Friday, May 23, 2008

We Are Off

Well we are off to Mexico for the long weekend to build homes.

I snapped a few photos of us loading up this afternoon - but my memory card got corrupt ... so they are lost forever.

The last few days have been busy busy busy with all the last minute details.

This afternoon I scooted down to the airport to pick up a participant flying in from Canada. It was rush hour, Friday of a long weekend and raining. Not exactly the ideal time to be on the freeway in Southern California. As always, things have a way of working out. We had fun getting to know each other and there is this instant connection when you meet someone from your home country after being away for a while. There is something comforting about hearing the word -eh!

A final e-mail went out yesterday with a flurry of last minute information. Thought I would share some of them here.

God is good: By the numbers:

  • 380 participants
  • 23 casas built and families served
  • Over 1/3 of our group is 17 and under
  • 10 buses, 2 vans, 2 luggage trucks and 3 RVs.
  • Three other "church partners" joining us
  • People from Ireland, Canada (2), New York and Colorado (11) joining
  • Three medical services staff
  • 175 tents
  • 4 Amor Staff
  • Over 2,500 meals
  • 1,567 s'mores

Temperatures: Ideal for casa building. Partly cloudy skies. No rain.
Temperatures about 68-84 F. May be cooler at night.

Building Relationships: At our May 12 Mega Meeting, Amy and Juan-Daniel clearly defined our # 1 objective... to build relationships with those we serve. This is a "gift" we all can give.

Building Casas: We are committed to completing as many of the casas as possible in 2008. This is the "gift" that Amor and the local pastors have promised the families we serve. A completed casa!

Time Management: As much as we try, we do not control time and space in Mexico. Stuff happens. There will be surprises. Having said that, we are going to do everything possible to stay on the schedule that we have defined and provide maximum site time for relationship building and casa completion.

Buses: 10 large buses to Baja. 11 factory buses in Baja.

Minor Registration List: We have about 120 participants 17 and under. All are listed on a notarized "Minors List." All Trip Leaders will have a copy.

Border Crossing: The bus passenger list has been sent to the Department of Homeland Security for pre-clearance return on Monday afternoon. Hopefully the border crossing on Monday's return will be as convenient as last year. Patience please. The rules keep changing.

Medical Services: We have three well trained medical service providers and two RVs that will be deployed in the build area as "clinics" if required.

House Warming Gift Package: Like last year, these "kits" will be distributed to the trip Leaders on Monday morning for the casa dedication about noon on Monday.

Bathrooms and Porta Potties:
This year we will have 12 Ecosan porta potties placed throughout the build sites (Yeah!)

RVs: We have three RVs. One will remain at the camp site and used as the Come Build Hope HQ. Two will be deployed in and around the build sites. During the day, they will be "clinics" in case of medical emergency.

Safety: Safety.! Safety! Safety! Think safe. Work safe. Be safe. Drink lots of clean water. Sun protection! Know where your team members are! Safety!Safety! Safety!

Attitude: Remember, it's all about attitude. All the participants (many have never been on a build trip and many have never been to Mexico) will model their behavior on the behavior they see in their leaders. Let's be positive. Let's smile through the unexpected surprises. Let's be flexible. Let's be patient.

"Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain" (Psalm 127).
Thousands of hours have been spent by hundreds of different individuals who volunteering their time and their talent to serve.

Just watch us Come Build Hope in 2008.

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