For the past 15 years, our church, Five Cities Vineyard, has had an annual one week long missions trip for anyone who wants to go to Mazatlan, Mexico. While in church one day, Shannan felt God move her heart towards going on the missions trip in 2010. The impact was life changing.
In 2012, the whole family went on the one week missions trip to serve the La Vina Church. We wanted our young daughters to be with us and be a witness to the children of Mazatlan.
Although we have helped locally for years at our church food pantry and local people’s kitchen (seasonal), we always have loved serving others. Internationally, we minister in Mazatlan, Mexico in the state of Sinaloa. The type of work we do there is whatever the church needs us to do. It can be practical ways such as computer networking, clerical duties to tearing down shanty homes and driving mission teams around town. We also participate in bible teaching through men groups and children classes. In the future, Shannan will be involved in the women’s bible study groups. Our family knows how to pray for others and share the love of Jesus. Therefore, we bring hope to the hopeless.
Our daughters have always helped alongside us at the local food pantry and people’s kitchen. It is no different in Mexico. They smile, laugh, play with the other kids. Sometimes not communicating with any words since our girls are still learning Spanish. Love is universal and so are children at play. One time, Amanda was playing with some children and they took her baseball cap off her head. They started to play keep away with it for a few hours. Amanda laughed and ran a lot that day. Sometimes they play soccer with the kids or just make mud pies in the dirt.
For a few years now, we started investing our time in developing relationships with the people of Mazatlan. We volunteer with other American and Canadians at the La Vina Church in Mazatlan. Occasionally, my family would go with the La Vina Church on their Compassion Tour. This is where we make sandwiches or hamburgers on a mobile kitchen. Then we head out to the city dump. We sing worship songs, pray for and feed about 100 people who scrounge in the dump for food and recyclables to sell. Our daughters go with us to the city dump but they do not get out of the church van since the conditions are dire and dangerous. They do hand out water cups and chili to the dump scroungers. Amanda now goes with mission teams and works along side them to minister to the dump scroungers.
Every Saturday the La Vina Church dispatches about 16 teams to teach and feed 2000 children in the Vineyard Child Sponsorship Program (VCS). Over the years we have participated in 15 of the community centers of hope locations. Our daughters would sit with the other children in the program. They would sing, dance and learn about Jesus. Afterwards, instead of being fed, our daughters were part of the team serving the meal. They would hand out the plates, fruit or water cups. Afterwards, they would clean the tables and chairs.
Michael and I are also part of the technical team for the Vineyard Child Sponsorship Program. We assist in maintaining their database alongside other volunteers. The donors are from the US, Canada and Mexico and we appreciate the support they give to the poor.
We are a missionary family who educate, encourages and empowers families and ministry leaders in Central Mexico so they can have a meaningful personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Strengthening | Encouraging | Comforting