Traveling with 9 teenagers can be exciting in and of itself.
But traveling with 9 teenagers to a foreign country can seem a little bit daunting! I’m happy to report that the Mexico City trip was one of the very best experiences of my 30 year teaching career and it was mainly due to the servant hearts and attitudes of our team members.
For 12 days, we had the opportunity to work closely with Sam and Jamie Hornbrook, who have been missionaries in Mexico for the past 25 years. We sought ways to strategically connect people in their community with their church ministry as well as present the gospel in effective ways. Our team was able to conduct sport camps, share the gospel, and invite nearly 200 individuals to church during our time in Mexico City. Our students were able to use their Spanish language skills in sharing their testimonies, helping instruct the campers, and to interact with the people that we came in contact with on a daily basis.
We also served at the Hornbrook’s church by providing and leading worship, teaching, coordinating youth group activities, and participating in cultural experiences including pinatas and some of the most wonderful Mexican food that you can ever imagine! Our students enjoyed spending time at the youth group and playing 4 Square and 9 Square for hours and hours.
In addition to the sports clinics and youth groups, we also ministered at an orphanage and church in Queretaro, which is located about 2 hours north of Mexico City, and is a city of about 2 million people. While at the orphanage, we conducted sports clinics and played with the children. We helped lead worship at Horizonte Church and also shared testimonies and taught during the Wednesday evening service. That evening we distributed gifts to underprivileged children in downtown Queretaro. The following day we painted some of the rooms at the church and helped with other maintenance projects.
We also took a couple of days to explore Mexico – including the Aztec Pyramids, Castle of Chapultepec, gondolas, a double-decker bus tour of Mexico City, and other cultural experiences involving shopping, dining, and other sights and sounds.
One of my favorite parts of the day was our daily “team time”. Each evening we would gather together and share various perspectives and lessons of the day. One of our team members would share a devotional and we would also take time to pray. I encouraged every team member to select a word or phrase that they hoped would characterize their relationship with the Lord for 2017. My phrase is “seek and search” taken from Jeremiah 29:13, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart”. As I continue to strive to follow Christ, I need to be diligent in my relationship with Him and not allow my walk to become shallow but genuine in every aspect of my life.
Mexico City Trip 2016 was a great trip with a great group of young people! I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to experience a foreign country with an amazing team and I look forward to future trips where our students can be stretched and the Lord can be glorified!