I spent part of my summer vacation with the Tarahumara Church in the mountains of Chihuahua. My second trip this year to them (I was with them in April & May). I spent 4 weeks helping out with a VBS that their church did. We spent those weeks highlighting different “heroes” of the Bible like Abraham, Ruth, Ester, David, Solomon, etc. One of my main jobs was helping prepare the lunch for the kids. During the summertime, when the kids aren’t going to school, they might get a meal each day, otherwise they don’t really eat. So as a way to show Christ’s love, the church decided that they would have a VBS and serve lunch to the kids, so that they at least get to eat once a day! Teach them God’s Word, share a meal with them, show them God’s love for each one! There was a group of 9 teens/adults that came from Juarez, Mexico to help for the first week. On Saturday they left, but one guy came directly back to help out (he actually tried to leave again, but God had plans for him to stay the whole 4 weeks). On Monday of the second week, one other guy came back, and by that Wednesday 7 of them plus one other girl came back to help out for the rest of the time! Angelica (a missionary from Juarez, that is working with Tarahumaras in a community 3 hours from where we were) and I were in charge of preparing a meal each day for the 45 kiddos that came. It was a huge blessing for me to be able to help out in the kitchen, hang out with the kids, and just be around the people. There were a few days where ladies came into the kitchen and helped out, so I had a fun time visiting with them.
Now I want to share with you some pictures of my time, including a top 10 list! Here goes:
The highlights from my summer with the Tarahumara Church::
the kids :: I enjoyed spending many afternoons & evenings with the kids after VBS. They would try to patiently wait for me to finish cleaning up the kitchen, and then they would yell my name until I came out of the house, because they wanted me to take pictures of them! I have no idea how many pictures I took of them, but they loved laughing at the preview of each picture.
the rainy season :: If you’ve ever lived in the desert you understand what a huge blessing it is to receive rain. You know what it’s like to say, “the last time it rained was in October” or “we’ve gone 6 (or more) months without rain”. And especially after enduring 100* days in June, I was thrilled to enjoy cooler weather and see everything green up. It was a blessing!
made me thankful for indoor plumbing & not having to use an outhouse! :: Sharing a house with 11-15 other people with only one outhouse, and an indoor bathroom that is only to be used during the night was rough. Always having to wait and then rush out before someone else. It made me super grateful for having my own bathroom, and not having to wait in line. It’s the little things.
the time spent relaxing & reading books :: Its been over 2 1/2 years since I read a book just for pure enjoyment! And while I was in the mountains I read 6, and I’ve started my 7th book! Awesome! daily being reminded of God’s love for me and others, his grace, forgiveness and mercy :: I just daily loved the encouragement that God’s word & the Holy Spirit reminded me each day of His love, grace, forgiveness, and mercy.
wearing flannel & long sleeve shirts in the summer! :: loved it! Seems like here in the desert we only get to wear them for two months, so I thoroughly enjoyed wearing flannel and reading my books!
not driving a car for a whole month :: I just stayed in the village and walked everywhere I needed to go! It was crazy. Plus it was awesome not having to drive or have that responsibility! 🙂
spending time helping out the church :: I had just a great time with the ladies and children, just visiting with them, and showing interest in their lives. I loved hearing their testimonies, what the Lord was teaching them, and what He was teaching them. I enjoyed showing them the embroidery projects that I was working on, and they enjoyed seeing/learning new techniques.
Prayer Requests :: the new semester at the Ranch starts August 13! :: unity for the team of teachers here at the Ranch & the Bible School in Chihuahua :: that the cars would run well – each of us staff members have had issues with our cars in the last 3 weeks. Between the three families + myself, there have been two new car batteries bought, a new fuel filter, an alignment, and one car is still in the shop! Pray that we would stay encouraged when things don’t run smoothly.
Praises :: the amazing month spent helping the Tarahumara church! :: the last couple of days of rest, relaxing, and finishing some projects around the house :: extra days to continue serving the Savior!
Please pray for wisdom for me. I’m working on making plans to sell my ’97 Ford Taurus, and buy something more “tribal ready”, aka, a small SUV. I have been saving for my next car for almost a year, and I’ve almost reached my goal! Please be praying for a buyer for this car (anyone interested), plans to work out for me to travel to Oregon this fall or next summer, and that God would have a car ready to meet my needs here in Mexico. I look forward to see how God responds to these prayers!
getting to make new friends & constantly working on my translation skills :: two American teenage girls, Bekah & Carissa, came out to spend 7 weeks in the village, and Bekah didn’t speak any Spanish. So I constantly worked on translating for everyone so all could understand. It was super good for my English & Spanish levels!
not having to do all the cooking :: I enjoyed not having to cook or prepare every single meal. Angelica & I prepared the meal for the kids & staff, and then the team that came to help out was split in two groups to help prepare the other meals! It was so nice. But I did make cinnamon rolls, chili, and numerous other things to help out!