Steve's Reflection

  Steve - Takeaways: Our family had been on the Cancun trip 9 years ago and I was honestly concerned about doing concrete work, its hard work all done by hand. But while it was hard it wasn’t overwhelming. Whenever you got tired or needed a break there was always someone from the team that would step in or take your shovel. So while the work kept getting done, the people doing the work would change. I never felt like there was a lull – everyone chipped in.   The other part of what we did involved priming, painting and putting down epoxy on several floors. After we finished the last outside concrete section, we took a little more than a day’s break at Isla Mujeres which was much welcomed to help rest all those sore muscles. It was a really nice break at the end.  What impressed me also was how devoted our hosts were to God & Family. We always seemed to be surrounded by children, grandchildren and others from the church. Always welcoming, lots of hugs, lots of smiles. The language wa


  Sunday. Leaving day We are made the priority again today. They moved the church service time to nine o’clock so we can make our flights. Another beautiful service with rousing music, earnest prayers, and a powerful message using the calling of the first disciples. Pastor Daniel spoke of action and attitude, energy and perseverance as we follow Christ. Our group added a song, Amazing Grace, and there were many “Amens” from the congregation when we finished. Steve gave a wonderful testimony, and Joann and Patti added special thanks. After final prayers and a sung benediction, the hugs and tears began. Aida gifted Lacey with an original art piece, an underwater scene of a turtle, her favorite. We all received hand-embroidered bags made by Chuy and small purses with painted animals. Inscribed on the gift bags “Thank you for giving us a week of your life.“ We are the ones who want to say thank you not only to our hosts but also to everyone who made this trip possible. To the Crossroads mi


  Many art lessons.  So, we have learned the art of mixing cement, the art of painting epoxy so the bubbles disappear, the art of a polite reach down the table to snag a hot tortilla, the art of taking cold showers and now we learned more about the art of waiting…and more of what it means to be on Mexican time. Saturday morning an hour and a half in line to rent a golf cart, then no one at the office supposedly open till nine at night.  Kelly takes one for the team, leaving behind her driver’s license so we can skip a step in the morning and catch the early ferry so we can make it to church. The hotel clerk who assists with that process is the same one who is not at work when we need to check out Sunday morning   No one answers the phone or the bell. We wait. The porters confirmed to take our luggage are no shows. It did rain in the night after all…We wait. We take taxis and miss the ferry by five minutes. We wait. And for some of us once back in the States on Sunday practice this new


  Thursday Day 5 , or maybe its God relieving us from those distractions, so we have the strength and stamina to keep working hard to serve our sisters and brothers at Ministerio de Vida. Either way, we’re grateful for the seemingly regained youthfulness our bodies are enjoying.  As she has every day, Omega began our day by nourishing our bodies with fresh papaya, mango, coconut yogurt, and a delicious dish that tasted like chicken enchiladas. We could not have guessed it was a dish to use up leftover tortilla chips. Yum! We arrived at the mission at our regular 9 am start time and marveled at how nicely the first section of concrete turned out. After we had left on Wednesday, the mason put his final touches on the concrete, removing all the blemishes, and leaving it with a perfectly finished surface. With only a day and a half day to wrap up our week’s work, a sense of urgency began to creep in as we all wanted to finish the remaining two sections of concrete and painting on the 2 nd


Friday Transition time. We are reluctant to leave but stick to our plan of heading to Isla Mujeres for some beach time. Washed off the last of the weeks grime, we organized our giveaway clothes and headed to the ferry at Puerto Ju├írez. Twenty minutes of breeze on the upper deck with a thousand colors of blue in the water. Porters took our bags by bicycle to our hotel Maria Del Mar at North Beach or Playa Norte, voted one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world. And it is, if you can look beyond the crowds, the loud music, and the cost to rent a beach chair. The gulf waters are so refreshing though, and offer a reminder of one of our devotion discussions this week when we talked about adding buoyancy to our faith, being held in God’s hands like being cradled in our hammocks, our discipleship bolstered, strengthened as we relax into a new level of understanding what loving our neighbor really feels like.  An evening stroll to dinner through the crowds, hawkers, vendors, and street


  Day 4 – Feb. 14    Dia de amor y Amistad Another busy day working alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ in Cancun. After a delicious breakfast with scrambled eggs with chorizo, hot corn tortillas and fresh squeezed orange juice (and of course homemade salsas with the daily warning, “this one is picante or hot and this one is not,”) we headed back to the mission to inspect our handiwork…isn’t it interesting that the use of “our” doesn’t mean us, it means all of us…and it isn’t about just our team. We have watched in amazement at the physical strength and the ingenuity of our leaders here. From nonstop shoveling of heavy concrete to the use of a long tube of water as a level to the delicate hand of our mason, David, as he smooths and creates the perfect surface like an artist using his trowel as his palette. Our goal is to finish the concrete on this previously unpaved patio area which will not only be lovely, with a raised garden all around, but will also be safer for the child


We started our day with hotcakes and fresh cantaloupe to fuel our workday. Once we arrived at Ministerio de Vida, we swept the sanctuary floor before painting it with a beautiful sage green epoxy. While waiting for additional supplies, we ate a delicious snack of pico de gallo with Oaxaca cheese, fresh cilantro, tomato and jicama. When the new 5-gallon bucket of epoxy arrived, we finished the first floor and headed upstairs to paint the walls. This brought us to lunch - one of our favorites so far - fried snapper, shrimp soup, rice with peas and carrots, and salad with avocado. We finished the day sanding chairs in preparation for painting, and washing the upstairs floor to be ready for a coat of epoxy tomorrow. We also touched up all the spots on the floor in the sanctuary after applying the first matter how hard we tried, little bubbles appeared after the paint soaked in. Needless to say, our work clothes are now decorated with sage green and white!  With the day's wor