I’m writing this blog so that I never forget my trip to Tijuana. It’s my first mission trip and it was a doozy for me. It hit me hard as I’m sure everyone that’s been on a mission trip before has experienced. I chose this trip first of all because it was good timing for me, but also, I can somewhat speak spanish. It’s not fluent or is it proper but I can communicate enough with people that I can get around. So here it is, Day 1!
Day 1 was mostly traveling for us. We rode up in 2 vehicles. There was 8 of us total including pastor Steve Doerksen (sorry about the spelling). McKenzie is our missions leader so he was the front man for our trip. His wife, Michelle, also went along with Dwanye and Danielle Lidster, Scott and Marita Lowe and of course myself. We loaded up for our 6 day adventure and met at the church, Mountain Vista Community Church, and headed out to San Diego from there. It’s supposedly a 6 hour trip or so, but I think we did it in 8 with all the stops and lunch and mexican insurance.
We had McKenzie and Michelle driving the van (later named “White Lightning”) with Scott, Marita, Danielle and Dwayne. Pastor Steve and I were in his car. We had 2 walkie talkies to stay connected apparently we didn’t have enough “bars” because we couldn’t get them to communicate once we crossed the borders. Of course, that could be due to the fact that Steve immediately took a wrong turn and started heading the wrong direction. He was in the process of telling me how he took the wrong turn the last time he went there, and apparently he found that same wrong turn again. So we had a little detour and tried to connect with the other car to no avail. So we started back the right direction and after a few minutes of trying to find our way we decided to try to ask someone for directions which I thought I would be able to do no problem considering my vast knowledge of the spanish language. Didn’t work so well. Steve on the other hand used his vast knowledge of the English language and immediately received directions from the first person he tried. So we finally met up with the rest of the team at Costco where we were buying supplies for the week. We met up with our guide as well. His name was Lucas. He met us at Costco around 5 p.m., an hour later than we were supposed to meet him, after we packed up all our goods we headed out to the dorm. The dorm was the place where we stayed the entire trip. It was a 2 story complex, complete with a restaurant style kitchen, tiled downstairs, and bunk beds upstairs made of crude 2×4 and plywood. We found out quickly, from our other live in host Josh, that a big no-no was to flush the toilet paper down the toilet. So there was a trash can in between the stalls that we had to put our used toilet paper. I was pretty uneasy about that so I tried to hold it as much as I could. After giving a quick synopsis of what our trip was going to look like from Josh, we all went upstairs to settle in. Another thing we did every night was a bible study that 2 people went over while having breakfast and I chose to do the first one.
I chose to do a different verse than the suggested one because a certain story was sticking out to me. It was the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30
14″Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another on talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17So also the one with two talents gained two more. 18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19″After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20The man who had received the five talents brought another five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’
21″His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”
22″The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’
23″his master replied, ”Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”
24″Then the man who had received the one talent came, ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
26″His master replied, ‘You wiked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28″ ‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
This verse stuck out to me and hit me hard. I concluded that we as Americans have been entrusted with much and we need to be good stewards of our masters wealth and multiply it for HIM and HIS purpose, not our own.
Here is my Journal entry for Day 1
“Day 1-July 22nd – 6:10 p.m.
We have arrived at the spectrum household. We are currently getting some stuff situated. Tijuana is kind of like I expected but the feeling of insecurity and not feeling safe comes and goes depending on the neighborhood.
Steve and I were lost for a bit, I tried using my spanish to ask for directions but 2 people blew me off immediately. After getting up the nerve to ask, twice, unsure if I was going to say something completely wrong. Then Steve asked a taxi driver and the guy getting out spoke very clear english. I think Steve’s expecting to get help attitude worked for him. It reminds me of Gods word saying “Ask Boldly” came to mind. I was timid and unsure and Steve was not. Lesson number 1-LEARNED!
We just got done listening to Pastor Von who is an 80 yr old man who has been doing missions for 40 years. Most of it in tijuana, and he says that this place’s barrios are up there with the worst of them.
We are going to be visiting “The Dump” which apparently is a dump with compost and waste. We are visiting there to bring food to the people who live and work there. I guess people live in tents or cardboard boxes and seperate scrap metal, cardboard, cans etc. to sell it to companies.
Tomorrow around 8 we are supposed to be going to the orphanage and washing the feet and hair of the kids and feeding them at the park.”
I realize that some of this sounds broken or not very smooth. I’m writing it down just as I wrote it while I was there. I want to keep the authenticity of it. I didn’t exactly have a desk to be writing at so it was uncomfortable and needed to just jot down my thoughts. Thanks for reading and Day 2 should be coming up quickly I hope.