Each year our Mexico Mission trip is made up of three important aspects: service, fellowship, worship. I have spoken a good bit of the service in the jobs we are doing around the Rancho, so I thought I would be saying a little bit about our fellowship we have with each other.
Certainly our connections with each other begin on long the trip down, both the drive down and the stops we made at Carlsbad and briefly at San Diego before we go over the border. I note that there always seem to be a kid or two who are a little reticent, perhaps not knowing anyone else on the trip. This year has been no different. But it always seems to happen (this year included) that those more shy are folded into the group.
Fellowship is also built through the way we organize our own life around the dorms and mess hall. We are organized into teams that take turns cooking the meals, taking out the trash, and conducting evening worship. Working with your team is always a delight, telling stories and sharing jokes. For instance, while cleaning the tables after dinner, Clark gave me a great rundown on the main themes of Don Quixote, of when Kari shared her favorite cole slaw recipe.
There is also plenty of downtime before and after work for getting together with friends, old and new. Playing cards is actually a rather raucous activity. And late afternoon affords opportunity to kick the soccer ball or shoot some hoops with the Rancho kids.
Wednesday is a big fellowship day. First, as a reward for the hard work being accomplished, the Team heads off to the beach for the afternoon. It is a lonely stretch of sand, complete with towering dunes, about 45 minutes from the Rancho. The weather was perfect, and the Team spent the entire afternoon splashing in the water and leaping off the dunes. Annalisa reports that on their beachcombing she, Ben, Taron, Danielle, Nicole, and Zack found a small stingray washed up on the beach. They mounted a rescue operation using strands of kelp to get the little guy back in the water.
Last night we had a fire in the fire pit and made s’mores. Chet happily volunteered to make s’mores for any who wished not to get smoke in their eyes. Zack constructed the ultimate s’more with a Rice Crispy Marshmallow Treat added to the mix. Laughter and and more stories filled the night.
Tonight will be a big night for fellowship. First, we will be going to the group homes for dinner, building on the connections with the young people begun Tuesday night at the hot dog feed. After that we will do our annual Profile exercise, where everyone writes words of affirmation to each member of the team on a piece of construction paper with the person’s name on it. This is among the highlights of the trip, and team members in years past have been known to keep them once they return home.
Oremus por nosotros.