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

GUEST BLOGGER: EMILY!

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 đŸ™‚ 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