Saturday, August 11, 2012

August 10

Today marks the end of the journey. It was tiring, challenging and life changing, for all of us as well as the family we helped. Some amazing things happened along this journey and they will not soon be forgotten.

I feel so blessed to have been a part of such a great group of people. I could say much about each person that went on this trip and it would all be positive.The house we built was beautiful. The cameraderie was great. Our love for Jesus and each other was evident the whole time and willingness to serve permeated the whole group. I know I am gushing about the group but it is all true.

All in all I will remember this group for their teach ability, service, humility and authenticity. I will remember really long churros, rabbits, singing Jesus loves me more than Sam in Spanish, the faces of the family entering into their new home, the kids playing and helping us build, last years family excited about our visit, worship with other groups at the Amor camp and the many laughs and lessons learned.

Friday, August 10, 2012

August 9

Yesterday was Disneyland and it was really fun. Everyone enjoyed themselves and had very memorable experiences. I will let the kids tell you all about this day when they get home as everyone had different experiences.

Today we drove a really long time. The kids did well and slept a bunch. We are having a smooth trip in every aspect. There have only been a couple of small inconveniences. So far other than the great enjoyment I get from teasing Lois I, Alicia W, Nicole S and Sam A., it has been a really uneventful trip home. We should be home tomorrow (August 10) by 4 or 5 pm. Yeah! Family!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Aug 7

Today we left Mexico and spent around four hours in the borderline while we were in the line a man's car broke down and so several of our guys got out and pushed his car almost all the way across the border. While they were pushing the car Nicole decided that she wanted to evangelize the man so she got out of the van and evangelized to him and found out that he had worked for Amor ministries for 25 years!

The border agent was kind of a jerk but we didn't let that steal our joy and we had a tremendous rest of the drive home in hot traffic on the southern California highway system's. We arrived at Life Pacific University at 5 o'clock and I went to pick up the tickets to Disneyland from a friend of mine. The kids have been having a good evening, had a nice dinner and have been resting and cleaning up preparing for a long day tomorrow in Disneyland.

I feel so blessed to be a part of this group as they have demonstrated time and time again that they are unified and willing to do whatever it takes to serve others. I am excited to see what tomorrow holds and I will have pictures tomorrow as well.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Aug 6th

Today was a tremendous day. Since we were done with our house we went to rosarito to visit our family from last year. It was so amazing! We took with us an Amor worker named Allegra and she speaks Spanish really well. So we were able to communicate with them for the first time with clarity. They told us that this last winter was the first winter the family did not have to suffer from freezing temperatures. They said that our visit meant a great deal to them. In fact the wife Elizabeth called her husband and her brother and they dropped everything they were doing  and came to the house straight away.

Marco, who we poured the slab for last year has become the pastor of their church. He and his wife are really excited to minister to the children of rosarito. There is a large population of homosexuals that live in Rosarito and they have been speaking out against it and trying to teach the children the truth. However, the church building has been infested with termites for years and even though they continue to minister there is a fear that the facility will become condemned. They are in need of $800 to $1000 to buy material to repair the roof. Prayerfully we can do something to help.

It was great to see them again. They are all doing well. Marco told me that a beard hair of mine was stuck in the concrete pad and they can see the bright hair in the morning and remember pastor Chris. I laughed and thought that it is kind gross but funny.

After we visited we had some tacos, stopped at a little shop and went to the beach. We had a great time of worship and discussion and an impromptu jam session with Will banging on buckets and garbage cans and me on guitar. We had a bunch of people come over to listen to us. It was really fun!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Day 8

We we able to complete the house a day early. The stucco looks amazing. Even though we finished early we still had time to use the broken concrete from the old slab to make really cool front steps to the house. The rest of the concrete from that slab became the fill for two dry wells that we dug so that the nasty water that runs off of the hill behind their house won't continue to drain through the middle of the property. The property was completely transformed and the family was forever grateful.

