Mexico 2019

This Is The Way It Starts

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of sitting down with two of our students to do a little mentoring on “how one writes a devotional guide.”

Every year the students start their Mexico mornings doing devotions and in the evening they have a discussion about the topic. I have had the privilege of writing these for the past few years and this year I decided to grab a few students to join me. The reason I chose these two girls was the interest they expressed after I spoke on prayer one evening at a Youth event.

They were so encouraging and inquisitive, and that got me thinking: next time, I will invite them to help.

They gave up a chunk of their Saturday to do this with me. We met at a coffee shop and went through some “framework things.”

  • How do we start this? By praying and being with Jesus, and listening to His Spirit

  • Who are we writing for? Let’s think about who will be on the team. What do we need to be mindful of? Who is our audience?

  • Our topic for the devotions was “Hearing GOD” so we spent quite a bit of time talking about our own questions about hearing GOD. We jotted these down.

  • We talked about some of the fun and creative aspects we could include in the evening — as usual, some ideas are hilarious but never make it into the plan. Other ideas are hilarious and they do make it! Brainstorming: ideas spark ideas.

Both Martine and Grace had such interesting perspectives, feedback and ideas. They had a good pulse on what works and what doesn’t. They were so honest about their own lives too.

The next step was to meet after the rough draft was put together. We met on another Friday and walked through the details. Again, both girls had lots of valuable things to say and brought their personality to the table to shape what has been sent along with the team!

This was a first step in learning how to prepare something like this. I was thrilled to have the opportunity and my heart was filled once again by how the Lord works in the hearts of the young. The Spirit of GOD can make them wiser than their teachers (I am counting on this!) and can call them to such deep things so early on.

This is just a reminder to love and encourage and NOTICE the children and youth. It really matters that they feel a part of this family — and the way we do that is through kindness, encouragement, relationship and making ourselves available to them. Really, it is doing what Mike has called us to do — to B.L.E.S.S. Don’t be afraid to include them in what you are up to…it is the way they will learn and, it is the way we will learn too!

Teresa Klassen

Teresa Klassen

 


It Is Better To Have Tried

This past Sunday our Mexico Team students made coffee for “half time” once again to help raise money for the house building project coming this Spring Break. This time, there was a special feature. If you weren’t there on Sunday you missed a pretty hilarious and heartwarming announcement by Kyle, our Youth Pastor about the “eats” being offered along with coffee. Last year, Garnet (pictured on the right) made a name for himself in Mexico for his passion for Churros! He ate buckets of Churros.

This year, he was committed to bring his Churro obsession to the Coffee fundraiser. He and Thomas found a recipe and whipped up a batch but…the product didn’t quite meet their expectations. Here’s the thing, they brought them anyway. Garnet was quick to say, “These were our first try, come next week, they will be better.”

I decided to try this week’s so I would have something to compare next week’s to. They may not have looked quite right, but they actually weren’t bad. They tasted like a doughnut.

Here is what I love about this story:

  1. That there is a story to tell of two young men who had an idea and tried it out. How many times do I talk about trying something but don’t?

  2. When it didn’t have the intended results, they brought them anyway. They weren’t perfect, but they weren’t a total fail either. Gotta have some pride in that. How many times do I think what I offer has to be perfect. How many times do I judge myself too harshly or stress over things having to be “just so”?

  3. The joy and humour with which they offered their smallish, brownish Churros. It made me happy just talking to them about it. Sometimes its just good to joke around. Isn’t a good laugh, an amusement, a funny moment worth so much?

  4. Their effort and their intentions and the heart behind it. This is what counts isn’t it? It is better to have tried and failed then to have not tried at all. How many times do I not even step into the ring?

I say A+ for effort and for bringing the fun. Full marks for DOING SOMETHING and being a contributor and having the attitude of a difference maker. Here and on the field, these guys have set an example.

Can’t we learn a lot from these students? I love this generation. I have so much hope for them!

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If you haven’t had a chance to bless the troupe, don’t miss the opportunity!

Teresa Klassen

Teresa Klassen

 

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho To Mexico We Go!

If you aren’t already feeling the energy, you will starting this Sunday! Student Ministries is preparing for another Mexico outreach and their first Coffee Fundraiser is on for this Sunday! SunRidge loves getting behind this great endeavour and we are already looking forward to seeing the blessings pour out on our young people.

Our Youth Pastor Kyle and the students have already done a good job hyping the event, but in case you have missed the on-stage updates and videos, I thought it might be interesting for our blog-followers to read a bit about the story of Amor. Amor Ministries is the US-side ministry we have connected with for over 15 years. We love them! We love what they do! Catch the vibe yourself by reading up on them. You can go straight to their website, or read what I have cut and paste here!

The Amor Story

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(You can read the full story of Amor if you order their book from Amazon: “Disrupted” — Click here )

More than thirty years ago, Gayla Cooper felt reluctant to spend even one day ministering to children in a Tijuana orphanage. However, after meeting a group of children from a Mexican orphanage, Gayla's heart was touched so deeply that she decided to pack her bags and move to Mexico to work in the orphanage full-time.

Meanwhile, Scott Congdon traveled to the very same orphanage with a community service group from his college. The children had such a profound impact on Scott, that when he returned home, he began collecting food and clothing for the children, returning to deliver the collected items.

Together, Scott and Gayla soon discovered that they shared the same dream of ministering alongside the poor in Mexico. In March of 1980, Scott and Gayla founded Amor Ministries. That fall, they recruited their first ministry group to participate in a building project at a Tecate orphanage.

One year later, Scott and Gayla were married and four more missions teams traveled to Mexico with Amor. The Ministry continues to live out the Congdon’s initial calling and provides homes for families each day. Today, more than 300 missions groups take part each year in short-term Mission Trips with Amor Ministries! Each of those trips is part of the bigger mission of the local communities.

Scott and Gayla, along with the full-time Amor Team, carry out their commitment and passion for helping the poorest of the poor in Mexico, South Africa, and, increasingly, other locations around the world. They mobilize volunteers and work with local churches to respond to the physical and spiritual poverty throughout the world.

When groups come and provide a home, it becomes much more then that:

It Keeps Families Together

Having inadequate shelter provides stress for a family that can lead to separation with individuals looking for work in other cities. Inadequate shelter can also cause parents to decide they cannot care for their children which could lead to institutionalization of the children, children being sent to live with friends or family members creating separation of parents and children, or outright abandonment. A home keeps a family together and a job that provides a living wage allows a family to care for itself.


Promotes Health & Education

Having a cement floor and shelter that protects a family from the elements dramatically increases their health. Kids are more likely to attend school when they aren't sick, and with the solid foundation of a concrete floor they aren't as sick as often. A home helps children get education that could break the cycle of poverty.

Averts Trafficking

Human trafficking, in many parts of the world, is a migration problem. When people are separated from their community because of their need for work, they are vulnerable to traffickers. A home allows a family to stay intact.

For more information of how a simple home benefits the family and community, click here.

Check out SunRidge’s Mexico Trip page and get involved by helping them get ready (they can always use an extra hand), by supporting them through prayer, by getting behind them financially, and by encouraging them personally.

Let’s love and invest in the next generation and high-five them for serving Jesus beyond our borders and their comfort zones. It is a real stretch for most of them, so let’s go out of our way to fill them up in anyway we can, the way a family does!

Teresa Klassen

Teresa Klassen