Back from Mexico

Posted: July 26, 2012 
Filed under: Amelia, Deana, Deep Thoughts with Pastor Jeff, Denton Family, Food, Jeff, Pastor Jeff, Pictures, Spiritual, Waterbrook Bible Fellowship
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As explained in the previous blog post, we took off on a last minute mission trip to Mexico to assist some missionary friends with a teen camp. Here’s a brief summary of what happened.

It’s not a Denton Family Adventure if there isn’t some adventure in our travel experiences. This happened on the day we flew from DFW to Mexico City. As we were landing (close enough I could read the writing on the airport building), we suddenly pulled up, even pulling the wheels back into the belly of the plane. We saw a plane swerving around us as we went up. As we did a circle around Mexico City the pilot explained the tower was accidentally landing another plane on the other end of our runway. Our near miss made the news that night.

No problems getting through security and immigration, but we did encounter some acquaintances from Hawaii while in the immigration line at the Mexico City airport. We hadn’t seen them in probably at least a decade. That “God moment” encounter helped confirm He was in charge of our trip and the timing.

We did spend part of Saturday exploring the pyramids at the Federal Archaeological Park. We’re standing on the Temple of the Sun in the picture above. It’s the third largest pyramid in the world and quite a climb, but well worth it. The Temple of the Moon is behind us to the right in that picture.

Jeff preaching Sunday morning at Iglesia Cristiana Nueva Vida in Pachuca.

We spent Saturday evening at youth group getting to meet many of the teenagers who live on the hills of Pachuca. I preached at Nueva Vida on Sunday morning, then we visited Jonathan & Barbara Baker’s church which is down the mountain from Nueva Vida. The Baker’s church is where our Waterbrook team will be teaching English classes in August.

The typical weekday schedule began with marriage and parenting classes we taught at Nueva Vida. I typically do this type of thing myself, but it was such a great blessing to have Deana do these class times with me. She is such a wealth of practical “how to” information, especially for parenting. We did all of this through translators (our friends, Greg & Vicki Syverson). Sometimes  the depth and seriousness of problems faced was a little overwhelming. Whereas we have social services to intervene in serious situations here in the U.S., the lack of those services in the area where we were made those options unavailable. This is what makes the hope of change in Christ the greatest advice for many problems on the mountain. It was a pleasure getting to talk with those who attended the classes and offer help for their journey. We ended the week with a request to return and do a complete marriage conference in the future. Please join us in praying for God’s will on that option for 2013.

The middle of the day was spent in the home of a family each day for lunch and conversation. We were able to hear many stories of change and redemption through Christ. God is working so powerfully in the lives of many. We certainly didn’t lose any weight eating all the wonderful, authentic Mexican food we were served. This time with these families was one of our favorite experiences of the week. Getting to see how people live with so little, and yet are content and happy, was a great lesson for all of us.

The evening youth camp began at 4:00 pm each afternoon. Our family led the – very active – game times each night. The students were all willing to jump in and try anything. I will say students were so eager to play no one complained or opted out of participating, as often happens in the U.S.  Even when we introduced our “pulpo games” with real octopus, everyone joined in and seemed to have a great time! Our kids realized how much complaining we do back here in the states when things aren’t the way we like. We’re too spoiled to enjoy the opportunities we DO have. What a great lesson to learn.

Working feverishly on the "light supper" this night with Gabby and Pam. Homemade beans spread on fresh bread and covered in grated cheese, then cooked in the oven. I grated cheese for nearly 1.5 hours nonstop.

We also did some cooking and serving of a light supper to all the students (around 60 students) each evening of the camp. We learned some new recipes and had a lot of fun. We worked alongside some wonderful servants who jump in and do whatever is required when needed.

The weather was so beautiful and a big contrast to the 100 degree temperatures of north Texas. With high temps each day in the 70s, we found it very comfortable. Additionally, we never felt unsafe or in danger.

The time with our friends, the Syversons, was an additional blessing. We had fun talking, laughing and working together. Amelia & JJ loved the younger boys, Benjamin and Matthew. The kids ended the week saying they wanted to work harder on their Spanish in school this year to really be able to communicate better next year. Next year? We haven’t even discussed or decided about a return trip; but they have already made plans.

Thanks to all who prayed and supported us during our time ministering, and being ministered to, in Mexico. The opportuntiy to do this type of thing as a family is very powerful. I highly recommend you consider visiting Pachuca in the near future or some other mission location with your family.

Below is a video from the youth camp, plus a few more pictures of our trip.

The Unexamined Life and All…
– Jeff


Here’s the link for the youth camp video (I’m unable to embed it.) >

Deana & Amelia climbing up the Temple of the Sun pyramid. You're already at 6,000 feet above sea level at the base of the pyramid when you begin. It was a great adventure.

Afterwards. Seriously, we climbed to the top of that.


A view of Pachuca from up the side of the mountain in a home where we were having lunch.


With our wonderful friends, Greg & Vicki. We've known them for 20 years, but we're all still very young!


Big kids & little kids. All had a great time together. *Note Greg's leg in the background.


Youth camp ad


Some of the games were old Awana games we adapted.


Students praying together one evening in their teams.


Flyer for the marriage and parenting classes we taught.


A fantastic lunch with a wonderful family.


Lunch with another family who are also leaders in the church.


They served us "rich people food" for lunch. They had to flee from their village and move to Pachuca with their family. A great testimony shared.


Cooking breakfast for students after an all-night event.


JJ goofing off in the van with Matthew & Benjamin. Boys are boys no matter the country.


Walking to lunch one day up the mountain.

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