El Paso: Day 2

Good early morning,

I wasn’t planning on writing this late, but I am awake and well it was a good day. Our day started fairly early with breakfast a our daily quiet times. I have our kids using their “SOAP,” (Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer) each day. We met our trip contact around 9am and went immediately to a widow named Ameila’s house. We were to work/serve at her home and serve we did. We cleaned her yard, painted a deck in the front of her home and picked up trash. Ameila made for us an authentic Mexican meal of Enchildas, beans and rice. Hands down, this was the best Mexican food I have ever eaten.

One of the first things I noticed about Ameila and something that our kids picked up on was how joyous she was. Ameila oozed gratefulness not just for us being there to work for her, but a gratefulness for what has and who she is. She spoke several times about how good God is, and the blessings in life. I think beyond the Mexican food, Ameila was the best blessing of the morning.

In the afternoon, we got ready for a Family Fun Night at the Montana Vista Iglesia de Christa. It is a very small building with three rooms and a bathroom. It is certainly different than anything I or most of our kids had ever seen. Not once did any of the folks we met or got to know this evening complained about the size of their building or the lack of space. Again there was a sense of gratitude for what is there and how God uses what is present. When we take our eyes off of our Savior and we begin to look at what we don’t have or what we think we deserve we really miss out on what God is already doing in and around us. At the Family Fun Night we hung out with a few of the kids in their youth group. These kids all go to different schools and were excited about playing games with some new kids. Our kids and Montana Vista kids hit it off well, and we played Mafia, Shuffle your buns and Take a Hike while we were there. It was a good evening.

After our time at the building we drove back to our hotel which is only about 2 miles from the Mexican border. We are in a city where the dominant population is about 90 percent Hispanic. Everyone we meet has been more than nice to us. One of the things I want for our kids this trip is a sense of how big the kingdom of God is. God’s kingdom is the sovereign rule and reign of God. God’s kingdom is a kingdom with our borders, a place where people from all races and cultures that are in Christ are one humanity. God’s kingdom is a place where his people are continually help to push the kingdom further into our world. I write this idea of border because just a few miles from where we are for the week, poverty rules and just a few miles from this poverty stricken area, affluence and prosperity reign. I want our kids to have a sense of how different most of the world lives compared to how we live. I want them to have a respect for other cultures, and an appreciation for thier own and an understanding that neither culture is necessarily right, just different. So, pray for our kids to have open eyes to what they see around them. My prayer is that God will embolden them to be more missional in their lives when we they come home. This idea of missional, is that they would have a sense of the mission that God has called us to and how that call to mission is to affect every area of their lives. Another aspect of this trip and part of the reason for is to help our youth group gel.

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About Jason Retherford

The random musings of a youth minister.
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