I can´t believe it´s already July...so much has happened since I last posted anything.
Last week, one of the other interns (Andy) and I went to a high school church camp in the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico. We went with the director of Casas (David) because he used to be a youth minister for one of the church groups that came, so he had asked us to come represent Casas and lead some of the students.
What we didn´t realize, however, was that we would be assigned a D-group to lead. I was pretty nervous at first because although I have led small groups before, it has usually been with younger students. We had seven awesome students, with Davids daughter joining us sometimes. The theme for the week was Story, and we focused on the story of Joseph from Genesis. Each day we walked through a part of Joseph´s story, beginning with him being sold into captivity. The day that we focused on captivity, the students had to go around and pick up rocks and write things on them that represented the things that held them captive. What the students didn´t know was that they would be putting the rocks in a small bag and carrying them on their wrists for 24 hours.
That day we went to Sitting Bull Falls and swam around in some pretty cold water (and the students had to keep their rocks on the whole time). A lot of people hiked down, but I got to ride in the van because I was sick for a few days before that (you know youre a Casas intern when all of you talk about how many times you´ve puked this summer).
This week was a huge reminder to me of when I used to go to Survive with Olivet. It reminded me of being broken and restored. It reminded me of family and how much God´s people care for one another. I saw so many students who got to cut off their bags of rocks and then lay them at the foot of the cross...super awesome.
We got back Saturday and then stayed up late at Alexis´ place watching movies. Then Lisa and I got about 2 hours of sleep before heading out with Shane and Kevin for Acuña, where we built this week. It is about a 7 hour drive from El Paso, and our truck, the Peña, loses AC after a while so we drove with the windows down most of the way. Luckily it wasn´t too hot!
We stopped in Del Rio for lunch at Rudys BBQ and then a few last minute things at Wal-Mart, then headed over the border to David Quiñones´ house. He works for Casas and makes sure things are going okay in Acuña. He and his wife have been so gracious to us. Delia has done our laundry and fed us. Their two sons are also really cool, and today we spent a few hours working on a 500 piece puzzle.
We built this week with a team from Iowa, and they were awesome! I am really surprised they still wanted to work with us after we got them lost three times on Monday morning in the pouring rain. (Acuña is about the exact opposite weather-wise from Juarez...80% humidity on top of the heat). We didn´t have a ton of interaction with the family this week, because they lived on another street, but they did stop by to invite us to lunch, which was tamales...one of my absolute favorites.
The build was pretty quick...we started Monday and dedicated Wednesday afternoon, then headed over the border to eat dinner at Chilis and see our team off.
Now we are back at David´s house for the weekend and we will celebrate the 4th of July in Mexico...I think we are planning on making a "traditional" 4th of July meal for David and his family...maybe some hot dogs, little smokies, and all the finger foods you can think of. We are also going to the river to swim on Saturday which I am very excited about!
That´s kind of what has been going on the past couple weeks! Thank you for your prayers and I miss you all! This summer has been AWESOME but I miss my family and friends. Can´t wait to see you in August and tell you all everything that didn´t make it into the blog.