the first thing i learned in mexico is that the desert in the winter is COLD! i wore two pairs of pants and four shirts every day...which may have been a bit obsessive, but i was just trying to stay warm.
we worked with a ministry called tapestries of life that i am really impressed with. the work they do is very well planned and organized and they seem to be very good stewards of the things they have been given.
four of the days were spent working on the orphanage, which is called the casa de las gemas or the house of gems. everything they do and use to build this home for the children is quality. steve (the founder) has a thousand and one stories about how supplies, funding and volunteers have come together at the right time. the construction days were a lot like my days at habitat...we all divided up to work on a bunch of different projects. some guys put the ceiling up in the big atrium area in the middle of the building, there was a tile crew and some others did some drywall mudding and sanding. my friend spencer and i were in charge of painting one of the rooms that will eventually house 13-15 year old boys (okay, technically spencer was in charge and i was the assistant to the head artist). castle ministries, which is the organization i went with, has sponsored this room so they wanted a castle theme. not to brag or anything, but our room blows the other rooms out of the water. i can say that because most of the talent came from spencer, so it's not really bragging.
my stone wall
the grand entrance
then wednesday we took a break from construction for mercy day. on this day we purchase a lot (and i really mean a lot) of food to hand out in an impoverished 'neighborhood' in mexico. we handed out groceries for over 250 families, and toys and stocking hats to lots of kids. it's humbling to know that some of these families may not have eaten in days and this food is really an answer to their prayers. the few hours that we are handing out the food is organized chaos, but again the tapestries staff had a plan for everything. we also handed out quality food...each family received beans and rice, meat, cheese, onions, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, eggs, bread and toilet paper.
the whole gang: castle ministries and the wisconsin crew
hopefully this was a good overview for those of you who have read this far. (and there are more pictures on facebook) i'd love to tell you more if you're interested and if you're ever looking for a ministry to work with on a mission trip for your church, youth group, or whoever i would highly recommend you check out tapestries of life!