Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Mission Trip to McAllen, TX

There were eight people from our church that were going on a mission trip to McAllen, TX with World Gospel Mission.  We all decided to drive down this year.  Howard and I left a few days early and took our time driving down.  

We spent the first night with our friends, John and Sharon Townsend.  They used to be in our SS class and recently moved to Arkansas.  We were their first non-relative company.  We so enjoyed our time with them.

We had spent a week in Texas several years ago with friends from CA.  One of the things we did with them was to eat at a BBQ place that Bob used to visit as a child when he stayed with his Grandma.  So, we stopped in Lockhart and ate at Kreuz Barbecue.  It was just as good as we remembered it to be.

We ordered the brisket and sausage.  They make a bag out of butcher paper and put your meat in it.  They give you two extra sheets of butcher paper for your plates.
The brisket is smoked and cooked in these barbecue pits.

Here is the bag of meat.

 You either get white bread or 1/2 of a tube of saltines.  We also got some coleslaw to go with the meal.

The next day we stopped for lunch in Falfurrias and got chalupas to eat.  They were very good.

Howard even made them for the team for lunch one day.

We got into McAllen on Saturday and the rest of the team got there Sunday.
The main project for the guys was to tear out two small rooms in the lodge and make a bigger kitchen.  The guys really worked.  They were up and working before we even had breakfast.  

This is the guest house we all stayed in.  Each couple had their own bedroom and bathroom.  Howard fixed our meals and we enjoyed our time together.  The Lodge the guys worked on was right outside the door.  They just had to walk across the patio.

The mission has a single guy that is coming down to do PE at the school and help with ministry.  They are fixing up the Lodge for him.

This is when the guys were starting to tear out the old cabinets and the wall between the two rooms.

There was some major work to do after the wall was taken out.  They have a floor to chip tiles off, the floor sloped, so it had to be repaired.  Dry wall had to be repaired and a ceiling had to be put in.

The wood paneling had to be put up before ceiling tiles could go up.

New cabinets are in and walls painted.  The ceiling tiles were almost done.  They had to buy another 1/2 box.  The guys didn't quite get everything done, but almost.  The floor has to be laid now, but that shouldn't take too long.
Most of the work was done with no AC.  The AC unit was put in the last day.  It was very hot down there.  The mission was very pleased with what the guys got done.  They knew that it was a major job for a work team.

While the guys were working the ladies did several different things.  One thing we were asked to do was to go over to the school, Taylor Christian School, and help watch the students during recess, so the teachers could have a break.  They really appreciated us doing that.

We also trimmed and bagged box tops for the school.  We did over 2.000.

Juanice, Ann, In Suk and Ann
If any of you would like to save boxtops and send them to me, I will be sure they get to the school.  It really helps them.

We stuffed envelopes for missionary letters to be sent out.

We  made a bulletin board for the school.  

We also bagged and stamped tickets for the Fall Festival.  

We went out one night for raspas (snow cones) just to relax.
Howard, In Suk, George, Ann, Jim , Juanice and Jim
I won't show you the pictures of my very pink tongue!!

Howard planning the menu.  He also did the shopping so that really helped out.

George and Jim also gave devotions at soccer practice a couple of nights.  The soccer ministry is practice right now.  They will have teams in the spring.

Howard cooked our meals for us.  We had different missionaries eat with us every night for our evening meal.  We enjoyed our time with them so much .  We had them share their stories with us and it was such a blessing to hear how God had called them into their work and how He lead them to McAllen. 

Friday night the mission took us on a river cruise of the Rio Grande and then took us out to dinner afterwards.  It was a beautiful evening.

Jayden, Edson and Hadasa are Gerson and Betsy's children. 

After the boat ride we went to a Seafood place.  We had botanas.  It's a tray of french fries with fried fish, shrimp, oysters and chicken on top.  It was very good.  There were four trays for our tables.  We had plenty to eat.  We even brought home food that we heated up the next day.

These are some of the people that were eating with us.
Our team members
 Ann and Jim 
 Juanice and Jim
 Howard and Ann
George and In Suk
Gerson and Betsy.  Betsy is the field director of the border ministy

Jorge and Laura are missionaries at the mission

Betsy and Rick are volunteering for nine months while some of the missionaries are on home assignment this year.

On Saturday morning the guys worked some more on their project.  We all helped with the Fall Festival on Saturday afternoon.   We worked in several booths.  This is a fund raiser for the school  The families buy tickets and all the activities and food are paid for with the tickets.  It is a fun evening for the families. 

Our team ready for the festival.
Howard, Jim G., Ann, Ann, In Suk, George, Jim W. and Juanice

 Jim W. manned the airplane toss.
 Jim G. manned the pumpkin tic tac toe
 Juanice and Howard manned the T-shirt sales
 Ann Green helped at the book sale
 In Suk made balloon animals
George directed traffic.
I worked over at the soccer field and sold snacks people could buy with their tickets.  One of the parents commented to me that this is the first year they have been able to enjoy the festival with their kids, because they didn't have to man a booth because we were there to do that for them.

We all think it was a wonderful trip and very worthwhile.  Thank you for all of those that prayed for us.  Howard was sick with acute bronchitis but he made it and is gradually getting better.

We arrived home last night.  It was great to see this sign as we crossed the Mississippi River. George and In Suk came in on Sunday--a long one-day trip for them.  Jim and Juanice are visiting with friends in San Antonio, and Jim and Ann Green are still traveling in TX until next week sometime.