Posts Tagged ‘Tijuana’

Before we crashed last night, Frank Grubbs of World Vision did a presentation on child sponsorships. Frank is an incredible man with a huge heart for sponsoring children in poverty-stricken countries. He sang some fun songs and talked with us about the vision of World Vision. It was an awesome site to see many people from the different churches step up and sponsor some kids.

Frank Grubbs and Eddie Passmore

“…I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me…”   –  Jesus Christ

Brooks Buser of New Tribes Mission

Our final day was the same as before with devotion, breakfast and a time of worship. Eddie brought in a guest speaker from New Tribes Mission – Brooks Buser. He and his family are serving Yembi Yembi people of Papua New Guinea. What an incredible testimony he had of leaving everything behind to go and serve in an unreached area where the gospel has never been preached. The rest of our day consisted of building another shelter house for a young family without a home. It was a bit of a challenge as their house was on a hill, but we did get a nice cool breeze as we worked. We had another incredible day of just serving these people and working together as a team. We then headed out back to the dorm and packed up our things to head back home.

Would you consider serving on a short-term trip sometime? Guarantee it will change your life if you go!

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Cornerstone team finishes a house for a family

So what does a typical day look like  in Tijuana? We usually stay in dormitories with another church or two. The morning consists of devotion time and breakfast, then we head up to the upper room for worship and a gospel message from Eddie Passmore (director of MCM). Eddie likes to challenge the teams to consider doing something more than coming to Tijuana. Several maps and resources of where unreached people groups are located paint the walls of Caravan.

After church, we load the truck with supplies and head out to the work site. Our team worked alongside two interns from Caravan on building a 12′ x12′ shelter house for a family in need. It typically takes us about 5-6 hours to get the job done. The awesome part is at lunchtime, we get to partake in a meal provided by the family we are building for. Working together on a project like this really gives us a chance to bond together as a team and be the hands and feet of Christ to the family.

When we get back, we load the truck for the next day and then relax in the dormitory. Some of the nighttime activities include fellowship with each other by playing games. We’ll then go out and have dinner with Eddie and some of the interns before getting some rest for our next work day.

Fearless leaders - Jude and I

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Day 1 is travel day. Twelve of us headed to Tijuana in two vans for a short but amazing weekend serving the hispanic community and bonding together as a team. Cornerstone typically does 2-3 of these trips a year. The purpose is to introduce someone to missions and give them an opportunity to learn about God’s heartbeat for the world. It is our prayer and hope that they would then consider visiting one of our focus countries (India, Peru, Kenya or Belize) on a short-term mission trip or begin to pray about possibly going on a long-term mission trip.

Mexico Caravan Ministries mission statement:

Mexico Caravan Ministries is a missions mobilization ministry. Our primary objective is the revelation of God’s heart for the world, the presentation of His plan for worldwide missions and the motivation of His people to take part in His global plan.  Groups come from all over North America and typically spend a few days to a week learning about world missions and build homes for local families in need.

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Wow… I haven’t been on myspace in forever. Even though myspace looks cooler, I’ve been on Facebook. Just easier to communicate. But I thought I’d give an update on what’s going on.

Doing the Rhythm and Momentum thing lately. Rhythm is a post college singles group that is meeting on Thursdays. Totally loving it! James Patterson has an amazing vision for that group. Momentum (5th/6th grade) is going well too. God is really stretching me with the 11 kids I get to teach every Wednesday night. I care about those kids a ton and just love seeing what God is doing in their lives.

So the mission thing is what is going on lately. Leaving for Cambodia in about 6 hours here. Then heading to Belize in a few weeks. Then a trip down to Tijuana not too long after that. I love being a part of these teams and serving the people that are need of Christ. I will for sure write about my experiences when I get back.

God is good. He has blessed my so much. The boys are doing so well in school. He has also blessed me with an amazing friend in my life that I’m really enjoying getting to know. She has brought a lot of joy to my life!

Please keep me in prayer as we leave and that we complete the task God has laid out for us. God Bless.


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Well, the hardest part of leading a mission trip are the parts leading up to it. I’m not the most organized person. So collecting birth certificates, passports, money, etc was just not my thing. So I left that to Hannah.. the person I co-led with. She was awesome and I very much enjoyed getting to know her.

I loved the team we went down! We had such a good mix of people… high schoolers, college students, young adults, couples, etc. Yet I knew all of these people were hand-picked by God. And he used all of us in amazing ways. Everyone had a unique gift and talent and none of them went unused.

We spent 3 days in Tijuana. We partnered with Mexico caravan ministries. They are a mobilization ministry that builds starter homes for struggling familes. It is an amazing ministry ran by Eddie Passmore. It is the hope and prayer that many of the families that have homes built for them find Christ through acts of service of the church teams that come down.

