Mexico Team Updates

If you are looking for the Mexico team updates they have moved to the Colonial Woods Missions Facebook page!


The last full day

Today, as our fun day, we started out with a wonderful extra hour of sleep, which was desperately needed by all  the team members.  From there, we had a delicious breakfast of toast, egg casserole, and beans. We then headed out to a beach in Bucerias and had a fun time playing in the Pacific Ocean and walking on the beach (for most of us it was the first time in the Pacific). Some of us decided to try bartering and explored the local flea market. Stephanie used her mad Spanish skills and got Michele, Tami, herself, and I awesome backpacks for a steal. Then it was time to head back to the church and have lunch. Once we ate the delicious spaghetti, we were on our way to the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta. Once there, we split into groups and ventured into the amazing boardwalk. The ocean was on one side and shops were on the other--- it was completely breathtaking! The group I was in was split up and Gary and I ended up walking together. We eventually walked the whole length of the beach and saw some people parasailing and thought it looked fun, so we walked down there to check it out. What actually ended up happening was Gary and the Mexicans doing the sailing, talked me into going up and doing it. It was amazing! I could see the whole view of the shore as it climbed into the mountains. Ten minutes later I was down and we were walking back to our meeting place at the small amphitheater. When we got there a mime was doing an act and it was really cool to watch. We started to walk away and he wanted money so everyone got their pesos together and I walked down to put it in the hat. As soon as I got close, he got out a fake dog and scared me with it as I dropped my pesos into his hat. We left to go eat at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company which is a restaurant themed around the movie Forest Gump.  While we were waiting for our food a very funny Clown came and made balloon rings for the woman and hats for everyone. Phyllis' hat had a flower on it and read "Queen Over Everything", Hannah had a duck on hers which read "Baby Girl" and everyone else had other cool designs and funny names. Dinner itself was fantastic. I had a Mahi Mahi fish and other people had fish and chips, fried chicken, Cajun shrimp, etc. Then after some last minute shopping we successfully made it home from a very exciting day. Once we got  back to the hotel, we had our last team meeting for the trip. Everyone packed and got ready for our airplane ride home. Even though we are excited to go home to see our families and sleep in our own beds, we will all miss the the people at La Fuenta and everyone we were with.
Elizabeth Lanham


Today was our last full day of work in Mexico.  The time here has flown by!  Before leaving for Puerto Vallarta for our day of work, we had a Mexican style breakfast consisting of breakfast burritos and fresh pineapple slices, as well as some pastries.

After breakfast, we packed up and headed back to the Vallarta mission.  Pastor Dan drove to Puerto Vallarta (I don't believe we ran any red lights today). We were divided into two groups.  Group one stayed at the mission and finished constructing classroom walls and began taping and muddying the drywall from yesterday, as well as building the last room.  Group two headed to the hospital in a Puerto Vallarta to do some sprucing up!  Since Pastor Dan was in group one, we needed someone to drive us to the hospital.  Stephanie did a great job driving (it was her first time driving in Mexico). I was a part of group two.  We washed the exterior walls of the hospital, and picked up trash outside around the hospital and in the parking lot.  I have no idea how many cigarette butts and tooth picks were picked up, but I know I picked up a lot!  Phyllis Jean said together we picked up 3,425,357.  We took a small break at a Kiosko (like a small party store) and enjoyed the air conditioning and purchased some snacks and cold drinks.

We returned to the mission for lunch (beef stew, rice, beans, salad, chips, salsa and guacamole) and a much needed siesta (time of rest).

After our siesta, both groups stayed at the Vallarta missions to work.  The drywall crew finished all four rooms which were taped, mudded, and stuccoed.  Now the walls are ready for paint!  Lauren began painting the mural she drew on the walls, where the worship service takes place.  She began painting, but did not have enough paint to finish.  Several group members painted the bright green doors (green paint had to be scraped first) a chocolate brown color.  Others finished painting the exterior of the church, helped Lauren paint the mural, helped with drywall, or various other jobs.

We "freshened up" and Debra, Lauren, Hannah, Gary and I helped to make 70 sandwiches to take with us to hand out at a nearby hospital. We had a short break before heading to the hospital so we had a "chin up" contest.  Justin (age 19) won the contest with close to 15, Brent (age 42) completed 10, Gary (age 69) completed 3 and Hannah (age 16) attempted one.

When we arrived at the hospital, Brent, Justin, Stephanie, and Lauren went into the hospital to pray for people.  The rest of us stayed outside of the hospital to pray and hand out the sandwiches and water.  Praying for total strangers in a foreign country (there were translators) was an amazing experience!  Then it was back to the Vallarta mission for dinner (sandwiches and salad) and good-byes.  It was an amazing two days spent with La Fuente Vallarta!  The people of Mexico have found a special place in our hearts!

