Some flew on an airplane for the first time. Others left
the comfort of the United States for the first time. Many saw
poverty for the first time. Everyone returned changed
Poza Rico, Mexico
Riding on a bus without air conditioning in 110-degree heat is
not what motivated me to take 54 children and adults on our annual
short-term mission trip. But the changes we observed in our
children and the children at the Casa Hogar orphanage in Poza Rica,
Mexico, confirmed what God had called us to do. The following
journal excerpts highlight the lessons we learned.
Left home early and drove to the Atlanta airport, where our
group of 54 children and adults met. Everyone was excited! After
arriving in Mexico City and going through customs, we boarded a bus
at the airport and departed on our journey.
The first meal we had together was a quick bite at McDonald’s
just outside of Mexico City. My first instruction was no special
food orders. But inevitably, Bill didn’t want ketchup, Sue hated
onions, and John wanted cheese.
Lesson 1: You can’t always have
it your way.
After lunch, we boarded the bus for the seven-hour journey. Kids
really do speak a universal language. They got acquainted, shared
stories, and sang songs to pass the time as they viewed the Mexico
countryside out their windows.
At the hotel, each person was responsible for getting his or her
luggage to an assigned room. Kids had to take responsibility
seriously during a trip of this magnitude. Mom and Dad weren’t
there to take care of things. For some, that was a stretching
experience. For others, flexibility was the most difficult lesson