Mexico, June 29, 2009

Today was brutally hot once again but praise God He allowed us to carry on and get some things accomplished. It is always so cool to see these little projects come together. It is also really neat to have the gentleman who will own the home hanging out and getting all excited at every board nailed.

The compressor really gave us a hard time and slowed us down quiet a bit. We had to hand drive a lot, kind of like the old Amish way. Everyone is working according to their abilities and all is falling into place. We got most of the walls together and stood up even with the setbacks. It will be hot for the entire time and fluids are a must. We will have to really stay on task if we are to complete the house by Thursday afternoon.

I love this. Besides being in the water I am in my elements and am grateful God has allowed me to be a part of what he is doing around the world.



Finally back at the orphanage, it had been one longgggg day. haha, I don’t know what I’m going to do without seeing the kids almost everyday when I get back home. But hopefully I’ll be back in a month or so. Kenny’s planning something, and since Em and I are his new secretaries, we have to stick around and show him on track and updated. and of course teach him some more Lady GaGa. 😉

First thing this morning, we ate and then loaded all the VBS supplies and about 60 food boxes onto the bus. Group effffort. We headed to the border and made it through the US entrance, but stopped by the border guards of Mexico. Deja Vu? Anyway, they said we came down the wrong lane or something like that; the same lane we have been using every year, butttt with Philippians 2:14 in the back of our head, we followed the guard patiently into the “right” lane.

Once we were in the right lane, the bus was stopped, and alll of us had to get off with our bags to get them x-rayed. Of course, they were wondering why the heck we had 60 Styrofoam boxes all over the bus, so we had to explain the food that we would be delivering later this week. Thirty something minutes later, we arrived at Casa Hogar Elim. Seeing there smiles never gets old. We did VBS, where we played a hilarious game of pass the hula hoop, made cross necklaces, and put on a puppet show. One of the puppets was a dog from the orphanage. I guess Raul and Hector wanted to join in, so they got behind the stage and moved him around. Those boys are trouble 🙂

I have to say though, my favorite part of VBS was girl time. We painted the girls nails, and gave them manicures/pedicures. I got my nails painted about 9 different times, with about 25 different colors. Right now, I have my nails painted, four orange, and three green… only six done. I think that style might just catch on, eventually. We ran out of nail polish remover, so there is no possible way for me to take it off.

At about 4, we headed over to the Colombia bridge again to avoid waiting in bumper to bumper traffffic. PTL, there wasn’t a line. At all. But we got stopped, again. Philippians 2:14!!! This time we had to get off the bus and wait for it to get x-rayed. Yes, the bus. We were told it could take “between 5 minutes to a couple of hours.” So we waited in the familiar lounge, sprawled out over the floor, playing the name game, and reading old magazines for about an hour and a half. Good times.

After getting back on the bus, we headed straight to the church for showers and dinnnner. I’m amazed about how no one complained today, either times, about getting stopped. I mean, on the way back we were all hott, tired, and hungry, but not a single person complained or fussed. PTL.

At the church we ate dinner and then went into worship. We watched the infamous Looossss Sientoooo Tori video, and then Matt sang a few songs. After worship was desert, which then led me straight here. I’m past curfew already, once again. Anyway, we came up with a new game today… WAY better than the dart game. And if you know what the dart game is, trust me, this is so much better…

Much <3,

Mexico, June 28, 2009

The heat is brutal. Today we started the house out in the colonia for Tomasa and Raul Benitto. They are members of pastor Felipe’s church. We spent about 2 hours at Home depot gathering lumber and Chucks plumbing supplies before we headed off across the border. We did not get to the new home site till 11:00. We were making sure that the temp was at least 106 degrees before we got started. Real mission work ya know. It has been crazy hot. We got a fairly good start on the floor system with just a couple of small stretches, like trying to keep it square. As long as it’s in the bubble…..right. All is good though. God will take care of the details. Tomorrow we will stand up some walls and see some good progress. God has put together a great group for the house. A bud from home and some buds from Ponchatoula,La. The rest of the team stayed at the church today and will hit the orphanage hard in the morning. Gary and Chuck are heading up the plumbing duties at Casa Hogar Elim. Praise God, good day. Can not wait till tomorrow. Gonna be HOT!


GUEST BLOGGERS: Sarah and Emily!

