“I can’t believe it. I just found out that I won’t be able to use my $0.39 refill cup from Taco Bell in Mexico! I guess I’ll just have to drink the water. Not!” That’s from a “Rappin’ With Rick” that I wrote 26 years ago.
I went on to say, “Do pray for us. This is a new adventure for Chatham Christian Church. If this goes well, maybe we’ll head for Jamaica in a year or two. Theo would love to have us.” It did go well, and as I wrote upon our return, “You just had to be there. How can hot sweaty work, mattresses on the floor, dirt and scorpions add up to a great time? They can’t! But smiling faces, laughing children, and a sense that you are doing exactly what God wants you to do does.”
Yes, it was in 1992 that twenty-two of us headed to Chamacuero, Mexico on our first mission trip. And we did make it to Jamaica, several times. We took our teens, took local college students, went as families, and led a number of trips for LCC’s Week of Evangelism. But it’s that first trip that really sticks in your mind.
I’ll never forget Marilyn’s culture shock when we arrived at a dusty little village in the middle of nowhere, where the streets, and the floors in most houses, were dirt. The scorpions in the outhouse didn’t make us feel welcome, but the people surely did. And who can forget the women shaving their legs while sitting on rocks in the middle of the river, and the goats that were crossing at the same time upstream!
Our primary task was to demolish a crumbling building so a new community center could be built. We also held a VBS under the trees in the middle of town, and managed to get a pump working that pumped water to the pecan orchards, and unfortunately flooded back yards in town.
Nikki and Matt were teenagers at the time, and now my two teenage granddaughters are heading to Mexico with their middle-aged mom. I can’t wait to hear all about their trip. I trust they, and the rest of our team, will have memories that will last a lifetime. And the joy of building a home for a family, instead of tearing down a building, will surely exceed what we experienced.
God Bless, Rick