I’m beginning to lose track of the days here. On one hand, our time has proceeded so quickly. On the other hand, we have done and been through so much in these past few days that it feels like this team has been together for weeks!
At their usual early hour the dogs began their morning concert in the surrounding houses. Our team progressively got out of bed for morning devotions, chapel, and breakfast.
I haven’t noted much about the chapels, but I think this particular chapel message deserves a bit of space. One of the unique things about Yugo is that they have a three-pronged approach to ministry. The ministry we are involved with allows teams from the United States to partner with local churches in Ensenada to build houses for needy families in the communities of these churches. This either provides for needy believers. Or, builds Gospel bridges into the lives and hearts of non-believers. But aside from that, Yugo is also involved in discipling and training local pastors in Mexico. And third, Yugo has its own group home, Casa Hogar de la Gracia. And what a joy and an encouragement to hear someone from the Yugo staff encourage all of the students this morning to take seriously the commands throughout the Bible for the people of God to care for the orphan, the fatherless, and the widow. As the speaker walked through his own story, I could feel the emotions in my own heart rising as I considered the adoption journey my wife and I are on, as well as a strong desire that the church of Jesus Christ throughout the United States would take seriously the need to care for the orphan, the fatherless, the widow, and the most neglected human beings in our world.
After chapel, we loaded up into our vans and each of our groups headed to our respective job sites. Each day two groups have teamed up together to build a single house. One group has worked at the church both helping with painting and then putting on a VBS. And the final group has helped to re-roof houses that Yugo has build previously. Today, our team had the opportunity to begin a re-roof project on a Yugo house built ten years ago.
After our work day, we headed back to the Yugo complex and were welcomed by the delicious smells of carne asada being cooked on charcoal grills. When we walked into the courtyard we saw our dinner being prepared–Mexican street tacos with freshly made tortillas, freshly grilled carne asada, freshly made guacamole, onions, cilantro, and of course limes. The queue quickly began to form and each person was able to order up to four tacos with Mexican Coke for sale at a table nearby.
When we finished stuffing ourselves, we washed up and headed over to the church (Comunidad Christiana Alegria Familiar
) for the Wednesday night evening service. The schedule for the evening service was supposed to be pretty straight forward: a few songs of praise led by our brothers and sisters from Mexico, a few songs led by some of the youth from our group, a short message by Pastor Aaron, a short testimony by someone from our team, and a time of fellowship. Unfortunately, as the first song began, a few people realized we left three of the students behind! Quickly, one of our drivers and another leader rushed back to the Yugo complex (about 15 minutes away). I grabbed Pastor Fidel and asked him if we could change the order of the service since of the students still at the complex was part of the worship team and had all the music and lyrics to the songs. The drivers arrived back just as Pastor Aaron was closing his message in prayer and the rest of the service completed without a hitch. By the end of the service the mutual affection and love between our group and the church significantly overshadowed the three students who were accidentally left behind.
We finished out the night by stopping at a local ice cream shop for delicious Mexican Popsicles and ice cream. It was a sweet ending to a memorable and encouraging day.