There were some nervous people on our team. Some have never been on a mission trip and some have never even been out of the country. Yet God moved through all of us and amazing fellowship and friendships began to form as soon as we left. We got in and had our debriefing and then headed out to Gordo’s for food. There is nothing like and open grill with beef and pork tacos being served.

Eddie gave a message on using this trip to further step out and reach unreached people groups in other countries. It was pretty aparant his heart for those nations. Mexican caravan is just a stepping stone to getting Chirstians to pray about going to those countires. Phil led worship and did an amazing job.

We build a 12X12 house for a young couple the first day. We didn’t have a ton of room to work with, but we got the job done for the day. I must say that everyone worked pretty hard. It was cool to see the team unity that went on. We got to build some relationships with some of the neighbors and the family. Probably the awesome part of the day was the aunt asking us to pray for the young couple because they didn’t know Jesus.

We spent the evening playing games and relaxing. We then visited a local church and a school were kids were having recess. It gave us the opportunity to give them some gifts like candy and toys. We also gave out some soccer balls. Plugging into the children is always the fun and rewarding part of doing missions. After dinner at Renee’s (where I tried a taco made up of cow stomach lining), we had a debriefing with our group. I really enjoyed hearing some of the people of our group talk about culture and how God was working in them. We broke off into prayer triangles and prayed for the city.

I got to spent the rest of the evening chatting one on one with different memebers of the team. 3 days just wasn’t enough time to get to know everyone, but I tried. Some of us guys goofed off most the eveing before lights out. We didn’t have running water that evening which made things fun and interesting. Especially because the food was starting to take its effects on everyone.

We had another worship and sermon from Eddie the last day and went off to build another house up on a hill. The breeze made the hot day easier.We actually got this house done pretty quickly. The family made us a big bowl of pork in green chili sauce with tortillas for lunch. I enjoyed it, but it was a challenge for many. We said goodbye to the Mexican caravan staff and headed home.

Even though this was a short mission trip, it was definetly full of God filled moments.Its amazing what he can do in a short amount of time. I really enjoyed the new realtionships I built with both the Mexican caravan staff, the people of Tijuana and of course our amazing team. I look forward to many more of these trips and proclaiming the good news of Christ to those in need.

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Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phillipians 2:5-11(niv)

I am less than an hour from leaving to Tijuana on a short missions trip. I have been praying to God on how I should approach this weekend. Its my first time leading a team of people. I’m excited, yet I want to grow. I love the passage above. Its one of my favorites and it has been weighing on me.

Now I’m not here to argue the theory of Kenosis found here or the Hypostatic Union of Colossians 2:9 (even though it’s a great debate), but to apply this to myself this weekend. The idea of Christ emptying himself to be here on earth for us just gets me. I think we need to follow in Christ’s path of servanthood. The only way we can do this is to have an attitude of selfless commitment and to lay aside our rights to personal privilege.

Submitting to the needs and concerns of others is how we can achieve the spirit of servanthood. We are to empty ourselves and to pour out in service to others. We are to have an attitude of total humility. This is the path to glory. Matthew 23 says those that humble themselves will be exalted.

I pray to God that this is my attitude as I serve these people. I want to follow Christ’s example.

True servanthood empties self.

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In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds; Most Gracious, Most Merciful; Master of the Day of Judgement. Thee do we worship, And Thine aid we seek, Show us the straight way, The way of those on whom Thou hast bestoweed Thy Grace, Those whose (portion) is not wrath, And who go not astray.

This is the Al-Fatihah. It is recited five times a day at salat (prayers). I opens the Qur’an. It is very similar to our own Lord’s prayer in the New Testament. I have also been able to study the different postures of prayer. If you haven’t figured it out, I have decided to step out of my comfort level and start learning more about the muslim culture. I want to love the people just as much as I love their food.

We had muslim night in my missionary class a couple of weeks back. They actually set up the room as if we were in an actual mosque. We had to take our shoes off and purify ourselves with water. Guys were separate from the girls. We practiced the postures of prayers. It opened my eyes to this culture that I had always feared. I really enjoyed that night.

Last night I was invited to a seminar in Phoenix called ’A Night in Pakistan’. It was an event sponsored by Frontiers, an organization that sends missionaries into muslim countries. The purpose of the gathering was to raise awareness and support of what was going on in these countries with several of us missionaries and church leaders. I had an amazing time.

I got there pretty early and walked around the bazaar. They had music, jewerly, linen, toys and all sorts of information on the muslim culture. It was a cool set-up. (I of course bought some more books). I spent most of my time meeting missionaries and drinking chai tea. I never knew chai meant ’tea’. All I know it blew Starbucks away.

I then had a gentleman in a turban walked up to me and asked me what country I claimed. I wasn’t sure. I told him my views of the church and how we don’t do enough to send people to unreached countries. He smiled and said that he felt God calling me to a muslim country. He then said a prayer over me in the mist of the crowd.

