March 21st Blog:
Today was day one of our groups official time spent in Progresso, Mexico! We started out with a thorough explanation regarding the schedule for our week, as well as a cultural orientation to remind us of the important do’s and don’ts in Mexican culture, brought to us by our amazing C-quest leader Joanne Edwards. While we had plenty of work laid out for us, we took a day trip into downtown Progresso to get a full cultural experience. A scavenger hunt was set up for our groups to partake in, and it sent us scrambling around the pier looking for information from the locals and cheap trinkets to barter for and purchase. Needless to say, people will definitely look at you funny when you ask them to purchase something for 10 pesos (that’s 70 cents Canadian). Some of us got the opportunity to go in and experience the look and feel of the Catholic Church that stands in the main square of the town, as well as talk to those who worked in it.
The day trip was a fantastic experience, and it really gave us a chance to not only build our team working skills, but also to go out and improve on our Spanish and confidence to approach and engage with some of the locals.
The rest of the day was spent preparing for the next few days. Our performance groups worked hard to run through the drime and puppet show, we all learned the lyrics and actions for fun Spanish worship songs, and some of your youth practiced hard to learn verses that they will recite with an audience, in Spanish, for all of the CampQuest camps.
We are asking for prayer for confidence in our youth for the days to come as we perform and recite what we’ve learned, for wisdom and vigilance as we venture to the Mayan ruins and Merida, and for continued safety and health as we continue to adjust to the climate and new elements that come with travelling so far from home (we definitely saw some crispy skin today!)
Overall, we’ve settled amazingly in our “home away from home” for the week, and Joanne, along with her right hand woman Karen, and the cooks of the house, have all done amazing jobs in helping us feel welcome, comfortable and safe.
Look forward to hearing from us again. The prayers are greatly appreciated!
- Maddy Brooks
March 22nd Blog:
Today has been an exciting day of cultural experience and ministry. Joanne led us around the Mayan ruins nearby, and we swam in a cenote. Later, we performed our puppet show, memory verse, and Drime at a CampQuest event. CampQuest is a C-Quest evangelistic children’s program, based out of Progreso. It was a challenge to communicate with my very limited Spanish, as most of the children here didn’t speak any English. It changed my perspective on people who don’t know English in Canada. I would ask something I learned in Spanish and the kids would rattle off an answer in Spanish, and I would struggle to understand a word here and there. Overall it was a very full day, with not a moment to spare travelling and Ministering. We saw God moving in the faces of the children, and also changing us in how we view people, and what God can do when we are willing.
March 23, 2019
Today was packed with different events and travels. Our team went to a park in Kanasin, which is a small town right outside of Merida. There we did our program and played a variety of games at a CampQuest outreach event. (Can we add something here about the impact) From there our day continued to the house of Miguel, the national CampQuest director and his wife, Alicia. It was very kind of him to open his home up for us. We shared a delicious lunch together, and got to hear his moving testimony.
In the afternoon, I was personally impacted through a Boy’s Home we visited, where ten boys live, at the moment. They have access to a basketball court, table games, video games and more. Going there, I felt very relaxed. I could see God working through members of our team to connect with the boys there. We’re very glad to say that in our time with them, a young 13 year old named Liam gave his life to Christ. It’s amazing to see how God works with the broken through the broken.
Thank you for all your love and support during this time, and we continue to ask for prayer for health and safety. May God bless you there too.
Sunday, March 24, 2019
So today we learned in our devotional time from Tyler Reimer, that we tend to be like “birds trapped in a cage” and even when given an open way out we tend to stay caged. He explained that when we are given the way out of our sin through Jesus, we still tend to be scared about change or are content with the sinful life we are living and choose to be caged within our sin. If we follow Jesus though, He will lead us out of darkness and outside of our cage into freedom.
We also had the great pleasure of attending Pastor Miguel Lechuga’s home church. They did the coolest thing! They had the song lyrics on a TV screen that had Spanish and English lyrics for each song. They were all songs we knew, but what was really neat was that after they sung the Spanish lyrics, they would repeat the lyrics in almost perfect English and they sang louder than we did in English. It was really cool!
The sermon talked about how you shouldn’t hide a lamp under a bed because it’s like keeping your faith from the world. So we as Christians need to show our faith to the world.
Then, like one does in Mexico, we went to eat food. It was delicious. It was … TACO’s! Shocker, but wait there’s more, I had an ice cream cone with extra protein in it (if you know what I mean). Then we went through Merida’s main town square for a cultural experience, learning about Merida’s rich history.
Garth had a lot on his plate until today, seeing as it was a more laid back day, so we all GREATLY appreciated that.
I thank you for your prayers and support and I hope that you are enjoying your great Canadian weather.
P.S. – Mom, I’m safe.
Bailey B Mission Blog:
March 25, 2019
Caleb Schroeder started our day off with a good devotional on letting go of our pride to let God’s work shine through us. It’s a good reminder for us especially here in Mexico. People here tend to look at us as wealthier or that we should be more respected, so it can be easy to just take in that attention. I mean who doesn’t like attention? But for God’s work to best shine through us we need to be humble just as Jesus set an example for us to be humble while he was on this earth.