Michele Macias


Wednesday in Mexico

¡Hola amigos! ¿Qué onda? We had another great day in Mexico. For breakfast we had sausage and Caribbean French Toast. It had raisins, coconut, and maybe something else. We put syrup on it. It was sweet and really good. Of course there was fresh fruit - mango and banana. 

After breakfast we went to the Vallarta Mission. It is in a building that has been used somewhat as a nightclub for parties. The church was renting it two days a week. God just recently opened it up for them to be able to rent it full time, so now they can do things such as paint and build. Colonial Woods is actually funding this project. 

At Vallarta, Pastor Ann, Pastor Dan, Gary and Brent worked on framing walls for classrooms and started drywalling them. We will paint them tomorrow. The rest of us went to pray at people's homes. We all left in the same van but frequently separated into two groups to be able to reach more people. The first few homes we visited were of people who were somehow associated with the church. Later, we went to homes of people we did not know at all. We introduced ourselves and told them we would like to give them a care package, talk to them about God, and pray for them if they wanted us to. It's amazing to see what God is doing here. We actually got to walk up to random people's houses and they invited us in to pray for them. Everywhere we went they did their best to offer us chairs and be hospitable. 

After praying for people we continued our long day of work at the Vallarta church. We did tasks such as:  painting, scraping, sweeping, dry walling, cleaning, and setting up and putting away chairs and tables. At 6:00 it was time to get ready for the evening service. Of course we were all covered with dirt, paint and sweat, so we needed to clean up. When we asked where to clean up, the locals told us to go take a 'Mexican shower' - a hose on the front sidewalk. Between the hose and a lot of wet wipes we were able to make ourselves look somewhat presentable. A change of clothes and a little water will go a long way.

We all got to attend the worship portion of the service and participate in singing the Spanish-language songs, which was fun. Next, our drama team members presented the drama. After Brent and Hannah started the drama, a nearby rooster crowed at the perfect inopportune moment. Despite the many interyptions of the rooster, the drama was well received. 

Ann preached the service in the main room where just two short hours before we had painted pillars. Meanwhile, one of our VBS teams taught a children's class in one of the brand new classrooms that was built today. The VBS went very well. The kids were engaged and enjoyed Tammy's storytelling. 

After church we helped the congregation clean up and then ate dinner right there at the Vallarta church. They made us some delicious ham and cheese quesadillas with beans, salsa, jalapeños, and salad on the side that all could go in the quesadilla. They even made us some tasty chocolate cake for dessert!

After dinner we took the 45 minute drive back to Bucerias. Pastor Dan drove one of the vans back, just as he had driven it there. He did a great job. We didn't hit our heads on the ceiling once!

Back at the hotel we had a brief team meeting and headed to bed after a long but great day.

Stephanie and Felipe


Day 6

Today is Tuesday June 18, 2013. We started the day with breakfast at
the church. We had waffles covered with syrup berries and whip cream
and cinnamon " Tami says yum!" Then we headed out to finish up at the
blind mans house "Joel" . We finished painting the bathroom and living
room and front of the house. Some of the guys in our group as well as
Pastor Ann helped build him safe steps and the beginnings of a hand
rail. Pastor Ann can really hold her own!!!! Poor Pastor Dan forgot to
put his sun-block on he was so eager to get to work. His arms are as
red as a beet "Phyllis" , The house looks much better after all we did
however lots more needs to be done. We wish we could help them more.
Lauren used her amazing artistic ability and painted a bird over the
mans house number. She is also a pro at mixing and matching paint
colors. Not only did he show our team hospitality by buying us pop but
he also prayed for us after we prayed for him.
Our afternoon continued on with lunch at the church. After Lunch we
were surprised with delicious ice cream from Pastor Keith. We all
enjoyed it thank you Pastor Keith. After a shower and a rest we
devided into two groups. Half of us went to San Ignacio with Pastor
Dan and the other Half of us "Phyllis and Tami included" went to Punta
de Mita, Were we again encountered our friendly iguana. Pastor Ann
called him a giant dinosaur. It was fun to see how much cleaner it was
and that they were already using it for church services. We had twenty
three kids. We taught them about Daniel and the Lions Den while Pastor
Ann preached to the adults. The other group taught Mathew 4 Fishers of
men. They also walked to a soccer field and played with the kids as
well as performed the Drama.
After a long day we are all ready for bed so that we can be well
rested and ready to greet tomorrow and what itholds for us.
Good night all From Phyllis and Tami :)