Happy Sunday!
Today was awesome. I got a GREAT night’s sleep, even if it was on a flat air matress. i was with my gates so what difference does it make? 🙂 I woke up early and got ready and had a nice long quiet time before breakfast. Then i ate some cereal (special k! I’m so glad brandon let me pick out the cereal…) and a banana. you really wanted to know that. After breakfast I read philipians 2 to the group. each morning we have a different person lead a devotion for the day, and today was my day. after that we played hearts, speed and brushed our teeth. I was on the construction crew today, so we hung out awhile until Kenny and his helpers finished buying the lumber supplies. The rest of the group went to church in the sanctuary here at PIB and i honestly have no idea what they did all day after that. But as for the constuction crew, we went and got to work laying the floor at the house. In the meantime, Mr. Chuck and Mr. Gary started working on the plumbing. funn…hm. We got a lot of work done and headed back across the border around 5. Showered up for dinner while the rest of the group was at church; we got here too late to enter the service. Brisket for dinner….with a large salad 🙂 and then had some amazing worship time. Kenny talked about Jonah and Matthew Brown played my favorite worship songs ever. Our Lord is so amazing. this group is full of so many different individuals, but we share the one common thread that matters, and this unites us as one body. Can’t wait to see what God has in store for the rest of this week!

Oh Happy Day, I’ll never be the sameeeeeee, forever I am changed.

Feliz Domingo! Today was amazing, as usual. But I have a lot to do tonight with helping Kenny with the GMSM website. (Em did it last night, so it’s my turn!) Anyway, I’ll give you a run through of the day: woke up. got ready. breakfast. played card games. taught Lydia card tricks. church. more card games. lunchhhhhhhhh. worked on planning for tomorrow. changed. shot basketball. called kyle. siesta, on accident. saw abel! church again. dinner. hungout with abel. played drums, piano, and sang with em :). went exploring with the girls. played catch phrase. worship. hungout a little. now writing this noteeee, and listening to matt brown be amazing on the keyboard, again.

Tomorrrow we areeee going to the orphanage/ colonials again. I’ll probably be at the construction site later this week.


Mexico, June 27, 2009

June 27, 2009

Praise God from whom all blessing flow, the new team from FBCFWB and Westside Baptist Church, Ponchatoula, La has arrived. Answered prayers for a safe travel. God is going to do some cool stuff this week as he stretches this team to glorify Him.

Major answered prayer and blessing is that my family is here due to the fact that the passports showed up on the door steps about 4 hours for departure. God has a tendency to know what He is doing. Another adventure in the Lord. After unloading the food boxes, luggage etc. I took Chuck, Kim, Jay and Mike across the border to check out the projects at the orphanage. We have lots to do!

GUEST BLOGGERS: Sarah and Emily!

HeLLo Americans! Today was another GREAT day. The Lord continues to amaze me….
We woke up early this morning, intending to set out early from the orphanage so we could come back across the border and buy the lumber & construction supplies and then deliver it and get lunch when the group from Fort Walton came in. Well, that was the plan at least.

Our bags were packed and we thought we were ready to go by 830. but there is so much activity at the orphanage that it didn’t happen. We had to talk to Mama Lupita again and pray with her, go through the orphanage and analyze the construction and plumbing needs, move the cars and vans around, etc. all with children screaming “amiga!!!”, hanging on you and trying to sneak into the truck. Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE THEM!, it was precious, and I’ll love on them any day even if it means getting a little off schedule.

Then hermano Ray showed up, so we had to go over everything and walk around with him to finalize plans for next week. After that, we finally headed our from the orphanage at about 1130. Maria gave me una carta (a letter) that she wrote for me and gave me a picture of herself with it. I still haven’t been able to read the whole thing, i just start crying every time because it’s so sweet! When we left the orphanage, we went straight to the boys dorm to pick up the trailer again. juan got us all hooked up, and we made a pit stop at the oxxo gas station to get something to drink and the most amazing mexican caramel cookie things ever. then we drove over to the colombia bridge, which is a different border crossing station that always has less traffic than the other bridge. Its about 30 minutes down the road but the short line makes up for the drive.

Crossing the border still took a little while because a car in front of us in line broke down. butttt we had fun with Kenny singing lady gaga the whole time. We drove to the traditional lunch place, jack-in-the-box/cicis/quiznos/mcdonalds all in one area and met up with the group with fort walton! PTL! they brought a little bit of home to us!

I thank God for my friends and brothers and sisters in Christ…every single one of them. They were done eating by the time we got there, so we got some quiznos to go and headed to the church. we unloaded the luggage and many many food boxes and i went with Brandon to buy food for the week. we had dinner around 8 and then an amazing time of worship together followed by ice cream and brownies! I have more stories but i need to go help Kenny on the GMSM website! check back later 🙂
Emily Bennett

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Whaddup Gringos!? Hhaha, Woke up early early, with the intentions of leaving as soon as we had our bags in the truck. We needed to set out asap where we could get the lumber and supplies for the house we will be building this week and then meet up with First Baptist, FWB for lunch. But there was quite a bit of activity going on this morning. We had to talk with Mama Lupita and pray with her, analyze all the construction and plumbing needs, rearrange the parking of the vans etc, and meet up with Ray. This was all going on as each of us had about six kids hanging from us. But I’m not complaining.

