Author Archives: Mexico Team

Chosen for a Purpose

The Mexico mission trip with Back2Back Ministries was definitely one of the most impactful experiences of my life. First of all, I learned that a group of nearly-strangers (17 of us!) can come together and become an authentic and unified team when we all put Christ ahead of ourselves and take on a servant’s heart. Secondly, under the leadership of the superb staff at Back2Back, we received excellent training on how to work more effectively with kids from challenging backgrounds. That was one of the biggest positive surprises for me–the ministry really invests in those who are coming to serve with them, even though we are there for only a few days.

The experience was humbling; it was and is almost overwhelming to think about how God has blessed me with so many privileges when others have so little. This was the most poignant for me when we were doing our prayer walk through the kids’ residences on our last day there.

As I reflect back two weeks after returning from Monterrey, I can see that God used this trip to clearly remind me of my need to trust him to guide my path and my decisions. He has chosen me for a purpose and that is to serve him wholeheartedly.

~ Russ Baker

Pushed to New Places

This trip was truly life changing in so many ways for me. My prayer from the beginning was that God would push me out of my comfort zone, although I didn’t really know how that would happen. I’m a teacher who was going to work at an orphanage, so everything seemed right up my alley. Throughout the week, I was given opportunities to do two major things which I never in a million years would have thought I’d volunteer for. The first was climbing up onto a roof to apply thick layers of Thermotek to keep water from leaking into the house. The second was to build a wall on the entrance of the orphanage. I gained a new respect for cement trucks that mix cement for you, but we did it by hand with shovels two days in a row. God definitely gave me so many little situations throughout the week that pushed me to new places in my faith as well, and I’m so extremely grateful.

Overall, the most encouraging parts of this trip were the relationships built and amazing teamwork that came with that. I have never met a group of people who come together from all different places in life, but mesh like family. During the most intense projects, our team worked so well together taking over when others needed a moment to grab water or just rest. I can’t accurately express how amazing the teamwork was. I truly believe this was possible because of everyone’s openness to forming new relationships and growing together as a group. God brought us together for a reason, and I really feel that we were able to make a huge impact during such a short time spent in Mexico. I cant wait to go back and work with Back2back again!

~ Brianna Baker

Monterrey June 2017

Amazing.  If there was one word that could describe this trip it would be amazing.  It all began with a team of 17 strangers ranging in ages from 9 to 60 coming together for one purpose…to serve the body of Christ.  More specifically, children who have come from very hard places and the caregivers and staff that serve them day in and day out.

Our first day was a very long day that began around 3:00 a.m. for most of the group.  As we arrived at the airport wearing our TPCC Missions shirts rubbing the sleep from our eyes, the excitement started to build.  The luggage was checked and everyone made it through security successfully and the plane was boarded safely.  First to Chicago and then it was on to Monterrey.

As the wheels touched the ground, smiles began to emerge and excitement and anticipation was all over the faces of our group.  We were greeted in the airport by two Back2Back staff who escorted us to the bus that would take us to the Monterrey campus of B2B.  The bus ride was about an hour-long and very bumpy but that soon faded from our minds as the beautiful Sierra Madre mountains came into view.  Wow!  What an amazing display of God’s splendor and majesty.

As our bus rolled into the Back2Back campus we were greeted by cheers from the staff and interns.  What an amazing welcome!  The rest of our day was relaxing and informative as we toured the campus and enjoyed an orientation of what we were going to experience for the next week.

Day 5

Every morning the sun rises and creates the most beautiful scene on the mountains right outside the Back2Back campus, where we are staying, and this morning was no exception. This was an amazing way to start off our day with our usual activities of small group time, quiet time, and trauma competent care training.

Today was a little different than what we have been doing all week. Today we stayed on the B2B campus and did work projects to help out the people involved in the Hope program as well as the staff here at B2B. Some groups worked on the soccer field that was recently added to the campus. They put concrete around the soccer goals to level them out. Another crew added dirt to the areas surrounding the goals, which was the first step to have a grassy knoll on the B2B campus. Next, the cement crew worked on the  construction of a patio near the pool. This location would be used for the meeting of other missions groups staying at the B2B campus. The third group painted. They painted houses for the staff and the kids in the Hope program and also touched up every previously painted nook and cranny on the B2B campus.