I then chatted with some local Pastors and leaders around the valley. I also had a great conversation with my friend Amaris, who is going to Finland for 5 months. She has been a person who’s faith I have always admired and someone I learned a lot from on how to have a servant’s heart. Then some people that recognized me from Cornerstone came up to me and said hi. I recruited them to go on the Mexico caravan trip I’m heading in a few weeks. I then won a door prize… a cool slingshot.

The rest of the evening consisted of a banquet with some speakers. I dove into the food. Lamb kabobs, chicken korma, potato curry, eggplant and basmati rice. Oh my gosh… I was stuffed. But most important, I really tried to listen in and learn what God is doing with these people. Frontiers is doing some awesome things. Unfortuantely, the church is not. Over 3000 unreached people groups within the muslim culture. And not enough mssionaries…

I’m not sure what God is calling me to do with my newfound love of the muslims. All I can do is study more. I met some missionaries at the seminar that go to my church that want to meet with me. I also had a gentlemen that goes to Cornerstone as well that came up to me and said hi. He was a muslim.We had an amazing discussion about his culture and what we felt Cornerstone needed to do to become more missional.

I love that God is opening up my eyes to mission and this culture. I love that I have such a heart to spread the gospel to those in need. I love that he has made me step out of my comfort zone. Missions is my heart and desire. God commands us to share the good news to other. I want to obey.

And just real quick about the Mexico trip…

I went on a recruiting spree this weekend and capped the trip off at about 20 people. God is amazing! More than half of these people have never been on a mission trip! I am excited and can’t wait to see what he does with this team of people. God is so good!

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Its Monday… and I go back to work tonight after 3 weeks off. It was good for me. I am looking forward to getting back on track. Looking forward to the Mine this week. I have a full day of homework ahead of me. I am researching unreached people groups for my class. Yet I’m trying to enjoy my day. Probably hang at the pool all day.

So I notice there are two things that I blindly spend money on. Books and good food. Anything else I need to stop and think about it (well unless its school related for the kids). I have tons of books. I love to read. I love to learn. I have a stack of ’must read’ books on my desk. They are in order of which one I will read next. I see a book.. I buy it. Not into the library thing. I know I will read them again sometime. Plus I use them for reference for ministry.

Food. I love good food. I don’t eat fast food and not really into chain restaurants. But I love ethnic food and cool looking hole-in-the-walls that serve good food. I will pay money for those places. I also look to cook. I love reading recipe books and watching food network. I have no problem eating alone at a restaurant.

I worked out this morning. I was going to go home and make breakfast. As I was driving home and saw this cool looking French bistro that was open for breakfast. I couldn’t resist. I pulled in and sat down for a cappuchino and eggs benedict. I usually never order a cappuchino anywhere because Starbucks doesn’t know how to make a good cappuchino. Too foamy. I paid $15 for that breakfast. I really didn’t need to. But I loved the atmosphere. Yet I felt guilty. Then I bought 3 more books on the way home. That cost me $25. So my work-out turned into a $40 day. Not sure if that is a good thing or not. I have the money. I am pretty disciplined with my money. Yet I am weak in those two areas.

When I left this morning, a guy was riding his bike through the crosswalk and fell. A car waiting to make a right turn angerly honked at him to hurry up and move. This pissed me off. I saw her pull into a post office and I wanted to say something. But I didn’t out of love.

I was sitting at a light and noticed the car next to me was a European car and the guy’s steering wheel was on the other side. So we were right next to each other at the light. We said hi to each other.

I was flipping through one of the books I bought ’Soul Cravings’. The chapter I ended of opening was about people who live in isolation. Erwin McManus mentions that it is bad for us to live in isolation. That it wasn’t what God intended. I am pretty connected with people. Yet I feel I live in isolation as well. I like being alone. I know there are people that want to get to know me better. I get emails stating so. Yet I purposely don’t give full effort in this. I do what I can. My lifegroup has social events every week. Yet I show up to maybe one a month.. on purpose. Its a big deal when I do show up. I’m not sure why I am this way. Its not because I don’t like people. I love building relationship. Yet I keep one foot in and one foot out of everything I do. Only a handful of people have I given all of me to. I don’t know what it is I’m afraid of.

I almost have my team to Mexico intact. I saw the list and only recognize one name. So this will be interesting. I’m excited! Two of us on the mission board are leading this trip and we have never been down there. Phillip is going to do lead worship and Derek is thinking of going. I can’t wait to see how God molds this short trip for his glory. Yet I have people on my heart that I wish could go. These are people who I would love to serve on the mission field with. So no pressure if you are reading this. Shauna, Keira, Candace, Laci, Leah, Melissa and Dave. Would love to missions work with you guys someday! (Well.. Candace, Melissa and Laci I went to Belize with… but I love your hearts and want to serve with you guys again!)

My first 4 hours of Monday morning… Travis

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