otomi called Nanu (not sure if the spelling is right).
Why It’s Important To Me
This is important to me for many reasons. I believe it is what my family is called to. I do not think we are called (at least at this time) to be full time missionaries. But I believe we are on a path that will expand our missions work in the future. We are definitely not limited to just a single mission trip once a year. My wife has already been on her first medical mission trip to Nepal and I am hoping for mission trips to Japan, Nepal and Africa in the coming years. I do, however, feel that Mexico will always be my first love. I think of the people there as family.
My eyes have been opened to the importance of sharing the gospel around the world as well as the simple ways in which everyone can promote the gospel through missions.
Most of all, it is important because it changes lives. Whether you are doing medical, social or evangelical missions, you can impact not just one life, but there is the potential to impact GENERATIONS TO COME. The joy of seeing a soul saved has no equal.
How You Can Help
So many have donated to our trips over the years and we are so very thankful for those donations. We simply could not have afforded this without those donations. THANK YOU!
I will be honest. Over the last couple of years, gathering support has been a struggle. I completely understand that it is a hard economy, there are other seeds to sow, etc., so I hold no bad feelings to anyone that hasn’t been able to give for whatever reason. I would never pressure anyone into giving and I would never hold anything against a person that couldn’t or didn’t feel led to give. What a person does with their money is between them and God.
Last year was an especially hard year for raising funds, and in fact I am still paying for some of that trip. We added the expense of our daughter which added 33% increase in what we needed to raise, yet we raised only about half of what we did the previous year. Someone asked me last year, since I was having such a hard time raising funds if maybe God didn’t want me/us to go. I gave that thought and realized that just because it was hard, doesn’t mean God wasn’t ordaining the trip. I saw the fruits of that trip and know it was exactly where we were supposed to be. I saw my daughter’s heart open up as she experienced her first mission trip. I saw the lives that were touched.
So this post is simply to tell you about where we go and what do and then offer you the opportunity to donate to this trip if you feel led to do so.
We need to raise a little over $3000 to cover the cost of the trip for my wife and daughter and although the trip leaves mid-July, we need to have the money raised to buy our plane tickets no later than June 20th.
If you are interested in donating you can click on the link below or use the mailing address below to send a donation by check. Thank you for considering partnering with us on this trip.
I want to leave you with one final thought that I truly believe:
When you give into a mission trip it is as if you are actually on that trip. Lives are being changed because of your willingness to help.
You may also send a check to:
935 Cloudview Place NE
Cleveland, TN 37312