Thursday, February 26, 2009


So, last Wednesday we (Rick & Tammie & co., Sammie (Rick's assistant), Casey, Kourtney, and I) went to Mexicali to set a few things up for the spring break groups that will be building churches there. And to get a feel for the city so we don't get ourselves completely lost when groups come. We got there in the early afternoon on Wednesday and immediately went to meet up with the pastor, Rafa, and see where his new church is going to be built in Oaxaca which is about 30 minutes outside of Mexicali. Now when I say we do anything "immediately" that's in Mexican time. We actually stopped to get directions a few times, stopped to check out a hotel to possibly stay in, stopped to get directions again, ate tortas for lunch, THEN immediately went to meet Rafa. Who wasn't even there. Wednesday was a day full of driving and it was nice to lay down at the end of the day.

Thursday came with a big surprise. We drove to the border to check out what the crossing situation looked like and then stopped to eat lunch at a taco shop right there. We all ate and were talking when I saw someone out of the corner of my eye walk in. I quickly glanced up, looked away, then thought, "What the heck? That's Neal!" He had left LV at 5am and had driven down with Brian McQuown, Matt Hall and pastor Bret to check out Mexicali to prepare for their spring break trip with us. I was SO surprised.

So, Thursday we went to check out where South Hills will be staying, went to check where they'll be building the house, met Gustavo (the pastor they're building the church for), went to get some dinner at a Mexican restaurant, then crashed at the hotel. And Friday was another day of driving. The drive to Mexicali is about 4 hours from Ensenada.

For the few of you who don't read Neal Benson's Blog I wanted to give you a chance to see the sick video Kyle Rock made from their prep trip to Mexicali. Click HHEERREE to check it out!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

For all of you lovers out there!

It has been REALLY cold here. Well, cold for us. Right now the only exposed parts of my body are my face and my hands and my hands feel like icicles and my nose is runny. But it should turn around soon.

I got a cavity. Real bummer to have my first cavity in Mexico. And I don’t have dental insurance. Not that that will matter here. I think I’m going to go to a dentist here and have them fix it.

Saturday is Valentine’s Day! For all of you lovers out there! They celebrate Valentine’s Day here but it’s called El Dia del Amor y Amistad (Love and Friendship Day). We are having a “confra” for the youth here on Valentine’s Day. A confra is kind of like a youth conference but on a smaller scale than in the States. They invite a bunch of churches to bring their youth together to worship, play games, hear a message, and meet new people. Please pray for the confra coming up this Saturday. First, pray for Rafa. He’s the one organizing it and he’s pretty discouraged because the churches have not been really supportive or helpful as he’s been in the planning and preparation stages. Also, pray for lots of kids, for the word to be spoken clearly and with love, and for safety.

I’m really happy here. Besides getting a cavity. Which sucks. It’s really just begun to feel like home. It’s still hard being stared at because I tower over most of the Mexican men not to mention the women and it’s still hard to live in a culture that isn’t your own and speak a language that’s not your own but…I like it here. But I go back and forth on whether I could live in a culture that’s not my own for my life. If that’s the best way for me to do ministry. Because it’s hard for me to do ministry here. To relate to these people who have grown up so differently than I did and have seen and done so many different things. But Christ didn’t command the disciples to just do ministry within the group of people with their background. With their upbringing. Who they were comfortable with. No. He said go into all the world. The power of Christ is above all cultures, all languages, all skin or hair colors, all socio-economic statuses. And this is the power that lives in me. So yeah. I can do this. But only with his help and his guidance.