HYC in Mexico

by - 8/19/2016

Hello friend!

Recently, as you probably know by now, I was in Baja California, Mexico for two weeks on a mission trip called Hope Youth Corps with amazing people all over the US, and even two gals from London! When we were there we built a three bedroom house and we also spent time with orphans at the Door of Faith Orphanage, which is where our group stayed. The orphanage itself is painted bright, fun colors and home to approximately 100 children. It's a wonderful place that incorporates family-ideals into the kids' lifestyles. I felt humbled and blessed to be able to go and serve the orphans and their orphanage, whether it was stuffing letters into envelopes, pulling weeds, or hanging out with them! Here's a picture of us the day that we finished building the house. We're on the roof(ROOF CREW)!

Above the orphanage there was this walkway to a cross that overlooked some of the town, and it was a calm and relaxing spot to have a quiet time and read the bible at, especially during sunsets and sunrises. You could see the ocean if you looked far to your right. 

They had scriptures all the way up to the cross!
Here is a picture of the house before we put the walls up! We were always listening to music and laughing while working with one another.  Building the house with everyone was such a cool accomplishment and experience that I've never done before.

Frame of the house

This cat would watch us as we painted/built the house!
 On Wednesday, we finished building the house and the moment that Nora walked into the house was so surreal! We built THAT house(with God's help for sure) in a little more than a week and she was walking in it to live there... Say whaaat? I will never forget how she kept saying that the house was beautiful. God was definitely moving in that moment!
Giving them the keys!
When we were completely finished with the house, we spent some time with the orphans and my friend Aina brought face paint materials and the kids loved it! What's interesting is that most of the kids had parents, but their parents weren't capable of taking care of them. By looking at the state of the orphans, however, you could see that they were taken care of really well! The kids loved playing soccer and looking(loooo) at the pictures that we had on our phones.

Facepaint central!
Naomi and her buddies :)
Chloe and I and a pirate! Arghh!
One night when we were building the house we went to a soccer game and accidentally cheered for the wrong team for half the time we were there, sooo I guess you win some you lose some. But it was still so fun to see how the community gathered and cheered on their teams!

To backtrack a little, we took a break from house building on Saturday and went to the beach! Everyone loved going into the water and just hanging out with one another. People bought pina coladas and souvenirs there. We also rode horses on the beach which was a really cool experience, I'd only ridden horses in mountains and fields before! 

Burying Peter
Horses on the beach!
Another random thing that happened but that God totally blessed us with was four puppies that Ferran found on side of the road. They were super tiny with big tummies and they loved being held. 

On Sunday, we went to church in Tijuana. It was awesome seeing how the church there was exactly like ours in America except in a different language! I could definitely feel God's love through the church members there and their warm hugs. After church, a brother actually invited us over to his house for lunch which was so kind of him, considering that there were 28 hungry teens to feed!

Asian squad in Mexico at the brother's house!
Here's a panorama of where we stayed at the orphanage, this was taken the morning that Olivia and I woke up from sleeping outside in our hammocks! We survived the whole night outside.

Overall, this trip was amazing. I felt like we got to live out James 1:27 by building the house for a widow and spending time with the orphans, along with not having internet for two weeks: 

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

I have also gained lifelong, deep spiritual friendships with many people on this trip, and I feel so grateful to have been able to go. I learned that if it is God's will for something to happen, God will make a way! 

Gal pals at the banquet!
As fun and spiritually refreshing that this trip was, I realize that now it is time to bring what I've learned about serving and God's love back to America, and now, Madison, Wisconsin as my family and I are moving there in about a week, and my parents are going to lead the church there! I will probably make another more in depth blog post about that later, but anyways,
thank you so much for reading! I hope that you have a great week!

Joy :)
ps. My friend Mariah started a blog, so check hers out!! thelifeofboges.blogspot.com

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