Casa Hogar Elim is where my heart is, with Mama and of course these kids. I can’t even begin to explain how it is. How much I love these kids, and Mexico. It’s unbelievable. I’ve been at a loss of words a lot since I have been here. I’m honestly just amazed at everything. God is amazing. I took some photos with the film camera, and then had a dance party inside the truck with Enrique and some other beautiful children.

We finally left the orphanage at about 11:30. We then went back over to the boys dorm and got the trailer,and Juan got us hooked up again. We were all starving and thirsty, so we went to OXXO, a gas station, and got a drink and some amazing mexican cookies. No lie, they were SO GOOD. Traffic was backed up at the border bridge we have been going across everyday, so we drove to the Colombia border bridge, which is about 35 minutes away from the orphanage. When we got to the bridge, the line we were in, just happened to have a car that had broken down. But PTL, we got to listen to Kenny sing Lady Gaga.Pokerrrrrrrr Faceeeeeeee. Then we headed to Quiznos to meet up with FWB! I FINALLY SAW MY SISTERRR. I have missed her sooo much, not joking.

They were finished eating by the time we got there, so we got subs to go and went to Primera and unloaded the luggage. We alsooo unpacked about seventy million food boxes! I’m exxxaggeratting, but it was a lott. We had some downtime to relax, then played card, cleaned th e kitchen some, showered, ate lasagna, and then worship. Em and I talked to the group about the past two weeks, and Matt Brown sang and played guitar. He’s crazy good. Like really, really, good. Love himmmm. Anyway, then we ate some icreammm, and now im writing my notes. Lydia, Kenny’s youngest daughterr, is playing with my hair, and Matt is singing for us. Beautifullll. Lights were out 33 minutes ago. Oh welllllll, i still have to go help update the GMSM website.
Much <3,
Sarah Gates

“I want to set the world on fire, until it’s burning bright for you.”

Mexico, June 26, 2009

GUEST BLOGGERS: Sarah and Emily!

Hola. its late, but im helping Kenny with some website stuff for GMSM and talking to T-roy and Leah on the balcony…again. Today was great. after staying up so late, we slept in somehow until past 930! that was crazy since it was sooo hot, but PTL! We got up, got dressed, packed our backpacks, and headed with Kenny to the boys dorm. There the boys got the trailer turned around for us and hooked up to the truck. We headed across the border, and the line was long but it only took about an hour. PTL! First thing, we got some lunch at a Mexican place called Danny’s…yummy!

Then we went to Primera and met Ruben and got some nice, warm SHOWERS!! PTL. it was good to be fresh and clean again! The Reddy Ice man came and dropped off the cooler with loads upon loads upon loads of ice. We got online at the church and helped Kenny with the GMSM site and his new facebook! (if you know Kenny, friend him ASAP!) We called the closest local plumbing supply store and gave them a list of supplies we needed.

After finishing up at the church, we slowly made our way over to the plumbing store (got a little lost along the way…) and purchased the supplies. PTL, they had already pulled the list and helped us load it quickly! then, major PTL, we heard the ice cream truck. or so we thought! after chasing it down, we discovered that this “ice cream truck” was really more of a “chili, frijoles, and coke” truck. bummer! butttt they had snow cones so we all got one and we were satisfied 🙂

We headed back across the border and, being friday afternoon, there was a line. But PTL again, it didn’t take long at all. AND our saxophone buddy was back and he played La Cucaracha for us. We came to the orphanage, unloaded, and played with the kids for a couple hours. around 8, Kenny, Sarah, T-roy, Keith, Candy, Cynthia, Leah and I went to….yep. none other than Pollo Buenavista for dinner. yummy as always!

We came back to the orphanage and now my stomach is regretting eating so much today. but a breeze has finally started blowing and we’re almost done with the website…there’s talk about sleeping on the porch tonight because the bugs aren’t around! PTL! ha. there are just so many things to praise Him for each and every day; I am learning to appreciate all of God’s daily blessings- both great and small!