Day 5

Day 5 in Mexico.  Today we began our day with breakfast burritos and toast. The burritos were unusual, but not bad. After a short wait we loaded up an open backed truck and a van and headed to Casa Hogar orphanage.  The open back truck provided awesome air conditioning.   When we arrived at the complex, it appeared very quiet.  Apparently we were interrupting school, however they took a break and welcomed us.  As we entered, the school-age children came immediately over, appearing interested in these new visitors.  We set up in a beautiful pavilion and once the sound system was ready, we began dancing with the children.  Some were reluctant to join, but that didn't stop our team.  Then we performed our drama and explained it's significance and how it relates to us, as God's creation.  After the drama and Lauren P.'s testimony,  Stephanie Rosado led her team in the VBS lesson.  It was Noah and how the rainbow represents God's promise to us.  We assisted the children in making a rainbow craft and then we began dancing again. They LOVE to dance in Mexico.  More of the children joined us this time.  They seemed to have embraced our presence.  Most of the team danced too.  I was taking video of the team and children dancing and noticed that Justin and Brent were chasing children . . . again!  One little boy told Brent he was the whitest man he had ever seen.   :)   Last, a few of us went to spend some time with the toddlers and infants.   Smiles just lit their faces when attention was directed their way.  Is it possible that our hearts could be aching for them and yet also be blessed so much at the same time?  Each one of us left the orphanage, our lives having been touched by these children.  (and we went hoping to impact theirs). Once we returned to the church we ate a delicious lunch and had our team meeting.  We were encouraged to use the rest of our siesta time wisely.  The afternoon would be strenuous.....and HOT!  .......and hot it was.... 
We traveled in two vehicles with several tools, paint and garbage bags.  Our mission was to clean up a blind man's living quarters...inside and out.  We spent several hours bagging garbage, scraping and painting, cementing stairs, chopping grasses, avoiding falling palm fronds and barbed wire....and we will return tomorrow when we will complete the stairs, continue painting inside and out, and bag the last bit of trash.   During this time I found a blue glass which was intended to be bagged with the garbage.  I kept it.  It is a beautiful reminder of my trip to Mexico, working with a wonderful team and the blessings we are receiving.   Yes, I said receiving.  These are the trips where you come with the purpose to serve others and in doing so, leave more blessed than one could ever expect.

Debra Jones


Day 4

    Hello Everyone! Today was a very special day, not only was it was
Father's Day but also my (Justin) birthday!!! I turned 19 today. Every
day so far we walked to the church for breakfast with the sun shining
down on us, but today we woke up to a light rain and thankfully we did
not need rain coats! After breakfast eight of us stayed back and
helped set up the church for first service which was preached in
english. Pastor Ann had the honor of giving the message today and I
heard she did a phenomenal job! Preparing for church we performed
duties that were unusual to us. For example I (Justin) had to water
the rocks and dirt outside the churches fence.
   Then after we set up and changed out of our work clothes, we partook
in the english service. We were introduced and then sent off to teach
a children's class (3-8 years old). Phyllis Jean led the group as we
told the story of Benjamin's box. I personally enjoyed the story very
much (Gary). When class was over, we ate chicken, rice and guacamole
for lunch.
   After lunch,I had the fortunate pleasure of giving Lauren, Michelle,
and Justin a short yet entertaining tour of the town Bucerias (Gary).
Since Gary is such a kind person, for my birthday he bought the group
of four ice cream from a chain convenient store named Oxxo! We walked
up and down the main road looking at the different stores they had.
Eventually we had made our way down a steep hill and got to see the
beach up close. It was the perfect picture that a post card company
would use!
   At seven, the spanish service took place. I could not understand most
of what they were saying, but how their hands were raised on bent
knees, I knew exactly what they meant (Justin). In the back during the
worship portion of the service, the kids were in a circle dancing to
the songs with hand motions etc. It was a great way to introduce the
kids to the adults way of worshiping yet attending their need to move.
After the songs were sung, our two groups split and taught two classes. One
group put on a short play about Zaccheaus played by Felipe. The kids
loved it! The other group told a story about creation of Adam and Eve.
Then made a craft and sung some songs.
   When church was over everyone stayed after and conversed amongst
their fellow brother's and sister in Christ. There was a stand where
you could buy either a strawberry smoothie or frappe. Both were so
delicious! For dinner we had another fantastic meal cooked by our
lovely cooks! Honestly there is no other way I would have wanted to
spend my birthday other than here in Mexico. This will be an
experience I will tell my kids about, along with all the events that
happen on this trip! Best birthday yet! Estoy muy consado. Buenos
noches mis amigos! I am very tired. Good night my friends!
Thanks for reading and God bless,
Gary and Justin.

Sent from my iPad