Another Minnesota February means cold nights, cloudy days, and a recent rain that turned the snow into a dirty drab landscape. Even though it is tempting to not leave the comforts of home, I am thankful we have reached beyond our four walls and made connections to those in other cultures. For the past several years our family has participated in a short-term mission trip to Central Mexico through our church, Trinity Evangelical Free Church, in Lakeville, Minnesota. Last week my husband John and son David traveled to Iguala, Guerrero, in central Mexico along with 21 others to help Paul and Teresa Stillwell and Missions to Latin America. This is a construction-type mission trip and their team mixed 75 tons of cement by hand in just four days. Four long days, according to hubby. Because wood is so expensive in Mexico, most building are made with concrete. The team did a roof pour on two small churches in Igaula and a small addition to the Sunday School room at Paul's church in nearby Tepecoa. I've gone with John twice before and it truly is one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. The people in Mexico are so appreciative and thankful their American amigos have come to help, yet somehow we come home far more blessed. David really came into his element as a young man this year (according to dad) and says he wouldn't miss it for the world.
Meanwhile, awhile back I made friends with two Amish sisters who were selling homemade baskets one cold December day at the Dairy Queen in Staples, Minnesota. I stopped to buy their baskets and made time to visit with the girls before I hopped back in my warm car. As I resumed my drive back to the Twin Cities, I knew their horse and buggy offered no such break from the cold! I planned to use the baskets as a display for my photo cards whenever I had a book or speaking event. After the next book festival, I sent a couple pictures to the girls so they could see how I'd used their baskets and sent a letter with the photos. The sisters were so happy to hear from me, they immediately wrote back, and we are now best friends. For the past year we've been exchanging letters and little gifts back and forth. It's funny, in this day and age where texting and cell phones, facebook and email are the norm, I've rather enjoyed our old-fashioned letter writing.
So...here's to our amigos in Mexico and my Amish friends "up north", I send blessings and love,