There are so many stories that the kids will have to tell you about our time here. The build could not have gone smoother and the kids worked together so well. Every evening after some discussion the kids and leaders would all give each other shoulder massages which helped morale for some and nearly brought others to tears.

Today we are going to go to rosarito and visit our family from last year. We are also going to try and get the shoe sizes for the kids from our home now and shop to find them all some shoes. We will be taking the day much slower and we will be back to camp tonight for carne asada. We have been so blessed and everyone has been so good. I look forward to what the day holds!

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Started stucco at 9am, here is the 1st coat finished at 1pm!!!

Day 6

Another great day in paradise. We have the house nearly finished. We will be completed soon. I am super proud of our group. They have worked so hard and bonded so well.

The family is really great. They fed us burritos today for lunch and they were awesome. They have a bunch of dogs. In Mexico Dogs roam like cats do in the u.s.. The stucco part of the house will be tough but I think we will be able to fly through it our group is so good at working.

We are looking forward to the possibility of visiting our families from last year. The lord has been blessing us like crazy and I am so thankful that I get to be a part of his plan here with these kids. I truly believe that I am witnessing the Lord prepare some mighty leaders and that is a great blessing to me.

Day 5

Today was great! We got a bunch done. Joel has been doing awesome at leading the building crew. We got the concrete done yesterday and it turned out okay even though we have very primitive tools. Today we built a patio out front of the house, raised the walls and began putting the roof  on.

We have been connecting with people a bunch. The family is so great and thankful. There is a little boy named Oscar that has become a shadow to some of the kids and I. He wants so badly to learn how to do what we are doing and to do it. So we have been teaching him. He is super cute and gives me a big hug in the mornings.

Our team is bonding together nicely and beside the one student who became angry with me so she decided a blast of flatulence near my face was a good response; everyone has been really respectful. ;) The kids are working hard and having fun doing it. I am looking forward to tomorrow. We should be able to begin stucco tomorrow!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Day 4

Wow. We got so much done today!
Broke out a bunch of concrete and dug a lot. Cut a large amount of wood, sifted some sand, built a bunch of walls and mixed concrete. Today was great but really tiring. We got to know the family we are building for really well too. They have 15 people living in a 4 bedroom house. We are building them a second house on the property. They are so excited and they help so much. Oscar is a 7 year old boy that really loves to help and he is quite helpful.

I am feeling as though I am more worn out today than I think I have ever been!

Day 3

Today we made it into Mexico without incident! We made great time from Life Pacific to the border. We arrived at our camp and it was all set up for us. We met our cooks Oscar and Alicia and their kids. They are a really sweet family.

It was 105 when we arrived and the camp has little shade. So a couple of us went to get some quick shade things at a Walmart in Tijuana. First we went to the work site and met some of the family that we are building for. They seem really excited to have us come.

I don't know why I don't work harder at learning Spanish -- simple communication takes so much effort. It took me about 5 min to tell a lady that I wanted a broom right now. She thought I meant tomorrow. She and I would come to an understanding about the fact that we are talking about a broom but we were failing on the time it would be needed. Maybe I should work harder at learning the language?

We played some American football with some of the other campers here and with Danny. He is Oscar and Alicia's son. He is nine. He reminded me of my boy Ezra. We had a good time of worship and discussion tonight and after we were done singing a couple of us went over to another fire and met some of the local guys and played guitar and sang and shared some laughs with them. One of them spoke decent English so communication was better.

We ate really good but pretty spicy food tonight. We had a stuffed pepper with meat and cheese it was really good. So sleepy...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Day 2

Today was really pretty straightforward. We didn't have any mishaps or problems. We went looking for some diagnostic testing for one of the vans because a light came on, but that turned out to be nothing.

Today we made it to life Pacific University. We played some sand volleyball. We ate some of the world's largest pizzas -- I've never seen pizza as big as the pizza that we bought. it was so big that our entire team could only eat one and a half pizzas! (We have 20 people on this trip. that's a big pizza!!)

