Monterrey Mission Trip Part 1

Right before Christmas I had the privilege of serving as an interpreter for a mission trip one of my pastors led in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Our church leaders have a long time relationship with an amazing pastor who’s a part of a church planting movement. Our church places a premium on planting life-giving churches so we’re just like two peas in a pod, or maybe something more Mexican, like two cactus plants on the same ranch…or whatever.

Viva Monterrey!

Viva Monterrey!

I learned Spanish from a mission opportunity 14 years ago in Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico. I am feeling very old right now. That is a very long story in and of itself, so I can’t get into all that, but just trust me when I say it was a life-changing experience for me. Since learning Spanish my husband and I have always lived in close proximity to Spanish speakers. It is amazing how language can connect a community. If you want to endear yourself to someone, just attempt to learn their mother tongue. It’s special, mistakes and all.

Summer, Hanna, Abbie and me. Such a privilege to serve with these women!

Summer, Hanna, Abbie and me. Such a privilege to serve with these women!

So leading up to this trip brought back a ton of memories of my time in Mexico. The first memories to float to the top of my mind were all based around the hospitality that I experienced during that time period. I learned Spanish through singing in a Mexican worship band. We ministered in many cities across Mexico and the U.S. and stayed in people’s homes for sometimes weeks at a time. It was incredibly humbling how these families opened their homes to us and fed us three meals a day for however long we stayed under their roof.

I thought about what it would be like to worship in Spanish again. I remember songs we used to sing as we led worship. I was introduced to Latin worship artists like Marcos Witt, Jesus Adrian Romero, Danilo Montero and Marco Barrientos. There are tons of others, but those are the quickest that come to mind. And can I just say that I LOVE Marcela Gandara’s voice. Even if you don’t understand Spanish, please take a moment and look her up. My favorite song she sings is “Tu Estas Aqui” with Jesus Adrian Romero.

So all this wonderfulness marinated in my soul for the time leading up to the trip. I took my two youngest daughters to my mother and my dear husband kept our oldest. The day before the trip was spent going over my packing list, but since this was a 5-day trip it wasn’t too time consuming. If you’re a parent reading this, you may be able to relate to the prayers being prayed before the trip, “Dear God, please don’t let any of my kids or their caretakers get sick while I’m gone.” Knowing that I’m away from my kiddos when they’re not well is a guilt-trip that’s hard for me to get over.

The morning of my flight came. one. hour. at. a. time. I was so concerned about oversleeping that I slept almost none. Our team of 5 drove to Lubbock where we met up with our 6th team member Summer. She ended up being my roommate for the trip and I really enjoyed spending time with her. Our flight to Houston was uneventful. We changed planes and arrived in Monterrey around lunch.

Side note: I feel compelled to try to connect with the person sitting next to me on an airplane. On the flight to Houston in was a college girl from Texas Tech who was headed home for Christmas. She found out I was an Aggie and she quickly let me know that A&M was her first school of choice, but it just didn’t work out. We bonded. The next guy I sat next to was a Korean national. There were several on our flight. I didn’t know if he could speak English, so I thought I should break the ice by blurting out any food items I knew. If I had actually done it it would’ve gone something like this, “Bulgogi! Kimchi!” “Ah, Mistah Flight Attendant? Can I move to another seat? This lady scares me.”

Bless him.

He was tired and slept the whole way. So were didn’t talk. I think for his sake it was better that way.

As we deboarded the plane and entered the terminal area we noticed several signs like this:IMG_3785

Evidently they don’t want Ebola either.

We couldn’t stop laughing about this sign. Thankfully we stayed healthy!

Stay tuned for the next installment on how the mission trip went. If this post encouraged you, please feel free to comment below or share it with a friend!

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