Tomorrow, the group from Fort Walton comes in. I’m so excited! Can’t wait to see all my buds and start phase 4 of the adventure! Pray for safe travels as they drive through the night tonight and during the day tomorrow.
Sweet dreams,
Emily Bennett

Once again, this is lateeeeeeeee. But I was so exhausted from staying up until about 4am I crashed last night early. We were helping Kenny with facebook, updating the GMSM website, and talking to T-ROY and Leah. Mama came in about 3, she had been in Victoria working with the government. She is planning on opening another orphanage for disabled children. PTL.

Anyway, it was so hard trying to sleep due to the heattt, but i wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else. After waking up pretty late (9:30) we headed to the boys dorm to pick up the trailor. Juan, one of the oldest boys, rounded up the others to turn it around, and hook it up. They are so resourcefulllll. We then headed across the border, which took about an hour, and then ate at Danny’s Mexican. Pretty gooood. We went to Primera to meet up with Ruben, take showers, and get the ice machine set up. My favorite part was the niceeeee longggggg shower. Way different from the water bottle shower 😉 Then we helped Kenny with the GMSM site and his new facebook. ADD HIM! ASAP.

We then texted google trying to find the closest plumbing warehouse. We needed to get supplies for the orphanage, so we headed straight over after leaving the church. After loading the supplies onto the trailor, we heard the icecream man, or what we thought was the icecream man, and basically chased it down. When he rolled up to us, we realized that he was more like the “fritos, hotsauce, and frijoles” man. We were a little bummed, but once we saw he had snowcones, we were right back to being, as Kenny would say it, STOKED. 🙂

We then headed back over the border, and for the first time, in alllll my times of going into Mexico, there was a line. I was a little surprised. But it didn’t take long, since the guards didn’t check us, even with the trailor! PTL. AND our saxophone friend played La Cucaracha again for us! I gave him a few dollars. When we got to the orphanage, we unloaded the supplies and Kenny took the trailor back to the boys dorm.

After hanging out with the kids for a couple h ours, Kenny, Em, T-roy, Keith, Candy, Cynthia, Leah, and I went to Pollo Buenavista, again. I swear, I could live off of that place. We rode in the bed of the pickup truck on the way there and back. On the way back we dropped off some food we got for Mama and then went to the boys dorm. We ended up picking up Raul who needed to come back to Casa Hogar Elim. He has such an attitude, but is one of the sweetest kids. Today was beautiful, God blesses me everyday.

Sarah Gates

Mexico, June 25, 2009

We arrived at the orphanage after 3 a.m. After about 3 hours of sleep we unloaded some of the Feed My Starving Children food at the orphanage. The kids were so stoked to know that at least for a short time there will be plenty of food to eat. We reloaded up the truck with FMSC food and headed to Mission Bautista Camino Nuevo.

We met Pastor Felipe at the feeding house by the church and explained the food preparation. After scripture and prayer we talked about how God will use this food to help reach the lost and continue to encourage the believers that God will provide. Staying at the orphanage is hot and there has been no water. So Emily, Sarah and I went across the border to get cleaned up and wash some clothes. What a blessed day.
Kenny GMSM


WOW. So many feelings and no adequate words to describe them!
This morning we got up around 8 and had to move very quickly, shooting for leaving the house around 8:30. Well, we didn’t leave until 9:30, but that’s okay. We watched 7th heaven while I had raisin bran crunch and Sarah had Rice Krispies with chocolate soy milk. sounds gross but its yummy.

We left the house about 9:30 and headed across the border to meet hermano Kenny! PTL, coming across the border was easy. There was some morning traffic but not too bad. We made it to the orphanage and Enrique came up and ran to the van and opened my door…precious! The kids swarmed us! We loved on them for a while and talked to Hermano Ray. We met some people from Pensacola and talked to them too. Then all of us together unloaded Ray’s trailer and headed over to the boy’s dorm/tilapia farm.

This was really neat- all these years and I had never made it over to that site before. We met a teen boy named Samuel who had an awesome story. He’s been at the orphanage a few years and in the past has stuggled with alcohol at times. But PTL, his mom is on his way to get him and take him home again! She lives in Victoria, about 8 hours away, and they have both turned their lives to the Lord and are excited to be back together and grow in their faith and attend church together! Awesome.

We left the boys dorm and came back to the orphanage. Ray left for Dallas, he’s going to see his sister for a few days. We waited for a vehicle and then took food to Felipe at his church for him to distribute. We also took the tools for building the house next week. Ruben and the girls came with us over there, and we talked to Felipe awhile and talked and prayed with him about the food. Then…drumroll please….POLLOS BUENAVISTA! Sarah took me, Sarah, and our new friend Leah there. Leah is staying at the orphanage through the end of July and teaching English to the kids here.

