Posted: July 5, 2012
Filed under: Amelia, Deana, Deep Thoughts with Pastor Jeff, Denton Family, Jeff, JJ, Pastor Jeff, Spiritual, Waterbrook Bible Fellowship
Tagged: Denton Family, faith, Jeff Denton, Mexico, mission, mission trip, Pachuca, risk, Waterbrook Bible Fellowship, Wylie
Comments: 1 Comment
The day has finally arrived for us to depart for our short-term mission trip to Mexico. Included in this post in the basic itinerary for those who want to be praying for us during our journey. Also, some basic information about where we’ll be.
The schedule is tentative and at both the mercy of our missionary friends, Greg & Vicki Syverson, and the community & people to whom we’ll be ministering. But, here’s a general breakdown of what we expect to be doing.
Friday, July 6 – Fly from Dallas, U.S.A. to Mexico City, Mexico.
Arrive in the afternoon & travel by bus to Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico.
Spend the evening reunited with our friends, Greg & Vicki.
Saturday, July 7 – Possibly some daytime sight-seeing at the local pyramids.
Youth Group with the teens from the church in the evening.
Sunday, July 8 – Jeff will preach in the morning (with a translator).
Teen camp prep.
Weekdays, July 9-13
Most mornings Deana & Jeff will doing some marriage teaching and discussion.
Amelia & JJ will be spending mornings playing with local children.
Afternoons will be spent visiting with church families.
Evenings – Teen Camp, theme “Challenge of the Brave”.
Denton family will be leading games and a class combining drama and English teaching.
Thursday will be an overnight with the camp teenagers. (Depends on how lively we are at that point.)
Saturday, July 14 – Flying back to Texas late that night.
Sunday, July 15 – Wide awake and back at Waterbrook in the morning to teach a Membership Class.
Sure, it’s summer in Mexico – as it is in the U.S. right now. Though further south than where we live, it won’t be hotter in Pachuca while we’re there. Pachuca is located at a high elevation and this is also the rainy season. Temperatures are quite moderate. Here’s a glimpse of what www.Weather.com is proposing for the week we’ll be there. Check the daily weather HERE.
Great question. First, we’ve been discussing a family mission trip since our kids were very little. I still hear back from parents and children (now adults) who went on trips we led years ago as parent-child mission opportunities. I always wanted to do it with our kids at a time when they’d appreciate the opportunity. Second, we want out kids to experience life outside their culture. It helps learn to appreciate what you’ve got and the life you live. I still remember Dr. Ed Thompson saying, “You don’t know who YOU are until you’ve been somewhere else.” Defining life according to your existence is very limiting. Our family is part of the wealthiest 10% of families in the world. (If your income is at least $2,000 per year, so are you!) A vast majority of the world population lives at a level unconvievable to most of us. We need a bigger picture of the world to understand our role in it.
Our friends, Greg & Vicki, have been serving as missionaries in Pachuca for around 10 years. We got reunited with them via Facebook while they were on furlough in the states right as we moved to Texas a few years back. (Which is a great story for another time.) Our church, Waterbrook Bible Fellowship, supports a different missionary family in Pachuca, Jonathan & Barbara Baker. (Through their mutual connection with us, Bakers and Syversons have become friends in Pachuca. Another great story for another time.) Waterbrook is sponsoring a trip to Pachuca to work with the Bakers in August. We wanted to do that trip, but it didn’t work with the kid’s schedules. (In fact, with this trip, both our teenagers have completed their carefree days of summer and are committed between now and the start of school. Yes…another time.)
Just a few weeks ago Vicki posted on Facebook about their last minute need for someone to help with this camp they had planned since the group scheduled to be there had to back out at the last minute. Deana brought it to my attention. We talked with the kids, read the information from Greg & Vicki, prayed about it and decided to go. Waterbrook already had some funds set aside for me to do a mission trip this year. We decided to pay for the rest of the trip ourselves without asking anyone else for money. (The downside of a family mission trip is the cost to take everyone.) We chose to do this trip with some money we had instead of some other “splurging” things we wanted for ourselves. I have no doubt we’ll find this was a better investment. Greg & Vicki have worked with us to tailor an experience that uses our specific gifts. It really is the best possible situation for us.
We’re excited and ready to go!*
*Not really ready. At this last minute there’s still much to get done before we get on the plane!
One cultural aspect that makes Pachuca stand out is the influence that Cornish miners who immigrated here in the 19th century have had. Many of their descendents remain in Pachuca and nearby Real del Monte, as well as two heritages that define the city, soccer and a dish called “pastes.”
*Information taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pachuca
As our Waterbrook teams go to Pachuca, it is summer. However, summer is different in Pachuca than in Texas. This season is also the rainy season, and Pachuca is located in a very high sea level. Therefore, it tends to cool very quickly and only gets into the low 80s on very hot days. The end of June in Pachuca has seen high temperatures only in the 60s many days. Our teams will be trading the Texas heat for cooler and thinner air.
More from Wikipedia:
The city and municipality of Pachuca are nearly co-extensive, as the city grows to cover just about all of the available open space. This has eradicated almost all of the municipality’s native flora and fauna. The municipality contains only fifteen other communities according to the 2005 INEGI census with all but two having less than less than 1500 people, and only three percent of the municipality population of 275,578 lives outside the city proper. The overwhelming majority of the residents are Catholic but the city has a significant percentage of Protestants, mostly descendants of English miners. The municipality is located on very rugged terrain with varies in altitude between 2,400 and 2,800 meters above sea level. It is located on the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and the only major flat area is where the city center is.
Pachuca is far from the cartel warfare that’s taking place most often along the U.S and Mexico border. Our friends have young children, and have assured us they won’t take us anywhere they wouldn’t take their own children. I liken it to our years in Chicago. We walked every place in the city. I was too cheap to take a bus or cab. We learned to not look like tourists, which makes you an easy mark. We also learned how to encounter street people. I seldom felt unsafe because I know how to be wise for the environment. Yes, I feel we’ll be safe.
However, on the other hand, when does life have to be safe? Isn’t every step of obedience to God a risk? Doesn’t the very definition of FAITH mean a chance of failure or danger? We’re going because we believe God wants us to go; not because we’ve decided we’re safe enough. We’re taking other risks like going to minister among people who speak a different language. (My Spanish is 25+ years old. The kids have each had a year in school now. Deana has no experience.) We’re visiting a strange city and flying into an airport to which we’ve never been. Deana is stepping out of her comfort zone to minister with me to women in rough marriages. I’m going to preach and trust the translator will accurately translate what I’m saying. Our kids are leaving conveniences of home and the familiarity of friends to spend part of their summer vacation serving others. (Then they arrive back in the U.S. and leave the next day for a cross-cultural mission week with their Waterbrook youth group.)
Barry J. Farber is the man credited as saying, “There’s no reward in life without risk.”
Cosmetic business woman, Mary Kay Ash, once said, “Most people live and die with their music still unplayed. They never dare to try.”
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali said, “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
Aesop reminded us, “It is easy to be brave when far away from danger.”
And, T.S. Eliot once said, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.”
So, we’re going on a mission!
The Unexamined Life and All…
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