After several hours of hard work all around the B2B campus, we went to El Pollo Loco for dinner, but instead of just some average chicken, we found out what Jesus’ love tastes like. In whole, our group ate about six chickens and every wing and leg was delicious. Needless to say, their chicken is crazy amazing and the perfect way to end a hard work day. After dinner, we went across the street to get dessert, where every person got a little cake of their choice.

When we got back to the B2B campus, we went to a session with Jed, a staff member, about staying connected once our trip is over. We heard Jed’s story and a previous Hope student’s story. Both were powerful and moving. In all we learned that being a “supporting character” is very important in staying connected to this trip. A “supporting character” is someone who encourages, helps, prays for, and loves someone even in the hard times. This message moved a lot of us tonight. It was an amazing end to the day.

Stay Tuned for tomorrow!

-Just dudes being guys aka Mary and Hanna

Day 3 & 4

Day 3 – After breakfast, another TCC training, and a devotional on JOY in our lives and how we can share that joy internally and externally. Following devotionals, we headed straight to the Douglas Children’s home and got to work. Luckily it wasn’t as hot as yesterday, so we were able to work harder and longer. Lunch was some delicious chicken burgers with watermelon, japanese peanuts, and apples. During lunch, several of the crew members were not themselves. After many hours of hard work in chemical and gas fumes from the cleaning supplies and the powerwasher, there were a few naps taken to shake off any weird headaches and it took a couple hours to fully recover but we finished out the day strong.

Day four started out with breakfast and then another great TCC training. Following training we dived into a great lesson about finding HOPE in God’s word and the power of transformational hope. This was a perfect transition into our finishing of work projects for the next two days. Fence posts were planted, bathrooms were powerwashed, and the sand crew mixed concrete for a new building on the campus. We finished and had lunch of sub sandwiches, orange slices, and chips at Douglas. After lunch we headed back to the main campus (LDM) and got to swim with the kids from Douglas and celebrated a birthday of a girl named Dana who lives at Douglas. Dinner included a variety of incredible, fantastic, and nutritious tacos and an amazing dessert of fried tortilla topped cinnamon sugar. The night only got better as we shared extended worship with the other church staying on campus, over an hour of singing, praying and independent spiritual growth. Words can’t describe the power of the Lord’s presence in Monterrey tonight, and many, if not all of our hearts were moved and redefined by this night. Following the break of the gathering for worship, Jack pulled out his guitar and the TPCC crew held our own further extended worship on the porch of LDM. After a night of lifting up our hands and acknowledging God’s plans for the rest of our week and future, we are refueled to start tomorrow with refreshed and full hearts.

Our Adventure Begins!

Well! We’ve made it here in Monterrey, Mexico. After long and strenuous hours of travel, we have all made it safe and sound. Unfortunately, Angie, Rachel, and Elly did have some flight complications and lost luggage, but they were able to join the rest of the team late last night! Yesterday consisted of getting acclimated to the Hope campus and meeting some of the staff and members of Back2Back.

Today was full of many new experiences and challenges. We started off our morning with THE most gorgeous view of the Sierra Madres mountains. It’s unreal! God’s creation is so breathtaking and stunning. After devotional and small group time, we started our Trauma Competent Care training and learned ways of how to get involved in the kids’ lives.

A big highlight of the day was getting to attend a church service in Spanish with some of the caregiver families and their children. It was an incredible experience. We were able to understand through a translator, but even without it, it was clear that the presence of God was there.

After church, we went to Casa Hogar Douglas, which is the children’s home that we are going to serve at throughout this week. We started some work projects, played with the kiddos, and bonded over bacon-wrapped hot dogs (yep – they were delicious).

We have already seen God moving in huge ways, and it’s only been two days. We cannot wait to see what else He does this week!