Tonight we had devotions about our lives being passionate for Jesus and telling other people about him. Tomorrow we enter into Mexico. Pray for us as we begin this next leg of our Jorney. We look forward to seeing what Jesus has for us.

We found out we are going to be building a double wide house. We thought we were going to be building two single wide homes in two different locations. Logistically, the news that we will be building one is good.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day 1

Today went really smoothly. The only hitch in our trip so far has been the fact that Jono was not able to join us on the trip do to a flesh eating bacteria that that has granted him the privlage of a generous hospital stay. We are praying for a full recovery and we are all waiting to see what Jesus has planned through this whole thing because it makes no sense (to us) why Jono would miss this trip after working so closely on the planning and preparations. We will see.

We made it to the First Baptist Church in Lodi, California and it is a beautiful building and a very gracious host for us. We played in the gym, had worship time and devotions in the 700 seat sanctuary which some how still felt intamate enough to have some great worship time.

I spent most of the drive playing a guessing game with a van full of girls. Joel Weddle and Andrew Haskell were the only other boys in the van. We went through all the songs on my phone beginning with the letter A and they would try and guess the titles of the songs. It was a lot of fun and made the time fly by. However, I was singing almost the entire way and my voice is feeling tired already. Bohemian Rhapsidy took it out of me I think.

Tomorrow we are going to be driving to Life Pacific University in San Dimas and there we will enjoy nice beds and showers!

Love ya,

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Loading Up

Tonight we are loading up the vehicles and preparing to leave in the morning! Excited to be going on our 2nd annual Mexico Mission Trip in 2 years. We have an amazing group this year - kids AND leaders! Please remember to hold us up in prayer, for unity, good attitudes, and health for everyone, as well as the impact our homebuilding outreach efforts will have on the families who get to move into NEW HOMES after we leave!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Disneyland was great. We only lost two kids. (Just kidding.) Everyone split into groups and had a great time. The stories will all be vastly different from each other. My story consisted of a lot of walking and looking with cliff and curt. We would have been considered pretty boring in comparison to what most the kids did.

The three of us ate at the ESPNzone in downtown Disney in overstuffed recliners with tv trays attaches to the chair and a cup holder built into the chair. We watched our choice of 12 tv's or one ginormous one. We were nearly all asleep in our chairs when Jono and Canberra found us. While they ate we played basketball, football, skeet shooting and bowling. We then went on a pirates of the Caribbean and the haunted mansion. We took Jono to get a taxi when we found out that nine of the passes we able to go to both parks California adventures and disneyland. so Noah Vanessa and I went onto the tower of terror. Noah then sucked all of the terror out of the ride and everyone in the elevator, Vanessa and I were laughing at Noah. We made it back to life by 1:30 am.

Love ya,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August 9

We made it into the USA this morning with little hassle. It only took two hours of waiting in a line to get through. We decided not to go to the lake today because of how long the border crossing took and we wanted to do laundry. We traveled to life pacific bible college and had a great time just relaxing and enjoying each others company. I picked up tickets for disneyland tonight from a friend and bought Noah Weldon a very special tee shirt for him to wear to Disneyland...

Everyone is thrilled to have had the experiences that we have had. Most of our crew would have rather stayed in Mexico these last few days and finished building the house that we poured the floor for. It is a hard lesson to learn that you can not help everyone. Even when Jesus died for our sins people were still sick and dying. It really is a tough world and we have very few things to worry about in comparison.

I may not blog tomorrow but I will try
Love ya,

Monday, August 8, 2011

August 8

Woke up to an overcast sky again. Our camp is only 3 blocks from the ocean and so every morning there is a fog. Amazing day today. In fact one of the clearest indications of a glorious creator and king of a boundless kingdom.

