Reflections of Mexicali

by Janna Christian

Blasting music and APU students running around shaking your tent wakes you up at 6:30 A.M. You reach up to rub the sleep from your eyes and discover that a layer of dirt has accumulated on your face overnight as well as a couple of new mosquito bites. Rolling out of your cot, you think about the long day ahead of 90-100 degree weather, dozens of papuchis (piggy-back rides), communicating in broken Spanish, and dealing with diarrhea. You also wonder what new thing God will do today. You feel like you’ve come alive this week, seeing the ways He’s been working in the kids and adults, your teammates, and even you…

With all the horror and hype stories like this being passed around, many people have asked me what the Mexicali missions trip is really like. On a typical day, after breakfast and morning chapel at the APU campsite, we head off to our church for the VBS. We sing children’s worship songs, give personal testimonies, perform skits, teach object lessons and memory verses, and put together crafts related to the skit’s story. At the end of the week, we set up a special carnival and piñata to celebrate. We play with the kids until they go home—for many of them, an orphanage. In the afternoon, we debrief, do community service, shop, and (twice a week!) take showers. In the evenings, we fellowship with the teens and adults during evening services, volleyball, and dinner.

I’m always amazed at how blessed I feel after coming home from this trip, despite the exhaustion, heat, mosquito bites, diarrhea, dirt, and sweat. Among other things, I’ve learned what true generosity and hospitality looks like. Despite their tight budget, Bethel Church willingly and liberally gave of their time, energy, resources, and money to make sure our team was as comfortable, happy, and well-fed as possible. I went to Mexico expecting to serve and bless others, but in reality, it is I who have been blessed the most.

Come to the Mexicali presentation on Sunday, June 8 at 9:30 in the MPR.