After the chicken place, we dropped Leah off at Casa Hogar and headed back across the border. PTL, the line was short! it only took 20 minutes once we got to the line! We went to Ruben’s house and had a nice talk thanking him and the family for everything. We shared with him some of the things God is doing in our lives as a result of the trip and our passions, and he shared with us some of his passions and why he does what he does. It was great!

Then we packed our bags, said goodbyes and headed out with Kenny. Destination: Walmart. We bought a cooler, water, ice, snacks, laundry detergent, and gum…the essentials. Then we had an intense scavenger hunt and eventually found the laundromat. So much fun! Who knew. We did our laundry, got gas, grabbed dinner at Wendy’s and headed back across the border around 8:45.

We made it back to the orphanage soon and played with the kids and unloaded luggage. We took interesting “showers”….I got in, all ready, and went to turn the water on and all that came out was this weird hissing noise. No water at all. So we resorted to bathing ourselves with water bottles and bath wash. When in Mexico, do as best you can!

It’s so hot here, a shower only keeps you clean for so long anyway…it’s gross sounding but hey who cares? You wouldn’t if you were here and could see these kids.

I headed over to see what the kids were doing and found a broken window pane in the little girls dorm…so I found a broom, swept the floor and had to pick out a piece of glass out of Jasmin’s toe. Yikes! Had to tell all the girls to be careful, that we may not have got all the glass up, etc….all the things Mom always told me when i dropped a dish in the kitchen!

After the glass episode I waent to the little boys room and saw the cutest thing…all ten of the ones in the room were lying on the floor, cuddled up with each other, next to the only air conditioning unit in the room. there were plenty of beds, but it was hot and they love each other way too much to stay apart! This just…idk…brought so much joy to my heart I guess you could say. I plopped down on the couch behind them and just prayed…pray that these boys grow up to be the Godly men He created them to be!

I came dowstairs and found cuatro amigas writing a letter to Sarah in the kitchen. They told me about a boy named Max with funny hair that they have a crush on. Then Leah came and got me to come dance with some of the teenage girls. It was soooo much fun 🙂 Yolanda (16) and Jaunita (15) taught me how to dance their way to Hillsong United’s song “Take it All” in espanol. way cool. Then I got my ipod player and taught them the stanky legg in return! Ha. we had a great time laughing and dancing and playing together…..then i talked to Troy and Keith, the guys down here from Olive Baptist doing construction and electrical work.

Now, I’m sitting on the balcony at the orphanage with Kenny, Troy, Leah, and Sarah, writing this note, helping Kenny make a facebook, looking at the stars, and praising God every second for this amazing opportunity. There is no other place on Earth I would rather be than right here at this very moment, and I wouldn’t trade anything for this experience.

