What are we doing here?

I'm sure there are many people who have been reading our family blog and wonder what on earth we are doing in Mexico....other than taking trips to the beach. Which, in my opinion would be a perfectly legitimate reason head south.

Nathanael, my husband, is working as volunteer staff doing various construction projects. The first couple weeks here it seemed like he was always digging. Ditches, foundations etc. Then they renovated the "Old Theatre" in time for the Christmas production. It was origionally built in 1946 as a movie theatre but had been abandoned and subsquently used by the mission for various things. It had been used less and less because of disrepair.
They have also started rebuilding a Daycare. The former building had to be torn down because of extreme termite damage. Next to that building is the Learning Center for Children with Disabilities.
Since Christmas Nathanael has spent the majority of his time on the "Casa 6" renovation project. The children's homes were constructed decades ago and had never been renovated. That is a LOT of wear and tear. They looked every bit their age and had been well used. There are only 2 out of 7 Casa's left to renovate. I don't have any photos of the work being done in there yet but the demolition took the house down to bare cement floor and walls...no bathrooms, no closets , no kitchen, no fixtures. They are now in the process of re building all of those things. I hope we are here long enough to see the finished product.

This past couple weeks Nathanael has been the work coordinator for the visiting work groups. Most every week the mission gets a team of volunteers (known at the mission as "visitors"). They spend a week here doing various work and ministry. They are an important part of the ministry here. This week there are about 65 visitors. He is scrambling from 6.30 am breakfast set up until evening outreach (somedays). He is such a people person and is very good at organizing people and seeing what needs to be done. This job, although very busy and sometimes stressful suites him well. He communicates with the various departments (kitchen cooks, orchard, construction, maitenance, day care etc) asks who needs helpers and then finds people in his work pool to fill the spots. Its like a big temp. agency! :) Keeping that many people equipped and on task is definately keeping him busy. I haven't seen him much other than as a passing blur.

One funny thing is that Aili joins her Dad for visitor orientation at the beginning of the week and he introduces her as his
" assistant work coordinator".

"Aili makes it a priority to know everything that goes on here so if you have any questions or need directions somewhere you can ask her".
She is such a little leader she would like her Dad to step aside and she would gladly take over his job. She is anxiously awaiting the day when she will be old enough to give the official mission tour. Her dream of being a tour guide would be fullfilled. Someday, another trip, maybe :)

Aili bagging up dried fruit for distribution by the outreach department. In this part of Mexico we are surrounded by a lot of poverty .

Nathanael is also on a small fire and rescue team here. They provide ambulance , rescue, and fire service to the surrounding community. My former firefighter/paramedic husband has enjoyed using his skills and being a part of this ministry.

Aili and Roman both LOVE to get little jobs around the mission. Its not an everyday occurance but when help is needed and they are capable of doing the job they jump at the chance. This picture is of Aili stuffing envelopes in the monthly news letter. She can be a very diligent little worker.

As for me, Carla, my main role is mom. As usual. It is a bit of a challenge when surrounded by such amazing ministry and need to be content sitting in a trailer homeschooling my kids or spending hours a day doing laundry, but that is the life of a mother. That is my first minstry. My other role here, currently, is to help out in various areas if needed. The kids and I frequently do various little tasks like sweeping, picking up garbage etc. but mostly we are in a relational ministry. The kids here come first...the work comes second. We are building relationships, giving attention and affection, and showing love to the kids here at the childrens home. Thats not something tangible that I can report on or finish before we leave but it is very fullfilling and also important to the kids here.
We are more than half way through our time here . I can't believe that in few months we will be back in Canada back to a completely different life.

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