-Kelly and Elly

Day Six – A Consuming Fire

img_20161125_152323Friday in Mexico was a sunny day, unlike any other I’ve ever experienced. After a fulfilling breakfast and some quiet time, we gathered for a final trip back to the Douglas Children’s Home. While there we did what no other sane group of humans would ever do: we prayed over the beds of every child at that home. It was single-handedly one of the most emotional things I’ve ever experienced. There were tears and feelings rushing through the air, wrapping us all in a cocoon of love and Godliness. We felt His presence, standing in those rooms with us and listening to the words we spoke over the beds and the children. I believe the I Am was smiling through our crying, and embracing us in the feelings of loneliness.

Later, we played at a beautiful park and ice skated at the local rink. Funny, when I think of Mexico, I would have never guessed that they would have an ice skating rink. The beautiful ducks swam and watched the children with curious eyes, the trees rustled and swayed in the soft breeze. You could see it in the eyes of the children, they were free.

Ice skating was a different story entirely. Most of them spent the majority of their time on their backsides, but they had a determination that dispels all belief in the fact that they couldn’t do anything. I can still see the face of the child that I helped around the ice as he looked up at me and just said, “Solo!” and so with a slight shove and silent prayer I sent him a few feet ahead of me. While he fell back several times, I was there to catch him every single time, and I don’t know his story, but something tells me that I was the first person to ever do that for him,and that’s a fact strong enough to nearly bring me to tears.

Well, our dear friends and families, the time has come. We all knew it would, but I don’t think the fact that time was passing really resonated with us until now. Through all the work, all the play and laughter and fun we’ve had here, I’m not sure any of us wanted it to end. God has planted a seed here, though; He’s begun a revolution in the hearts of these beautiful children that perhaps we can’t see, but it resonates through every passing gust of wind, through every echo of their sweet voices in our heads. We became a part of their life and in turn they became a part of ours, which is tough to think about because, personally I may never see them again. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, allowing someone to enter your life and then have them leave so suddenly.

I have a fact for everyone to dwell on with me: there are approximatekly 153,000,000 orphans on this planet (that’s one-hundred and fifty-three million in case you missed a zero). It is not my intention to sound insensitive, but that’s enough children to fill the Phillipines Arena (the largest arena in the world) 2,782 times over. That’s also the equivalent of adding the population of all five major cities in the world and doubling them. In other words, we have a problem, one that can only be fixed on an astronomical and emotional scale. We need God in this world, we need a Savior that understands our struggles and is willing to send His Son to come and die on a cross for every single one of us, we need a revival to sweep through these lands, crushing every soul and every heart and rebuilding them piece-by-piece.

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18 ESV

If you have yet to do so, please do research on Back2Back and come to complete terms with their mission. They aim to solve a problem that has plagued this earth for centuries and they cannot do it alone. We’ve been here a week and we’ve experienced only a fraction of what they do here and the hard work that they put in and I have to say that there is no way that I could do any of that. I’m not asking you to sign up for a donation plan, to move your life down here and live here for years, nor am I asking you to adopt a child from a foreign country, decisions like that are between you and God only. What I am asking you to do is simple: pray. Prayer is the match that sets the world ablaze, consuming everything it touches with a tenacious ferocity that hungers for more. Prayer is everything, as God is the great I Am. Last night our guide here said that here at Back2Back they seem themselves as the infantry and we at home are the Air Force, dropping payloads of prayer and love on them from above. It’s what they need, and even if you don’t believe in God or the power of prayer, I want you to close your eyes and kneel where you are and just say, “Jesus.” you don’t care what everyone else thinks, only that that name has the power to change the course of history.

Finally, we want to thank Back2Back for the amazing work that they do here and for all the love and support that they show these children every single day. Again, we cannot begin to understand what they all go through on a daily basis, but we sure are thankful for what they do. Thank you to everyone back home as well because without your continued prayer and support none of this could have been possible the way it was. So here’s to more safe travels and the adherence of the lessons we learned here. God Bless and may love consume this world like a vicious wildfire.