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

<3 Emily Bennett. on top of the world, filled with joy. GUEST BLOGGER: SARAH! As I’m writing this, I have about four girls around me, on me, and underneath my chair. This might take awhile. Em and I are spending the night at the orphanage and are completely loving life. This is exactly where I feel I should be. I don’t know if God is calling me into full time missions or not, but I know he has given me a heart for this place and Mexico. It’s unbelievable. Okay. So we went to the orphanage early in the am, to meet up with Kenny and Ray White. Ray is the US director of Casa Hogar Elim and he lived in Pensacola. We hungout with the kids and met a new friend. :) Her name is Leah and she is a student at Texas A&M. She is staying her for five weeks, and got here monday. She’s pretty cool. We unloaded the food boxes from Feed My Starving Children, and kept 12 to bring to Felipe’s church. Kenny wanted us to see the Tilapia farm at the boys dorm down the street. So we headed over there with Rose and Tom. They’re a couple here that are helping out with the farm and the orphanage. I don’t remember if I have mentioned them before but they are amazing people to just sit down and talk with. Emily almost got thrown in to the algae water by Felipe. Different Felipe, not the pastor. He’s a boy that lives at the dorm. They have goats there too. They are a little paranoid. They freak out over everything. Anyway, hungout there for a little bit, and then we nt back to the church, loaded tools to the truck, picked up Leah, and went to Felipe’s, the pastor this time, church. Unloaded the food boxes and tools, and put them in the shed. We prayed for the food and how it will be distributed. Felipe and Kenny talked as Ruben translated about how it should be handed out, etc. The church recently got pews. PTL. It was as usual, hottt hottt hottt. And by this time, we were all starving. So guess what? Kenny, Em, Leah, and I allll went to POLLLLO BUENAVISTA. Again. I could live off of that place. Awesome. Another PTL. hah. We dropped Leah off back at the orphanage and Kenny got some clothes that needed to be washed. So then there was three. We needed to get our luggage since we were staying in mehicooo tonight, so we headed over the border. It only took about 20 minutes. PTL. Didn’t get searched, so alll the more PTL. Went to Ruben’s, chatted for a little bit, said thanks to them for taking us in for the week, and then packkked up. We hit up walmart for water bottles, ice, and a fan for Leah. The rooms are really stuffy at night. BTW, Yurelis says “Whaddup World.” She stays by my side nearly every second when I’m here. I’ll have to type up the note she wrote me for everyone to see. We then had the bright idea to go to a coin laundry to do some much needed washing. It took about an hour and a half. We had to entertain ourselves. Emily set an alarm off on the coin machine, the same alarm that goes off when someone tries to break into it. Then she ran off into the bathroom, which left me standing five feet away, looking like the guilty one. I was laughing so hard, I was crying. Thennnnnnnn, Kenny got red bulls, which i’m drinking right now cause it willl be a long long night. We have to update the ministry site tonight. Actually in about five minutes. After the adventure at the laundry place we went through wendys to get a frosty for dinner because we were still stuffed from chicken. :) Border check was, once again, a breeze. Once we got to the orphanage tonight we hungout with the kids and then unloaded our suitcases etc. Shower time. What an experience. Sometimes the water works, sometimes it doesn’t. Well, tonight, it didn’t. I washed my hair and brushed my teeth with water bottles, and put hand sanitizer all over me. It was pretty hilarious since it was both Emily and I, crammed in a bathroom, that doesn’t smell the best, in our clothes washing our hair with water bottles. We shared the bathroom with two HUGE spiders. I mean like the size of my fist huge. Creeeeeeeepy. Hah, but honestly, it wasn’t bad. It just makes you realize that, people do live like this, and how truly blessed I am. Changed. And that leads up to right now. Leah is reading next to me and I am typing away at this. Today was great, and It isn’t even over with yet. PTL PTL PTL. off to help Kenny make a facebook, teach him T9, and update the site. Much<3,
Sarah Gates

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. I had a great 5 hours of sleep after a cool evening at the church last night. Pretty cool how God seems to know how much we need of things. I guess by most standards about 8 hours would have been more sufficient for what we had been through, but today was a great day.

The blessings God pours out on us seems so unfair at times. It is so beautiful how He uses and allows us to be a part of His perfect plan. We loaded up some of the FMSC food on the truck to take out to the soup kitchen and to the fishing village. Both south of the border around Matamoros.

We had great help loading the food from some of the student missionaries at Christ United Church. Our first stop was the soup kitchen that also doubles as a church that ministers to an incredibly poor community, not only meeting the physical needs but also the spiritual needs of the people in this colonia. This ministry is sponsored by Christ United Church. The churches name is Comedor Unidos en Christo ( soup kitchen United in Christ ). The pastor is a young guy named Jesus. He is about 25 years old. His wifes name is Sol. What cool names, Jesus and Sun. They pastor the church and when food is avalible they cook at the church to provide meals for the needy. There is so much need. They were so stoked to get this food from FMSC. We dropped off 12 boxes. Seven will stay there and 5 boxes will be moved to a work down in Veracruz. We shared scripture and prayed with them. As always we were ministered to more than we deserved. Crazy how that works. Very awesome work these guys are doing.

After leaving our brother and sister we headed about an hour and a half further south and east towards the Gulf to an area called Mezquital. This is a small fishing village that I visited last January with Derel Hatt ,Shaun Ellis, Ray White and Chacho. At that time I knew God would lead us back to this place. I was like O.K. right on Lord tell me when and why. The when was his timing with the food and the why was… the need is obvious.

Although they fish there is many times that the water just does not cooperate. So the needs are huge. There is a small church called Sendero de la Cruz or in gringo Way of the Cross. The pastors name is Abigael and his wifes name is Guadalupe. They migrated from way down south and are more Indian than Mexican. Humble people with a hard life. This little village is called la Mano de Leon or the paw of the lion. They too were excited about getting the food. As we prayed and shared the word with them they thanked us for not forgetting them. Once again we walked away encouraged beyond belief.

We headed back to the border but stopped and chowed down on some killer road side taco stand food. This stuff was great. After eating a sinful amount we proceded to make our way to Christ United Chursh in Los Fresnos. Once back we we packed up and started the 4 hour trek back to Nuevo Laredo. We did not leave till about 10:00 P.M.

