Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spring Break Team

If you talk to just about an expat missionary and ask them about the highlights of their time overseas, I would venture to say that receiving visitors from their sending churches would probably rank pretty high.  At least that's the way it is for us. Regardless of the controversy surrounding short-term missions teams (of which we are well aware and also have a few strong opinions about! but I'm not going to get into that here...), we do enjoy receiving visitors and teams from back 'home' (I say 'home', because well, it's hard for this international family to pinpoint exactly where that would be, for our purposes here it will mean the U.S.).

It is Spring Break in Arkansas and our home church has sent out teams to Belize, Guatemala, Mexico (that's us!), Memphis and a camp in Tennessee.  I have a niece and nephew who are in northern Mexico with their church from Kansas this week as well, wish it were closer so I could go see them!

Anyway, our team arrived from Arkansas last night, safe and sound, no luggage lost!  Which is good, because they brought a lot of stuff for us!  Having a team come from the states, is a good chance for Grammy to send chocolate and coloring books and our mail. I also finally got my own copy of One Thousand Gifts, thanks, my know who you are. Can't wait to read it!

It's also a good chance for us to buy things that we can't get here, or at least not as easily or as cheaply. It was interesting to see what we ordered, things like some car parts (the inside door handle on the van broke and it's quite annoying to have to roll down the window, wrench your arm opening it from the outside and then rolling up the window every time!), lots of missions/ministry books, a Wild Brothers video (that we can't wait to watch!), some electronic equipment for a pastor friend, some things Gracia needs for her Irish dance lessons, tennis shoes for Micah, peanut butter (we can get it here, but it's quite expensive!), and a few odds and ends of other things.

What am I most excited about?  Well, when Miguel ordered himself a laptop, he ordered one for me, too!  Woohoo!  It's an older model and refurbished, but I don't mind...Miguel and I are getting tired of vying for the one laptop we had, not to mention that it's also the computer that Micah uses for his home schooling.  So that's pretty cool and very sweet of Miguel to get that for me.

I also asked a friend to buy me some embossing now I am all set to emboss something.  Gracia and I will be playing working with that later on today!  I have gradually built up my collection of scrapbooking/card-making supplies, so this addition is pretty exciting!  :)

My friend also sent me some food grade diatomaceous earth.  For an interesting read on diatomaceous earth, either look it up on the internet or click here. I am interested in trying it and seeing the results! Thanks, friend!

I also noticed that Miguel ordered a few things as thoughtful gifts and it really touched my heart.

There is an old man who comes by our house every week gathering cardboard and other recyclables in order to make a living.  This man is disabled and has a lot of trouble walking. Miguel has noticed that it's very hard for him to handle the large sacks he carries around the neighborhood using an old stick as a cane.  We don't know where he lives or how far he has to walk, but he has to compete with many others who gather recyclables as well, many of whom have bicycles.  It's a rough way to make a living, that's for sure.  So Miguel had a friend buy him a used walker to give to this man.  Like I said, that really touched my heart.

Miguel also asked for some used pairs of tennis shoes.  I thought they were all for Micah and some of them are (that boy goes through shoes like crazy!), but it turns out that there is one pair that Miguel ordered for a boy who is attending the American football practices with Micah on Saturday mornings. Turns out that this boy comes to practice in old dress shoes because that's all he has.  Miguel noticed and took this opportunity to get him some shoes that will work for sports.  Okay, my heart is melting here...

But even if the team hadn't brought us anything, it would still be a pleasure to receive them, to hang out with them, to have a chance to speak into their lives and (hopefully) be a part of expanding their world view.  I won't have the chance to hang out with them too much, probably, because of our home schooling schedule, etc. but Miguel will and I know that will be a blessing for the team because he's so awesome!

The plan for this week is a bit different from the Spring Break teams in the past, since they will not be visiting the outreach ministry in the mountains or doing construction.  The plan for this week is for them to have an Encuentro Juvenil, or a Youth Encounter.  They will be hosted by several families from either El Camino or the two daughter churches, preferably those families who have teenagers in their homes.  They will be hanging out together, accompanying their host teen(s) to school or whatever other activities they are involved in, as well as coming together as a group for some different times of worship and teaching.  The main topics will be on community, discipleship, and small groups, I believe.

This Sunday is also El Camino's 16th anniversary celebration, so they will get to be a part of a special service as well.

So I pray that this week will be a special time for each member of the group and that God will use their time here to speak to their hearts.  It is an honor to be a part!


Shilo said...

So glad your team made it safely and that you got a few treasures to boot! Have a great week!
Un abrazote!

Rebecca Conduff Aguirre said...

Thanks, Shilo! I will be sending you a little card when they go back! :) I have been thinking about you a lot these days and praying...saludos to Brad!