Puerto Vallarta Missions Trip
What a summer! Let me start by telling you about where, specifically, we served. There is only one Salvation Army in the whole of Puerto Vallarta, and it is in the poorest area of the city. Just past the city dump you will find the little town of Mojaneras. Most of the small houses were made of brick or cement, and not all of them had roofs. Also, it wasn’t an unusual site to see some eight-year old kid driving a pickup truck down the dirt roads (perfectly legal). The sound of roosters, drive-by advertising, and Mexican music could always be heard.
We stayed in the Officers’ house, which also served as the corps. It was a two-story building with two bedrooms, one bathroom, and a living area on both levels. Sunday services and all of our activities took place in the first floor living area and the small patio out back. The corps was an entirely children’s corps. Anywhere from forty to sixty kids would attend on a regular basis. Our first week was spent getting to know the kids and observing how the Captains ran things.
After our first Sunday, my team and I began our much-awaited vacation bible school. Unlike the state programs, ours would run for four weeks. All of the kids attended regularly, and they were always on time. We didn’t have to round any of them up! What a thought. Through crafts, skits, puppets, and more, we were able to have fun teaching them the Word of God. Also, a couple times a week we taught English classes to the kids, who were already familiar with quite a few numbers and casual greetings. Fortunately, two of our team members spoke Spanish, so the language barrier was not as big of a deal as it could have been. Did I mention that the Captains spoke very little English? In addition to VBS, we were able to run Home League, League of Mercy, bible studies, and individual music lessons. Our summer culminated with a Territorial Youth Councils in Mexico City. We prepared a timbrel and ribbon routine to “Send the Fire” as a presentation for one of the meetings. Even though the kids were nervous, the performance was great.
Now this summer wasn’t without hardships or challenges. There were conflicts within the group and conflicts between the group and the officers. At times, giving up was a strong temptation. With six very young adults all packed into a small area for six weeks, all with differing levels of spirituality and “interpretations” of God’s Word…It was quite the formula for disharmony. But, with God’s grace and intervention (and a little extra TLC from THQ), we made it through and were able to plant seeds along the way. Three moms went to the Councils with us, and one of them accepted Christ for the first time in her life! Not to mention the countless stories I have about the children.
What can I say to you but a BIG Mahalo (thank you), once again, for your support towards this missions trip. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you. Lord Bless.
Growing in Him,