Mission trip to Mexico
The Tri-Parish Catholic Youth Ministry Process sponsored a mission trip to Tijuana Mexico during the week of June 5th – June 12th. We met up with the team leader of Capstone Mission in Twin Falls as well as the rest of our team on the first day of our journey. It is here we began the adventure of our lives as we prepared to learn about and serve two different orphanages in a highly impoverished area in a different part of the world. We were all filled with excitement, apprehension, and couldn’t wait to see what was beyond the walls of what we knew.
After 16 hours of driving we crossed the border into Mexico and was greeted with opened arms by Sister Monserrat who runs an orphanage called, “St. Josephs” that houses 12 orphanages, each with a special need or disability. She was to be our host for the week and it is that we ate the most wonderful dinners, played with the kids, slept, and rested our bodies in preparation for the next days work. Another host, the Castro family opened their house to us for the week for our morning meetings, breakfasts, and provided beds for the men to sleep after a hard days work. The hospitality of both of these places was an important part of our journey. We always felt welcome and because of this warmth we began to meld into one, no longer individuals working for a lone cause but a family focused on what we could do together as a unit directed through the hand of God.
Our construction contractor’s name was Dave he greeted us every morning after a wonderful breakfast, prayer, singing and sharing time. His main focus for the week was to work at the 2nd orphanage that housed 70-80 kids. The name of this home is the “Hacienda” which is run by Madre Virginia. His first desire was for us to prepare and lay an area of concrete for the kids so they would have a place to go when they needed shade. The other main project was for us to finish a chapel so the kids would have a place to go and pray. These two big projects involved using and learning many skills. The work week brought with it things like taking a stump out of the concrete area by hand with a pick ax, pushing and dumping heavy wheel barrels of concrete, sanding and taping large areas of dry wall, grouting tiles for the chapel floors, wiring in electricity and many duties that go with preparing a room. Some of the other jobs we took on were cleaning and painting a hallway in the orphanage and cleaning and painting the toddler room along with laying down a new rug. We also made and painted 4 new tables for the laundry area outside. The week was full of challenging work, but with this work we were given new insights as to what it meant to be selfless and work together to create something outside of ourselves as a team. It was hard but definitely life-changing.
Our time with the kids during the work day involved sneaking away to hold a baby in the baby room, teaching a song to a group of toddlers, rocking a tired child, talking to an adolescent, touching the shoulder of trouble youth, or just smiling at a group of kids as they passed by the worksite. Each day brought with it the opportunity to see beyond ourselves and make a difference in an unfamiliar world. Our nights reflected similar experiences as we returned to St. Joseph’s for dinner, we were given the opportunity to play a game of cards, draw with some chalk, paint a block of tile, shoot some baskets, give piggy back rides, or just hang out. All of these evening experiences with the kids again added to our desire to open our lives to the presence outside of us and include this presence as now part of us. We’ve grown not by what we’ve done but by what we’ve become through our doing. It’s all a very humbling experience and we will never be the same.
We would like to than St. Mary’s, Assumption, and St. Anthony’s, the Outreach Program, and Fr. Haldane for your extraordinary support as we prepared for and completed this mission trip. Your love and prayers went with us everywhere. We are so blessed to have a place where service is not only preached but also given wings to fly. We couldn’t have done it without you so please know together we have made a difference to a world that longs for a difference. Many hearts, many hands, many voices but united as one under God, what more could we want? May God bless you all.
In the Service of Christ,
Debbie Chicane and the Tri-Parish Tijuana Mission Team
The Tri-Parish Youth Mission team in Mexico. Front from left are Samantha Lustig, Monica Lustig, Abbigail Lustig, Rosa Davilia, Amanda Michaels, Debbie Chicane and Gina Seubert. Back from left are Rusty Gideon, David Hamm, Patty O’Neil, Debby Miciak, Max Nuxoll, Angela Seubert, Steve Ellis and Steven Kinzer. Photo provided by Debbie Chicane.