Monday, July 19, 2010

And we made it....

Woohooo! Back from Mexico! What a trip! Several hours of travel, 3 15 passenger vans, 42 people, many many tacos, 45 second showers, bug filled living quarters, contaminated water, 2 days of work projects, several orphanage visits, and many wonderful devotions later - we arrive home, back to the comfort of our consumer-based mentalities and our cushy lives as US citizens.

You know, it wasn't anything specific on the trip that gripped my heart, but it was a message by Francis Chan that I had listened to on the flight to San Diego that utterly and completely wrecked me. And it remained in that humble state all through the trip. God knew just what I needed. His Holiness was the core of the message, and for the first time I realized just how tiny and insignificant I truly am and how big and mighty He really is (I don't know if I'll ever fully grasp His Holiness till I'm standing before Him, but I've come to respect it more than ever before). If you're looking to be awakened to who He is, I would HIGHLY recommend you download and listen to Francis Chan's (Cornerstone Church) free iTunes podcast titled "The Holiness of God". It's bound to stir you.

Back to the trip - after several long hours of travel, we began our drive from San Diego to Ensenada, Mexico - that drive is incredible. The mountains, the cliffs, the beautiful turquoise coastline that greets the rocky land, the fresh air - it's just dripping of His beauty and Majesty. We spent most of our time at the Calvary Bible College just outside of the city, helping them with various work projects and then venturing out to orphanages, women's shelters and Horizante (the Calvary Chapel of Ensenada). It would take an hour or so for me to fully explain the highs and lows of the trip and it would be one lengthy post, so I'll spare you all of the details but to sum it up - we are certainly a spoiled nation. Poverty runs rampant (their average hourly wage is $2/hr), and resources are limited but the land is beautiful and the people's spirits are high as their way of life is much less complicated. Disconnected from the cellphones, the internet and all of the time and self consuming things we're so tied to, they are connected with each other - looking out for and caring for their families and the people around them. I long for the simplicity of their lives. Seeing their poverty made me appreciate what we, as Americans, do have - we take for granted clean and uncontaminated water, inexpensive electricity, buildings and homes that are built to code with perfection - keeping the bugs out, money that buys us small pleasures, plumbing that allows us to flush toilet paper and after every use. These are things I've easily overlooked and come to expect throughout life. The Mexican people are poor, but I believe God has His mighty hand upon them - blessing them with simplicity and true joy. I hope to never forget the things that touched my heart and opened my eyes to the life I'm living and the life I'm striving to live.

Thank you so much for your prayers and thanks to those who supported us financially. It was a trip that changed lives of both our youth and the people of Ensenada.

Be Blessed Today!


Here's a taste:

Crossing the border

B & I overlooking the city of Ensenada from a mountain top...I just love the huge flag that waves behind us!

Lupita (our chef), Alex (a dear friend of ours who has moved to Ensenada) and B.

The Crew! :)

At Horizonte (the church) Isn't it beautiful??

Some of the kids at the Women's Shelter .... aren't they precious?

P.S. I found my calling - Balloon Animal Making! I'm a pro!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Good Morning!

It's finally a beautiful sunshiny day here in NW Florida! We've had days (possibly even weeks) of rain! While I absolutely LOVE rain - the sound, the smell, the sight, the coziness it creates within my house, the cooler weather it brings to our hot summer nights - I've begun to feel a little stir crazy. Blakely doesn't like venturing out into the rain to go potty, so that's resulted in many more accidents inside and he hasn't had much play time outside, so that's resulted in more chewing on furniture and more bottled up energy. But today is a new day full of sunshine and blue skies!

We've been busy busy here at the Collyer household. B and I leave in two days to take a group of 30+ high school students to Ensenada, Mexico for our yearly missions trip. While I'm so very excited to go - I still have lots to do in preparation. I haven't been to Ensenada since I was in high school, so I can't wait to see the progress that has been made at the church there.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend - our was fantastic! We spent time with my family at the beach, grilling and watching fireworks! And while I'm excited about our upcoming trip, I'm bummed we'll be missing the magnificent Blue Angels weekend (it's always the weekend after the 4th)! B and I woke up to the Blues flying over our house this morning - they're rehearsing for the big show! We'll have to go out Thurs morning to see the rehearsals since we'll be missing the real thing.

Well, that's all I have time for today. I hope all is well with you and I look forward to sharing all the stories from our trip to Mexico. Prayers are appreciated - B has never been before, and this is the largest group of kids he's ever been responsible for this far away from home.

Lots of love and blessings,