2011-2012 Tijuana Knox young adult Mission Trip

Here is a blog recap of our 2011-2012 Amor Trip.  This is not the whole story but some of the highlights.

Wednesday – Dec. 28 

The 11 of us arrive at Knox at 3:45 AM, ready to head out to Midway so that we can have our tents set up before sunset at the Amor camp outside Tijuana.  The traveling goes very smoothly.  We pick up Kenny at the airport in San Diego and then Melissa at the Amor Office closer to the border.  Our group is finally complete – the 13 of us.

We cross the border quite simply and take the toll road along the States-Mexico wall to the Amor camp.  We quickly set up camp and establish our home for the next four nights.  We are all quite tired from our long day of travel and do not have any problem or objection to our heads hitting the pillows.

Thursday – Dec. 29

Our Amor Team Leader is Fernando – he is the first Amor Team Leader who was born and raised in Tijuana.  He is laid back and easy to talk with.  We arrive at the Barron Rios family home and meet Enrique at the gate.  We are not sure who he is.  There are no grand introductions.  This is typical for an Amor Trip because sometimes the families want to be involved and sometimes they don’t.  We quickly start scouting out the area, lay and square the foundation’s frame, and start mixing, pouring, and smoothing concrete.  This takes up all of Monday and by the end of the day we have a foundation.

Toward the end of the workday – Mark decides to go over and join a soccer game that’s already started.  Mark’s a good soccer player.  Bryce and Kyle join in too.  Kyle is not a good soccer player.  Playing soccer with the kiddos becomes a regular occurrence when there is free time.  Another highlight of the day is meeting four extremely cute puppies that belong to the family.

Friday – Dec. 30

We arrive in the morning and our concrete has had a night to dry and we’ve had a night of sleep. Some slept well – others didn’t.  Sleeping in the Mexican desert should be classified as a form of art.  Day two is building the walls and roof and putting them up.  We set up our stations and start working.  There’s a lot of sawing, measuring, and hammering.  The paved soccer/basketball court is a really nice place to build walls.  Eventually, we have all the walls done and put them in place.  It takes a while to center everything and make sure the house is square.  Once it’s square, the roofing frame goes up and we’ve got ourselves something that resembles a house.  Pretty amazing for two days of work – the only problem is that you can see through it…

Friday we get to know Enrique’s wife – Avrea – and I start exchanging smiles with her.  We also meet more of the family.  Enrique and Avrea have three sons and three daughters.  One of their daughters lives next door in another Amor house.  Therefore, there are children around constantly, which is a great joy!  For us none Spanish speakers, it is fun to interact and attempt our limited Spanish with them.

Saturday – Dec. 31

Most everyone had a better nights sleep on the second try.  We return to the Barron Rios’ property with a structure that resembles a house.  Our roofing team heads up to the roof for a sun filled day spent with tar.  Our ground team then wraps the house repeatedly.  We wrap the house in lines of bailing wire, then in thick black paper (the house is no longer see through), and – finally – we wrap the house in chicken wire.  The house then receives its first coat of stucco, which is when the TEAM aspect of the trip is most visible.  There are people making stucco – watering stucco – carrying stucco – and applying stucco.  We resemble ants and a team the most at this point because this involves everyone running around a lot and we have found our groove after days spent working together.

However, the highlight of our day was definitely when the Barron Rios family made us a meal.  It was incredible chicken salad with pop to drink.  Momma Avrea served us all and then we went inside their new home to eat.  For the first time, we had a Q&A session with the family.  It was great for me to feel like I could finally communicate.  We wanted to know everything about them – little and big – how’d they meet? – how many kids and greadkids do they have? – are they going to keep the puppies?  Then the questioning turned on us and they wanted to know what each one of us did for our professions. We went around and there were some pretty comical moments.  We thanked them for their generosity and they thanked us for coming from so far to help them.

Sunday – Jan 1

We woke up to a New Year.  We pack up the tents and head over to the Barron Rios house for the last coat of stucco and the last time.  We go straight to work when we arrive – we are in the zone after three days.  Some of the family had come over to their house for New Years and they still had a rented karaoke machine so all of the sudden some unexpected Backstreet Boys starts blaring as we stucco.  This eventually leads to karaoking and incredible dancing by the entire group.  It is a really joyful party and once again it feels like the language barrier does not exist as we rejoice together.  However, after one last song it is time to go.  So, we gather and pray for the family.  Bruce gives them the keys to their new home and we load up the vans.  As we pull away, the entire family is outside the gate waving goodbye to us – it is a beautiful God moment to complete a beautiful God-filled trip.

One Response to “2011-2012 Tijuana Knox young adult Mission Trip”

  1. Helen Quiring February 29, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    I enjoyed hearing about the accomplishments of your group in Tiajuana. Thanks!

Leave a Reply to Helen Quiring

Gravatar Image

Don't have a Gravatar? Get one!

Have you Subscribed via RSS yet? Don't miss a post!