I am not sure why we continue to persecute ourselves with sleep deprivation. So we rolled in about 3 A.M. After a shower and some time on the computer I hit the sack. Very cool day. Thank you Lord Jesus.

After returning home from a beautiful time with First Baptist Church of Gulf Breeze in Nuevo Laredo, I had a short stay with the family and made the dreaded turn around trip back down. I met Ray White from Mission Builders in Pensacola at 5:00 a.m. and with trailer in tow headed back down I10 interstate. We stopped in Ponchatoula LA and picking up a much-needed generator that was donated to the ministry by Wormie Felder the owner of Ever Green Tractor Co. To God be the Glory!

We had two other things that we were setting out to accomplish. One was to pick up a college student from Texas A&M in College Station Texas and the other was to meet the truck from Feed My Starving Children. I cannot even begin to tell you how long we were on the road. Any way we dropped Leah off in Laredo at Jaunies house. Jaunie is Mama Lupita’s oldest daughter. Leah is a 21 year old college student who is going to spend 6 weeks in the orphanage to teach English to the kids. She has been down several times before and knows the drill. We pulled back out of Laredo and headed for Los Fresno’s.

We are to meet the truck at United in Christ Ministries where we will use this church as a starting point for distribution across the border. United in Christ was started from two men out of Ray Whites home church in Pensacola. This ministry has grown so much over the last 3 to 4 years. They have a mission in Los Fresnos, TX and all kinds of things going on in the Matamoros area.

As we were getting closer to our second destination we were informed that the food was delivered a day early. That was cool but we could have crashed somewhere for some rest if we would have known. So when we got to United in Christ the food was already unloaded and put up. We hung out with Chacho and Mark for a while to kind of see whats been going on. By this time I was starting to feel so exhausted that the only thing I know what to do is keep on going.

Mark is the pastor and Chacho is the director and missions coordinator. The four of us got together to pray for direction on how God would have us use and distribute the food. This is a first for me. God has put Give Me Shelter Ministries in the position to get the food down here. As always we want to work through the church that is in place. God knows what to do and Chacho and Mark know the needs. Through God’s guidance I have all confidence that the food will get to the right people and God will be glorified and the message of Christ Jesus will be proclaimed.

As tired as I was I will never miss a chance to minister. Chacho is preaching about an hour across the border at a small church called Jehova Jireh . While we were down we took some of the food to a drug rehab center in Matamoros named Centro de Rehailitacion Unidos en Christos — or in gringo translation: Rehabilitation Center of United in Christ.

It is so beautiful to see God work. What a blessing it is to be a part of Kingdom work. It always helps me to see how unworthy I really am. If not for God’s grace and mercy I could have easily been in the same situation in Mexico as these men are. Sometimes I just stand drawing blanks in my head, trying to understand why God choose me to do what he has called me to do. I praise God and give him all the credit. He is so good and excellent.

We arrived at the little church Jehova Jireh. What a wonderful time of worship we had. By this time I was so tired and God was doing a major stretch on me. I was ready to head back across and see if sleep was in the picture for me or not. I was beginning to think that that sleep was something that did not really exist. But God said one more blessing. The pastor’s family wanted to prepare food for us. The flesh wanted to say no but the spirit of true Christian love said stay and enjoy. What a hassle that must have been to prepare food so late at night. This was something they wanted to do. She made fresh hand mixed, hand rolled flour tortillas with beans and egg with this crazy hot sauce that only rivaled the chicken place in Nuevo Laredo. How many blessings can God allow us to have each day and how far can he stretch us? Be obedient and available and find out. I finally got to sleep when God was done with me for this day. Thank you God for your patience with me.


June 18, 2009 Mexico Mission trip with Gulf Breeze

Que Pasa mi amigos. Today is the last day of the mission trip but the beginning for many changed lives who have served on this mission trip. I have made so many good friends from a 12 year girl who has been called to missions to a 60 or so year old pastor who is much like Jonah. Called to serve in a place that he despised.

God had 50 children show up in the colonias today for VBS. I guess if we were going to be there tomorrow there would be 65 or 70. God continued to increase daily. There were 10-12 children that were led in the prayer of salvation today. Praise God for the harvest that God allowed this team to be a part of.

I know Pastor Felipe will continue to minister to these children. I learn more and more about Felipe and am beginning to understand that I must be around more if this ministry is going to help impact the colonias for Kingdom expansion. The Gulf Breeze group has done an incredible job and have been such a blessing to me. I look forward to hanging with them more. We ate at the pollo place and then took the team to the market to shop. Tonight we have bless and stretch, one of my favorite times.


