Sunday, January 8, 2012

yes, we made it back from Mexico...

Safe and sound, and we had a great trip!    We have been trying to catch up on sleep {and laundry} and get over the colds that we all caught.  It was a crazy long ride/drive, {34 hours one way to be exact!} but we survived!  At one point on the way down, I was sleep deprived and I recall telling Ryan that this was his "stupidest. idea. ever!" (to drive straight through.)   I think I only slept about 2 non consecutive hours total on the way down.  The trip back went much better though!  The kids all did amazing.  No one got car sick, we had a few close calls, but between much prayer, sea bands, Dramamine, some oil that you put behind the ears, ginger snaps and peppermints, we were able to avoid the puking!!!!  Such a relief.

Once we got there, Ryan took a group of about 14 people and went to another more remote village 6 hours away to hand out food and blankets to the people for 3 days while the rest of us stayed at the orphanage.  Both groups had an amazing time.  We all got to see God preform miracles!  Not. kidding. so. cool!  I will post a few pictures today and tell a bit about my days in Mexico, then I have asked Ryan to share his stories at some point too.

 Crossing the border went well, our van and trailer got searched, drug dog and all, but of course, we were sent on our way since we had nothing illegal!  It was a welcomed sight to see Lily after all those many hours in the van!  But, the minute I stepped out of the van I began to cry.  It hurt my heart to see how much the kids have grown since the last time I was there, and they were still without a mommy!  I know that they are loved and taken care of, and for that I am thankful, but....It still breaks my heart.
 I don't think I am supposed to post any pictures of the kids, which is a big bummer, they are so cute!
But since these pictures aren't great, and you can't see their faces very good, I thought I could use them!  I just had to share this, as it is one of my favorite times of the day at Lily.  Hug line!! 
 After a day of shopping at the market we went out for lunch.
 Josh {friend from church} loved shopping so much he couldn't even keep his eyes open!
 riding in the back of the van with all of the food and groceries.

 We went to the market and bought food for Lily and then the next day went back and bought food for a church in a very poor neighborhood. We were able to buy all of the staples that were on our list and much more, God just kept the money coming, we could not out spend Him on this trip, it was amazing!   
 We put food bags together to give away that included corn flour, regular flour, salt, sugar, beans, rice, tomato sauce, oil, peanut butter, tuna, potatoes, onions, oranges and bananas!  We made double the bags we had planned on since our money was not running out!  We gave them out at the church to all that were in attendance and still had some left for the pastor to hand out to other members of the community!  We also took a large amount of donated toys, games, and crafts for the kids.  You should have seen the look on their faces.  Priceless.  Some of our teens put on a skit, 2 shared their testimonies, and we sang songs and prayed for each other.  It was a powerful night, after church, they had prepared food and fed us.  We went trying to be a blessing, and came back blessed ourselves!
 Dylan and his friend Sammy {who used to live at Lily prior to being adopted by a family in our church} talking about their experience in the other village in the mountains.  It was such a blessing to do this as a family.  The boys did such a great job loving on the kids, it was fun to watch.
 Here is another picture where no faces are easily recognizable, and I just had to share.  I was attempting to get out a few matchbox cars and tractors for the kids to play with, and instead I was mobbed by the boys all wanting one{I am somewhere in the middle of all those boys!}  Some were very sweet and made sure that the little boys each got one, but pretty persistent in getting one for themselves as well.  Thankfully I had quite a few and most everyone got something out of the bag!

One of the nights I heard 2 of our ladies who were in charge of the finances trying to figure out the money situation.  I heard them say, "well, that just doesn't make sense." "There is no way that adds up right."  "How in the world is that even possible."  Soon one of them comes in my room and says "Stacy, we have added and figured and we can not believe this, but we still have lots of money left over, even after all that we have spent, there is almost the same amount in this envelope than what we started with!"  I rolled over and said, "It's a Lily go to sleep!"  It's not that I was not astonished by the miracle, but instead, I have seen first hand and heard many more stories of how God works, and I know this for sure, GOD love orphans, and widows, and the poor.  I LOVE  how he provides for them, I don't like their situations, and don't understand why things have to be the way they are, but I know that when we reach out to help them in the name of Jesus, He will provide abundantly for them! We have seen it time and again, and this trip was no exception!  There are so many more great stories, which I will probably share at some point, and hopefully Ryan can share his soon as well.