We finished a floor for one of the sweetest families I have ever met. Marcos was a professional baseball player scouted by the dodgers and he and his wife Alma moved to Rosarito one year ago. They are the family with the trailer house and the baby. They are pastors and are working on beginning a mission here. They and their children are great. As we are working at Marcos and maria's home a man that we knew from our first home showed up at this house. After a bit we I put together that this man was the father of Marcos and Elisabeth the wife of Roberto who's house we just finished. We invited both families which was really one family to dinner and we had spaghetti and we played soccer and sang songs together. One of the most meaningful moments on this trip was singing and playing guitar with Roberto and singing how great is our God in Spanish and English at the same time. Jesus had to be really pleased. We had an amazing time with the family. So, one house one foundation many friends and closer bonds. We are ready to come home but will be leaving a part of us here in Mexico.

Hopefully we will be quick getting through the border tomorrow as we are all tired but ready for the trip home. We will be bringing Jono to L.A with us as he has to catch a flight to new Zealand on Wednesday. He will stay at life pacific and will go to Disneyland with us tomorrow. We really like him a bunch. We kind of want to keep him. But we know we can't bring him home with us.

We will miss Mexico but can't wait to be with our families.

Love you, chris

Sunday, August 7, 2011

a new day

We awoke a little later this morning. We had a great meal and hit the road to work on finishing the home for the Perez-Castillo family. Roberto is the father. He works 7 days a week 8-9 hours a day 2nd makes $80 per week. He has 4 kids and a really adorable wife Elisabeth. She was SO grateful for the work we had done and she was really happy to see us this morning. Once we pulled up to the house we were greeted by vendors who wanted to sell us a bunch of stuff. So we did what any good American would do and we bought a bunch of things from them. I found a Mexican style sweatshirt that is camouflage. It should work well in the woods, not so well for hiding in Mexico.

We finished the house today and had a ceremonial gifting of the keys to the family. It was a truly great moment. The house is beautiful. The kids did an amazing job this week. They took a great sense of ownership over accomplishing and building that house. Stucco is not a favorite work around camp. Some say they saw stucco when they closed their eyes...

Tomorrow, since we finished early we are going to pour and finish the foundation slab for a new house. We will see how that goes. Cliff did a great job supervising.

Jono, our Australian host from Amor, wants to pass some time with us so he is going to come to Disneyland with us. I was able to score 7 free tickets and a
10 discount on the rest of the tickets so it won't cost anything for him to come with us. Jeff shared, we prayed and then we all played a fun game together. It will be interesting to see the growth in the kids as we bookend our time in Mexico with pouring concrete. I'm certain that we will be done pouring much quicker this time than last.

Looking forward to what the Lord has for us tomorrow.
Love ya, Chris.


This morning was great again. Perfect temperature! We had a great breakfast as we have come to expect with such great cooks along like Mrs. Comerford and Mrs. McGehee. Put the roof on today. Miguel, Joel, and Austin were the stars of that show with guest appearances by myself, Cliff, Sam, and Alicia.
All of those mentioned are very much like monkeys with me being the only exception to that. Today was one of the first times that I really began to realize that I am no longer in the kind of shape it takes to get on a roof comfortably.
We are doing so well that Amor has asked us to pour a foundation slab for another home. I went with Jacob and Jono, our Australian liaison with Amor, to meet this new family and set up forms. They are really nice and very thankful for our being there. They live in an old travel trailer that is about the size of a large van and they have three kids Marcos, Amy, 2nd a one month old baby Jonathan. He was super cute and made me miss my family so much more today. The family that we are presently building a home do is so thankful and they are so cute laying out where people are going to sleep and which room is who's. They ate lunch with us today and I think they may come and have dinner with us at our camp. I'm excited to share some more time with this family. The dad, Roberto, works long days and he works hard it seems. We met a guy named Dexter today who who was very helpful. He was fluent in English and he learned English from playing video games as a youth. So I guess if you want your kids to learn another language get them video games that only speak Spanish.

We accomplished so much today. It will be a good day tomorrow.

Love ya, Chris.