June 17, 2009 Mexico report with Gulf Breeze Baptist Church

Praise God for how He is working in Mexico. After killer coffee and a cool breakfast provided by Cheryl the chef we headed to the church for VBS. As always so far, Derel and crew did an amazing job with the Bible teaching, crafts, snacks and recreation.

While some of the stuff was wrapping up, I went to visit the couple that we are going to build the house for when FBCFWB comes. Raul and Tomasa Badillo are their names. Rachel, Felipe, Rueban and Gabriel went with me. It was awesome to pray and share with them. Today is the last day at the orphanage and I know from experience that it will be hard for some of the youth and adults. Many tears will be shed and many hearts will be changed. To me this is the bittersweet part of these trips. To watch God stretch and mold hearts.

It was good to spend some time with mama Lupita and Deana today just to catch up on some things. Each night we have a time of reflection and tonight was a tough night for some of these kids. We will continue VBS at Filepe’s church in the morning and then it is off to the chicken place for lunch and then will take everyone shopping at the market. I love this group and look forward to spending more time with them. I really thank Rachel Conte for helping me with pictures, captions and other website email related stuff. Her help was most cool. Praise God that he yoked me up with these folks.


Hola Amigos!
My name is Kyle Mckissack and I have the wonderful opportunity to serve on the trip to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. I am 16.6 years old and attend Gulf Breeze High School and First Baptist Church in Gulf Breeze. I am currently the Twister® masta in our group. Today we visited the colonias and helped again with the VBS program. It is amazing to see the children each day and see how they are becoming more comfortable around us. The twinkles in their eyes and smiles make my day.

We got to make colorful sippy cups with them today which were amazing. Sarah Gates is one cool girl. After this we headed to the Casa Hogar Elim orphanage. The children here are so energetic and hug all over you all day. We also got to color cups with them which was especially cool seeing as they had no cups. It was an especially important day because it was our last time to get to see them. Until the next time I come back that is.

The children at this orphanage have all been a blessing to me. They constantly display the largest smiles and can’t get enough of us “Americanos”. They are so positive and have so little it is very humbling. I can’t wait until tomorrow to see what is in store.

June 16, 2009 with Gulf Breeze Baptist Church

This morning started out with a text message from Kelly Stanford about perseverance from the book of James. This couldn’t have come at a better time as my day was greeted with a snag about getting the food down to Matamoras. I received an email saying that we had to fill out a financial application before we could move forward with the transportation and pick up of the food. This was never discussed over the last two weeks of conversation with the trucking company and Feed My Starving Children. There was nothing wrong with having to fill out the application except that I was down in here in Mexico and had no financial information with me. So I forwarded the email to Billy Gann (our board of director’s secretary) and asked him to fill out the application and fax it to the trucking company. He texted me back and said he need the address for the food to be delivered… Which I did not have. At this moment I knew that the evil one was trying to trip me up for the day. I had to step back and not wig out. I asked God to take this problem and deal with it the only way that He knows how. Praise God before the day was out all paper work has been taken care of and prayerfully this problem is complete and the food will be on its way.

Today was another beautiful day out in the Colonias at Pastor Felipe’s Church. There were at least 12 more children today than yesterday. As always, word gets out and the crowd may be bigger tomorrow. Gabriel did another wonderful job with the lesson and Gulf Breeze youth group did another wonderful job with singing, snacks, crafts, and recreation. It is such a blessing to see all this pulled together. After this we headed for the orphanage to do VBS and play with the kids. All in all it was a great day and a joy to be part of it.


Hey! I’m Tori Payton. I go to First Baptist Church of Gulf Breeze. I’m 14 years old and going into the 9th grade at Aletheia Christian Academy.

This mission trip is my second out of the country mission trip but first to Nuevo Laredo! Today was my second day to visit Pastor Felipe’s church in the Colonias and the orphanage. God has really been showing and teaching me a lot!

Today I had two major realizations/blessings. First I love kids, so to be able to work with them is super cool! I learned so much from them. One of them being that we take a lot for granted. Those children have nothing compared to what we are blessed with in America and yet their attitudes reflect Christ so much more than ours sometimes. They are always smiling and laughing and it is so great to see that!

Another thing that was a huge blessing to me was that I got to do everything that I love and have a passion for but I got to do for the honor and glory of God! I had the opportunity to sing, play soccer, and play with kids! It really made me realize that serving God doesn’t have to be boring and repetitive. You can serve God doing the things you love the most! It’s amazing how we come here to serve and bless others but end up being blessed more than you can imagine! I have been having so much fun here and grown closer to God as well as the rest of my youth group!
Friends in Christ,
Tori <3