Monday, March 25, 2013


Well, I have many pictures from Mexico.  I was in Reynosa, Mexico for one week over Spring Break.  It is here that Isaiah 55 runs a deaf school and does community outreach.  There were 17 of us that drove down and did construction work.  We worked at a church, at the main compound, and out in a park.  We also got to spend a morning at the deaf school.  I could write pages and pages describing everything but I will let the pictures speak for themselves.  I loved every minute of the trip.  It was absolutely amazing.

The vans:

Paperwork before we leave:

Drew helping get loaded up:

L to R: Tiera, Cortney, Drew, Natalie:

Stopped to get gas and Cortney and Mackenzie decided to stretch out (I may or may not have imitated their stretching throughout the trip):

Breakfast time!

Rounding up after breakfast.  We would count off and then go into van 1 or 2.  This way we weren't with the same people the whole trip:

Mackenzie trying to suck a fruit snack off Cortney's hand:

Couldn't get the fruit snack but popcorn is much easier!

So, for those of you who know how to play telephone pictionary, Mackenzie received the picture on the left and she came up with the sentence on the right.  What a great friend!

I can't imagine where she would have even come up with such an idea!

Hanging out at WalMart

Dishing out the ice cream

Shopping for lunch at WalMart

Caleb and I racing.  I actually ended the race by sliding on my stomach and arms on the pavement and generously leaving some of my skin on the pavement. 

Waiting for lunch

Lunch time!

We are at Isaiah 55 now.  These rocking chairs were a big hit!

My bed for the week

The showers

The "jalapenos" hard at work cleaning up the dishes.  Each night a different group had to do dishes.

Waiting for our intro meeting after our first dinner at Isaiah 55

Our cell phones/electronic devices and passports were taken from us.  It was actually really nice not having our cell phones, it kept the distraction away (thus the purpose of taking it away). 

Wes and Jess live right at the compound and have some baby chicks

Our first morning (Sunday)  I got up and took some photos of the compound

I went up to the balcony and took some photos to show what kind of neighborhood we were in

Waiting for the church service

The pulpit for our church service.  And no, the service was not trash, it was a very good sermon.

Corn hole was a very very popular game

Banana tree on the compound

On Sunday afternoon we went to a village where we walked around and shopped.  On the way there we were at a stop light and some Mexicans came and cleaned our windshield (for a small price I am sure)

Nathan passed this guy who insisted on giving him a shoeshine.  The guy even followed Nathan until Nathan finally gave in.  Unfortunately, those were the same shoes that Nathan was planning on using for working so they didn't stay shiny very long!

I realize it's not very private, but hey, when ya gotta go ya gotta go!

Yeah, and Ryan was supposed to be our leader! ;)

Drew checking out the hammocks.  He did end up with one.

Me and my sombrero (it got smashed on the car ride home) and Caleb and his pancho

Tiera and I playing corn hole

Now I'm ready to roll!

More corn hole

My group's turn to wash the dishes!

 Now that right there is what hard work looks like!  I got extremely dirty while helping mix concrete for the concrete slab at the church.  I was helping dump the sand into the mixer and everytime I did it, I got sand blown into my face.

We got to put our names into the concrete:

The names of the group that helped with this part of the concrete:

Tiera and Michelle drawing away:

I came in and blew them away with my drawing of a princess ;)

 More concrete pictures:

This was what I was doing when I got so dirty in the photo above

Caleb laid down and got buried in stones.  He was quite messy when he got up!

Friday morning we got to go to the deaf school and spend some time with the deaf kids there:

We played soccer with them.  This was our team:

Thanks Drew!

Heading out to play soccer:

Some pictures of things going on at the school:

A story was told about this little girl.  Apparently, when they are eating dinner at home, she makes each of her family members say a prayer before they eat.  While her family members don't necessarily enjoy doing it, they do listen to her. 

So, my pictures got a little bit out of order, so these are actually from Thursday night. Thursday night we had a "talent night" where different people did different things, most of them funny but some more serious.  Here, Caleb K, Drew, Nathan, and Caleb P demonstrate a four man pushup:

Cortney, Caleb, and Mackenzie performing Ipod Karaoke (except its on a laptop since the Ipod was hidden with the cell phones, etc). 

Rebecca performing a triple integral:

Caleb K is from Japan and so he read Psalm 23 in Japanese:

Also on Thursday, a few of us went over to the chickens and did a little examining of some eyes that were a little messed up and I learned how to remove a comb from a chicken.   This little guy is Mikey.  His parents are Wes and Jess who live on the Isaiah 55 compound.  He loves his chickens that's for sure!

Wes did one rooster to show me how the comb is removed:

The rooster he did was the alpha rooster of the pen.  When he was done he decided that the red rooster needed to be set in its place.

Then it was my turn.  Here I have the rooster positioned and am ready to begin:

If you look closely, you can see that my right ring finger is in the roosters beak.  Wes is holding up the comb and with my left hand I am beginning to cut the comb.

Just about done:

Done.  It was kind of bloody so Wes took some water to rinse its head off and then added some liquid to help keep it from getting infected.  30 seconds later the rooster was pecking for food again.

So, most of you probably know that chickens are cannibals.  I cut the comb up and threw it on the ground and the chickens ate it right up.

This ends the chicken story.  Here is Yellow, the dog that guards the compound.  I saw her sleeping in this awkward position and had to take a picture.  She was really out too cuz two of us took a picture and she didn't wake up at all.

Here's a couple photos of me and Mackenzie.  It was really crazy, it seemed not matter what happened her and I always ended up sitting next to each other.  So, of course, we had to get our picture taken ;)

Nono, Kate, Erin, Kim: These are the four people who keep Isaiah 55 running.  They were awesome to be with and we appreciated everything they did for us and everything they are doing to bring people to Jesus there in Reynosa.

We are headed back now!

For those of you who have sat at the border waiting, you know that people are there trying to sell you things:

Once we made it through the border it was homeward bound.  On the way we had to stop at this drug checkpoint in Texas.  This sign shows what they have caught so far this year:

On the way home, we stopped in San Antonio, Texas to see the Alamo and get something to eat along the riverwalk:

Tiera is from Oregon, and I'm from Connecticut and we were together in Texas so we had our picture taken together:

Right across the street from the Alamo is a Ripleys Odditorium.  I have never been in one but would love to as I find Ripley's interesting.  However, there wasn't enough time for me to go in so I just took a picture of it instead:

A group of us decided to get pizza for dinner:

On the way back to the vans, we passed numerous horses and carriages. 

This trip is hard for me to put into words: amazing, awesome, uplifting, etc.  That's what I can come up with.  I hope to go next year if I can.  However, now it is back to the grindstone of school, school, school.  Oh well, this too shall pass!