The Star of Hope Project
September 1, 2005
Thank you so much for supporting my mission trip! I consider it a great success.
After my 5 hr. plane trip to San Diego, (Ugghh) I was easily able to find my group. We crossed the border and drove to the orphanage relatively quickly. We got an orientation of the grounds-several acres on the side of a hill a little way from Tijuana. After that, we had a couple hours before dinner and evening prayers. I thought it might be fun to play
soccer with the boys, so I went to the soccer field. However, it quicklybecame apparent that despite our best efforts, they were just humoring us. They are very, very good, and are looking forward to some manner of upcoming tournament.
Our first project was to make a walkway at the orphanage using brick pavers. There isn’t any grass, so when it rains, anything that’s not paved washes away. We worked on this project for three days. It was slow going because we needed to make sure that the slope was perfect. We had a small group, so we weren’t able to build a house on our own.
Luckily, the last group had almost finished a house. We got to put the first coat of stucco (nicknamed "unstucco" because it wouldn’t ) on the house, making it livable. The next group will put the second coat of stucco on, which will complete the house. We were able to meet the family and be there for the house blessing, which was really cool.
The mom, dad, and three young children are living there now. Even though the house is
about the size of a two-car garage and has only two rooms, two windows, and a door.It’s such an amazing thing to the people who get to move in. Many people have never had real windows or doors before–they’ve been lucky to have any structure to call home.
I really enjoyed playing with the younger boys at the orphanage, as most of them are jokers and tricksters....very funny. It was also lots of fun to try and speak Spanish with all the boys. Some of the older ones speak English very well, but most of the younger ones only know an occasional word.
The other big highlight for me was swimming in the Pacific Ocean, which I had never been in before. It was exceedingly cold...My feet were numb after about five minutes, which is actually better because you can’t feel the cold that way.
The orphanage has almost 25 boys, and they are constantly in need of food, clothing, school, sports and personal hygiene items. I would highly recommend donating goods or money, or if at all possible, going on a mission trip yourself. I’m hoping to return in the not-to-distant-future for another work trip, and possibly to intern there when I’m 18.
Lastly, I’d like to raise a Christmas donation for the boys. I have decided to make beaded stars and sell them for $5.00. All profits will be donated to the orphanage. The stars are about 4" in diameter, and are crafted from wire and various colored and transparent beads. They are beautiful on a Christmas tree, in a window, hanging from your rear-view mirror, or wherever else you decide. If you’d like to order a "Star of Hope" and help Project Mexico and St. Innocent Orphanage in their mission of "building hope for boys without families and families without homes," please contact me before December 1st by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Again, thank you so much for your support, and have a great autumn. Bethany