Traveling has always been a personal passion, and over the last 6-7 years has elevated to a new level as I have had the amazing opportunity to participate in Mission Trips. My first experience was on an Optical Mission Trip in Peru, and a few years later in Moldova and Ukraine I had yet another mission trip that was life changing. Traveling with an experienced leader and team provided me with an invaluable hands-on experience in the mission field.
In less than a few days, my Mission trip will be here! This incredible privilege to be traveling with a group of 5 that have unbelievable serving hearts, to Oaxaca, Mexico will surely be another life changing chapter for me, as we serve by assisting Adventures In Life Ministries’ Medical Team.
We even have our own logo, that will be featured on not only our tee-shirts, but on our luggage tags, name tags, and journals! Mike from our team found this fantastic website where we can turn around inexpensive tee shirts really quickly, with free design help and free shipping! Check the site out HERE. It may be a mission trip, but a little 3P polish never hurt!
Here’s the plan, according to our team!
“Life Springs has an exciting opportunity to make a difference in Oaxaca, Mexico! Five members of the Life Springs Christian Church family are accompanying American physicians offering medical assistance to three rural village areas around the city of Oaxaca, Mexico, ministering to those seeking medical care and their families. This mission is organized and run by Adventures in Life Ministries (AIL) headquartered in Las Vegas. AIL has been ministering in Mexico for 20 years and has earned the trust and respect of these village communities as well as a variety of leaders in these areas.”
We’ll also be staying at Pastor Chable’s ranch, and Pastor Chables is a very active member of his community just outside of Oaxaca. The ranch is in an area so remote, he doesn’t even have a physical address! You have to be actually guided into the ranch by someone with the “know-how” to get there. Pastor Chable invites kids to come to his ranch in the summer for free, and they get to have 3 meals a day that they likely couldn’t have at home, as well as chances to play and enjoy some time away from all of the heavy responsibilities at home. They also learn about God, and are given self-sustenance skills to help them in their homes. I am really looking forward to working with the Pastor and his team at the ranch!
(Photo Courtesy of MISSION: Focused)
In order to ramp up and get ready, all of my immunizations were taken care of last week, and I even headed out to Costco to grab some much needed bulk items such as snacks, vitamins, and meds to save $$$. I’ve also been slowly adding needed mission supplies to my suitcases, and getting everything organized from my packing list. To get an idea of what goes in to packing for such a huge trip…you can download your own copy of the packing list that my dear friend and past-mission partner Olivia created HERE. We also had to get creative with our packing, in order to include HUNDREDS of coloring books and crayons to give to the children.
It’s also really important to me that people new to missions on our team have the best experience that they can on this trip. So I took a a few moments, and a few key items that I’d purchased over the last few months…and made each member a care package or “Mission Survival Kit”. Complete with everything from snacks, to first aid, to coffee/tea, to stationery needs, and more. I filled each water bottle with as many items as we could fit, and included a mesh travel bag with each water bottle for additional items, and so that each member could have a laundry or toiletry bag.
We also brainstormed up a couple of really fun and easy crafts to take with us, for the women to be able to make while they wait for their medical treatment. Since it’s going to be so warm, we have fans for all of the women to decorate while they wait, and we also found a unique way to recycle old t-shirts into really hip-looking and simple scarves! We’ll be featuring a how-to on just how to make them soon, so stay tuned in the next few weeks for that, and also to experience this with me as we prepare our hearts for Oaxaca 2014!