We’re back from Mazatlán: Vineyard Church Ministries

Here is a map of the different locations in Central Mexico where La Vina has ministries.

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We had a wonderful trip to Mexico.  We went there with the Badgleys (fireman Al, Crystal, Hunter, and Serena), Jacque Horn, Shannon and Rebecca Green, and my folks who met up with us in Los Angeles.  Below is the recently painted Church in the Golden zone (tourist zone).  All of the Vineyard vehicles are painted with this same scheme: Bright yellow, with blue accents.  The Iowa had T-shirts like this.

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The main purpose of the trip was to go on a mission, the second goal was to get out of Alaska to someplace warm to thaw out for a while.  We interfaced with a church group down in Mazatlán called The Vineyard, or La Vina in Spanish.  One of the interesting things about going on a short mission trip is what really happens is you help the people that are already there working.  Thankfully, the David and Jorge had lots for us to do.IMG_3801

Here we are lined up in front of the church on our first day.  Al and I are not in the picture since we’re taking pictures.  L to R; Crystal, Shannon, Mark, Hunter, Serena, Jacque, Rebecca, Peggy, and John.  I’m not sure where Luke is, but John Caleb is on my back as I took the picture.

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One thing that surprised me was the Vineyard church had a huge breakfast ready for us with fruit, pancakes, eggs, hash-browns, cereal, and juice.  We got to meet the local greeters and the couple that makes the breakfasts.

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Here’s Lydia directing us at Sam’s along with the Iowa team as we purchase the supplies for the first day of work.   What’s interesting, looking back, is that we really have no idea what we’re in for at this point, but we’re confident we could do some sort of good.  I’m very thankful that the Vineyard team in Mazatlan had work for us that we could jump in and do that would help them in some way.

I was not sure what we’d be doing, but it was pretty clear when we got there what was IMG_3842 going to happen. La Vina has properties in a number of the outer colonias where it is starting churches and our job was to go out and support the ministries with the mobile kitchen, dispensing groceries, or with the mobile school.

The first day, we met up with Lydia who works out at Stone Island as the local missionary.  She had the shopping list in her head and lead us around Sam’s Club so weIMG_3844 could buy food to dispense from the church in Stone Island (which is actually on a peninsula).  The Iowa group was there on the end of their trip and bought the food for the mobile kitchen, so Al ran the grill with them.

In these pictures of the mobile kitchen, you can see that it’s a trailer with stainless Steel working surfaces and a grill.  The white plastic bags are loaded up and ready for the trip out to stone Island.  In the picture below, we are IMG_3835doing an assembly line approach to filling the bags with groceries. 

In each bag there was rice, vegetable oil, milk, pasta, sauce, and flour in each bag.  The truck drove around the long way to stone Island while we went on little commuter boats over to the island.  When we arrived,  we were split into teams so we could pass out the coupons for the dispensa.  We were teamed up with Andres as we walked IMG_3885around to the different houses during the heat of the day going door to door to hand out coupons.  Many of the people didn’t want just one coupon, but tried to get more than one, saying their sister or mother was not at home but needed one. To receive one bag of groceries, the mother or father of the household has to show up at the appointed time at the local church.  After that comes the hot lunch, then the rest of the program: at Stone Island, there was a women’s prayer group.

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The town is made up of homes that are very small and the roads are dirt.  Many of the houses did not have men at home when we went by giving out the tickets to the families.  The houses varied greatly in size, quality, and lot size.  Nearly every house had a clothes line for drying clothes in the hot sun and gentle breeze.  Many of the people used ATVs to get around within the town, mostly Honda Quadrunners.

IMG_3954Here is Ama, the local lady who works with Lydia at the Stone Island Church.  The church building is brand new, from all appearances, and is off to a good start.  From what I could tell it is one of the few buildings in town that is not covered in graffiti.

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From what I was told, the water IMG_3887system in town is not really built to give enough demand for the daytime usage, so many people have these large black tanks which are filled up slowly during the night.  With the tanks up high, they have plenty of pressure at the faucet for normal use during the day. The big blank tank on the second story is for holding water during the day. 

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The brown doors are heavy steel doors that can be securely locked.  Anything not locked down tight is at risk to theft.  Below is a typical house of the neighborhood.  Many of the houses had fences of some sort around them. 

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The mobile kitchen made plates for lunch that had two quesadillas, 1/2 an orange, cookies and a glass of ice-cold water.IMG_3949 While the cooks were making lunch, the rest of us tried to help out with the coloring project, moving chairs or tables, or trying to keep order.

 

Here’s Al running the grill, while Jacque and a lady from Iowa fill up the plates.  You can see Al has room to cook 36 quesadillas at a time on the big grill.IMG_3944

The dispensa was at 1 PM and then there was a coloring time along with the lunch, which was followed by a women’s prayer group time.

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IMG_4000 The shot above is Holly talking with the folks that worked with the kids doing bead projects with the women.  The church had the same type of plastic topped tables that we have at our church, and they have the same type of plastic stacking chairs that are common throughout the US.

While the women were in the church, the men put together a new shelf to organize the stored supplies in the back room which is kept locked and has things like toilet paper, teaching supplies, cleaning supplies, etc..  There are two back rooms in the church a small one for the supplies and a larger one has a refrigerator and will will be a kitchen soon after the rest of the appliances, countertops, and shelves or cupboards are installed.

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There was one set of chairs to use outdoors and another set to use indoors.

IMG_3995While the women were having the prayer group and the men were working on the shelf, Hunter, Al, Rebecca, and Serena played games in the community open center with the the kids that hung around.  We brought a box of soccer balls to give to the church to use as they wanted and ended up giving a few of them at each place.  The soccer balls were actually decorated by kids during Vacation Bible School in Haines and were originally destined for Africa, but we sent them to Mexico instead

 

IMG_3996My mother brought a bunch of crayons and coloring papers depicting scenes from the bible and we used them with the La Vina’s supply so so the kids could do something while the food was being cooked and tell the stories behind them. In some places this worked better than others. 

After the long day at Stone Island, we watched the sunset and went out to eat dinner at the Gus Gus restaurant near our hotel.

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2 Responses

  1. Love the pictures…

  2. Praise God for La Vins snd you fine folks who love the children and want to help them know Jesus. My prayers are with them and with you.

    From Rita in Golden Colorado

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