About a year ago my two oldest sons Paxton and Hogan went on their first mission trip with our church, Pioneer Bible Church. They went to San Felipe, Mexico to do construction work for the missionaries our church supported.
They worked on a Serenity House called 99plus1 that is being built and expanded to house poor, homeless, and often ill men. They also worked at two orphanage sites, one called Case de Fe (House of Faith) and Sonshine Hacienda Orphanage. This was how they spent their spring break.
Before they left, I was anxious. I didn’t want them to go because I was concerned for their safety, both in Mexico and on the long 16-hour freeway drive there and back. Then I remembered the truth – that as much as I love my boys, God loves them even more! So I gave them back to God, a sacrifice for Him to use as he wished.
They had a great trip and were delivered safely back to me a week later!
In January 2012 Paxton went on his second trip to San Felipe with a group of college-age kids. Then in the early spring of 2011, Paxton and Hogan planned to return to San Felipe on another spring break trip. But as this mission trip developed I saw that it might be a problem. You see, I was hoping that our whole family, all five of us, would go on a wonderful vacation to celebrate our upcoming Twenty-Year Wedding Anniversary (!) on April 11th. But in church one Sunday we heard that the upcoming mission trip would be a “family themed” trip to once again work on the construction and orphanage efforts in San Felipe.
As soon as it was announced I vividly remember thinking, “Oh-oh, there go my plans.” Of course I did want to be in Mexico with my family over spring break – but on a luxurious cruise ship, being pampered and waited on in the middle of the ocean! “Dang it!” I thought. “I’m not going on this mission trip – I’m not going, period.”
When I talked to Paxton about the idea of skipping the mission trip in order to spend it “properly” – celebrating his Mom and Dad’s marriage – he looked at me like I was nuts. He said, “I can’t imagine notgoing on this San Felipe mission trip.”
Oh no. And then even worse – Paxton, who never asks for anything ever, started pressuring me to go on the mission trip with him and Hogan. Max couldn’t go because he had baseball obligations, and Clay couldn’t go because it was his busy time of year and he needed to stay home with Max. So Paxton thought it was important that I go with them – it was a “family themed” mission trip, after all.
Even though I didn’t want to go (I wanted my cruise!) I told Paxton I would pray about it. And through lots of prayer it became clear to me that … I was going on a mission trip.
So we went. I’ll be writing more about this trip in a later post – because it was a life-changing experience for me. God sure does know what He’s doing. There’s nothing like helping those with little to realize just how much we have. Here’s a preview: a photo of me holding a little orphaned girl. I would have done about anything to bring her home!
Below: Paxton and Hogan on the beach. Click here to watch a video of their group building a roof on an old abandoned church. Precious.
Below: Singing worship songs on a cliff looking out over the ocean at sunrise on Good Friday. Awesome!