We headed out shortly after breakfast to do some light construction projects at a developing camp. There was a team that did some painting, a team that did some planting of fruit and vegetables to sustain the camp and a few of the men that felt called to use their carpentry skills to hang three doors. I was a part of the painting crew and it was tough on a few of us to be in the sun (outside painting or planting), but I felt like overall we challenged ourselves and felt fulfilled in the work that we got accomplished.
The camp is currently being used for English, computer and Bible classes every Saturday as well as Bible camps and sports camps throughout the year. Gama has a very passionate heart towards making this camp become a complete reality including a Bible School for locals. Gama shared his testimony with us before lunch and I guess I could really get a sense through his story where he was coming from in wanting to help children and youth that are struggling. We had delicious tasting lunch of tacos and soup there at the camp. We then returned to the base and some of us went for a swim in the pool followed by an hour long siesta.
After our naps, there was a quick dinner before we drove to Merida. In Merida, our group made an assembly line and served pancakes to the people outside of the hospital. We served over 700 pancakes! There was definitely some God moments during that time…people wanting prayer and/or Bibles, sharing their stories, people grieving, and even a man who said he didn’t have a job anymore and that this had been his only meal today. Does God not provide for us or what?
During my time in Mexico so far I have really been touched just realizing that it doesn’t have to be much for opportunities to open up to share the Gospel with people. I mean technically we were just painting, but just seeing the smile on Gama’s face could tell you it went further than that. Also serving pancakes to people in need of a Savior. So, I guess my encouragement to the people that are reading this is that you may seem like you’re not doing a lot, but you never know where you are planting seeds and that it doesn’t take much to show the love of Christ.
March 26, 2019
Today was a pretty interesting day. We had the Orphanage kids here for a pool party. Andrew Friesen
started off our day with an amazing devotion on doing everything for the Lord. After cleaning up and
getting everything ready the kids showed up. Once they got here we got into our groups. There were
about 16 children so we had a couple groups with 2 youth and one child. I was in charge of a little 9
year old girl with the help of Keegan. I really enjoyed having some one on one time with her and
learning all about her. I found out that her favorite color is rojo which is red. She really enjoys learning
English. I have a little Spanish-English book that she was reading for about 15 minutes just learning lots
of different words. When I was playing with her, I would hold up stuffed animals like a flamingo and a
monkey and tell her what they were called in English. She would repeat after me very clearly with no
trouble either. We all played games in the pool with the kids and had some one on one, which I know is really good for them. Everyone made sure they interacted with the kids as much as possible. I am very thankful that everything went good, everyone stayed safe and happy the entire time. After pool time we had an amazing lunch of hamburgers, hotdogs and salads. Later in the afternoon we did the verse and puppet play for the children, which they really enjoyed, followed by a piñata. Sadly after that we had to say goodbye. A few of us (including me) got extremely emotional when they left. One of the
reasons that I got so emotional was because I knew that when they left they would be going back to the orphanage not to a forever family that is their own. I was adopted so I get some of what they’re going through. But the difference is that I found an amazing couple that agreed to give me a home at only 5 days old and I stayed with that family up until now so I don’t remember anything other then what I know now. So I am so grateful for that and I am praying that God will lead the right families there to give safe/loving homes for each child. I feel that everyone deserves a mother and a father who will love and teach them everything they need to know. At debrief tonight, I found out that being with the orphans was a really good experience for all of us.
Joey Peters Mission Blog:
March 28, 2019
Today was a day of cleaning and a lot more fun stuff. At the beginning of the day, Zach gave his devotional. He talked about his path with God and his journey, including how Paul was going through the same journey in Romans chapter 1. Romans 1 talked about how we are deserving of death, but God is merciful and forgiving. After the devotion, we had breakfast which consisted of bagels, fruit and cereal.
After breakfast we had some time to think about what God did in and through us during the week. A sort of one-on-one session with God. To think about the ministries we did and what God moments we saw and how it made us feel. After we wrote it all down, we came back together as a group and talked over it. It was so encouraging to hear from everyone in the group the many things they saw God do in them and in others. From this we moved on to pool time and swam in the back yard pool there. But the leaders surprised us with an amazing announcement, Keegan, and Andrew had just made decisions to rededicate their lives to God, and desired to be baptized. They asked if any of the group felt God telling them to get baptized as well. Thats when the lead us to the ocean where Andrew Friesen, Martin Friesen, Keegan Deuck, Tyler Reimer, Caleb Schroeder and Abagail Krahn decided to get baptized!!. They were baptized by Tyler Brooks and Garth Vion, and it was so powerful and amazing to see them be obedient to God’s voice in their hearts that day.
Then from there on we had started to clean the base and the vans we used to drive us to places. We were assigned groups to clean. After cleaning we had one last worship time together where we sang our favourite worship songs, one of which was the song "Oceans". It felt so appropriate, given the things that had happened earlier. At 4:30pm we said goodbye to Joanne and left the C-Quest base. We got on the buses that brought us from Progresso to Cancun, a 4 hour bus ride. At Cancun we boarded our plane that would take us home. It was an unbelievable week of amazing things that God did, and I am so thankful.