After many tearful goodbyes, we all traveled safely back to Indiana. Thank you for all who contributed financially to our trip and for all those who prayed for us. It truly was an amazing week and we feel so blessed in being a part of God’s work in McAllen, Texas, and Reynosa, Mexico. We’d all love to share our stories with you personally!
It pains me to say that our time in McAllen is coming to an end. Time goes by so fast, doesn’t it? This Sunday was a special Sunday. Our Lord has risen. He is alive and all Christians come out and praise his holy name! It’s a bittersweet feeling being here. On one hand I would enjoy spending Easter at home with my family, but on the other hand it is good to see a different culture and prospective on Easter with a different culture. Easter here is incredible. Our day started out with a 6am sunrise service; starting the service pitch black and ending the service with the sun bringing out the good news. We then took some rest before our 10:30am service where we continue to worship our Lord and spend our last service at the church. After lunch we took a trip to downtown McAllen and did some more shopping. Snow cones are pretty great down here. The night ended with a beating of a piñata, cracking eggs filled with confetti on each other, and having a feast of a dinner. We did awards where each team member received an award for something the did on the trip. I won an award for eating a lot – classic. Gifts were given to the people who hosted us and we truly are so thankful for being here. Please continue to pray for the people here and pray for safe travels as we go home tomorrow. We appreciate everyone who has prayed for us and will continue to share God’s love wherever we are. -Chris Chang
Today, we spent our last day in Mexico. We began the day early with a delicious breakfast, and then we headed across the border into Reynosa. The entire team went to the work site to finish painting the house. With everyone painting, the job was quickly finished. The team then gathered with Roy and Rebecca, the missionaries who led this construction project, to dedicate the house. Unfortunately, the lady who will be living in the house was not able to be there because she was at work. We were able to record a video greeting telling her that this is not from us, but from God. We then prayed as a group, dedicating the house to the Lord.After the dedication, it was time to say goodbye to our new friends, first at the worksite. The men on the team prayed over two young boys, José and Raúl, whom they had grown close to working on the house. This was powerful to witness. Join us in praying that these boys will continue on the right path. We drove on the bumpy roads back to the mission house for lunch. We then walked the street that the mission house is on to pass out the last of our donations and say goodbye. In three short days in Reynosa, we got to know the kids, making this goodbye difficult.
After leaving Reynosa, we headed to Progreso, another Mexican border town. We split into groups for shopping. It was a great cultural experience as we had the chance to barter with the street vendors.
After an afternoon of shopping, we headed back across the border to McAllen. We had some free time before dinner when we got back. Some people napped, hung out, or did last-minute preparations for The Show.
We had a special dinner with the youth group and other church members. Immediately following dinner was a Tyner team tradition called ‘The Show.’ It’s not necessarily a talent show, but some acts do showcase real talent. Everyone on the team did something, from singing to eating to reciting the alphabet backwards. We were honored to have performances by some missionary kids as well as by the pastor. The church had prepared something special for us, too. They presented each team member with a bookmark and t-shirt. We were very thankful for this gift.
Unfortunately, the Tyners had to go to urgent care soon after The Show as Stan was very sick. The doctors quickly diagnosed him with pneumonia and he is on the mend now. Please pray for his complete recovery.
After The Show the team enjoyed time together. We spent time laughing and debriefing the day and trip as a whole. We have had a wonderful time together developing relationships with each other and the wonderful people in McAllen.
Today we spent the morning and afternoon in Mexico again. By lunchtime, the roof and sides of the house were finished and the house was completely built. I was amazed that the house was built so quickly! It was awesome working together as a team, and also working alongside other Mexican workers. Christ’s love was extremely evident throughout the entire day. Members of the team also broke off to play games, such as soccer, with local children in the area. Others made bracelets, sidewalk chalk art, blew bubbles with the kids, and gave short Bible lessons. After a quick lunch break, the only thing left to do was to clean up and finish painting the house. We plan to go back tomorrow to officially hand the key over to the new owner, and to pray over the house. Back in McAllen later this evening, we had dinner and got the chance to hear Miguel and Vivian’s story. God has done incredible things in their lives, and He continues to work through them in amazing ways! Prayers for their ministry would be appreciated. Their hospitality and encouragement have been pivotal in our stay here in McAllen.
Today we spent our first day in Mexico building a house for an elderly woman whose house had burned down. While some worked on the house, several of the other students played soccer with the young kids from local homes. While the day started a bit chilly for southern weather, by noon the sun had come out and it was a hot afternoon. We were able to get to know missionaries who work on the border and build many houses for Mexican families. This evening we spent some time together as a team in worship and prayer. Several stayed up to play games as well. Please keep praying for safety for our team, good health, ease of travel crossing the border, and more fun times together!
Today was a special day! Since we had more time before breakfast, some members of the team ran, walked, or worked out. The weather was nearly perfect, and everyone was ready to be fueled with energy through a hearty breakfast! We quickly ate and got ready for the pool party. The team was looking forward to a day of rest and fellowship. There were many activities for us to do: swimming, volleyball, football, and laying on the hammock. We also celebrated the birthday of Jonathan, a son of one of the missionaries. At lunch we were able to try yucca, a Spanish favorite that is similar in taste to french fries. Some also ate chicken heart and other grilled meats. The food was delicious, the family was very hospitable, and we had a great time even though some of us got a little too much sun! When we arrived back, we ate a pizza dinner and prepared for the Champs School (VBS at The Community Center for children ages 3-12). The team led three different groups of activities for the children: Bible story, crafts, and games. Tonight’s theme was the story of Daniel and the lion’s den. The children learned a song to go along with the story, made a lion puppet, and played animal games. There was a good turn out of children and their families. One member of the team was able to witness a father dedicate his life to Christ at this event. It is amazing to see the work that God is already doing here! Please continue to pray that God would use each member of the team for His glory, and that we will continue to impact lives through Him. We would also appreciate prayer as we travel across the border to Mexico tomorrow to start building a house. Thank you for your continued support!
-Kathryn & Kerri
We continued to have an incredibly encouraging and productive day at La Iglesia Evangelica Cristiana in McAllen, Texas! We spent the morning and early afternoon finishing up our paint jobs, moving tree branches, and sifting and moving dirt. Some of our teammates helped clear a huge tree stump from the soccer field near the church. Thankfully, the cool weather held on for another day! In the evening, we once again held a service, this time at the community center. We were able to worship together with members of the church and the community. Aaron and Mere shares their testimonies, and Leah, Joe, and John did a great job leading worship. Afterwards, we went to a resturant with the families involved with the mission organization. We were so thankful for the opportunity to fellowship with them, laugh with them, and enjoy some really good food together.
The team continues to grow closer and we are looking forward to the opportunity to work in Mexico in the next few days.
Please continue to pray for strength, boldness, and good health as we share the good news!