It's hard to put into words what we experienced during our time in Mazatlan.
For me I was most looking forward to the Shoebox distributions. (We also built a house and helped at the feeding centers.) I didn't know how many distributions we would be helping with, or what it would be like. I just knew that God would do amazing things!
We started early Saturday morning.
Driving from our resort to the poorest of the poor areas.
The roads were extremely bumpy. And poverty was all around.
Our first distribution was at the feeding center pictured below. We ended going back here a few a times and the children are so precious!! I'd go back in a heartbeat.
We arrived around 7:30 and these kids were already waiting for the party.
She is proudly holding her ticket to get into the party.
The children who attend the feeding center were able to invite 2 friends to the party. It is through these children at the feeding that they can find their friends to see how they are doing and to encourage them to come to the next 12 weeks of the The Greatest Journey teachings.
They came by the truck full from the country side.
I am still missing some pictures.
But I'll fill them in with words.
We began the morning by getting the snack ready.
Ham sandwiches, a juice box and bag of chips.
Once the children arrived, they could get their face painted, while they waited. When they came in they sat according to gender and age. The youth from the church did an awesome job, getting the kids excited. They sang some songs and did a skit explaining the greatest gift. Which wasn't new clothes, or a trip, it was Jesus!
We then handed out snack to everyone. Possibly their only meal of the day. Some kids ate it, others held onto it, to take it home. Once they were done with snack they encouraged the children to clean up. Something that were trying to teach them, not to litter. As this is a huge problem.
The children did not know that they were receiving presents. So when they said presents there were squeals of delight. We started with the 2-4 year olds, then 5-9 and 10-14.
Once they all had their boxes they all raised their boxes in the air and said "Cheese- Wheeze" aka Cheese whiz.
And then more squeals of joy as they opened them. So many smiles! It was all a bit chaotic, as it was really tight in there, but so much fun to watch in their joy. To see their eyes light up.
Some kids opened their boxes and then quickly shut them. And held them close to their chest. Afraid that someone would take it away. Others didn't want you to touch anything, for fear of us taking something. But most were more than excited to share in their joy of their new found gifts!
Walking home. Oh how I wish I could have walked with them to see where they all live. They all have a story. They are all precious is God's sight. And they all hold a special place in our heart.
Distribution #2 happened behind the big white doors. This was more in the middle of the city. Or at least that is how it felt:)
The kids all sitting in the dirt as the party is about to begin.
Love the pirate praying in this picture. Melts my heart.
Time to hand out boxes.
Sometimes they could hardly handle waiting any longer, for pictures.
These 2 girls were so precious. What you don't see is that a minute prior the girl on the left was kissing her box. She was so excited. But she didn't want me to get a picture of that. It is a picture forever etched in my mind.
Lots of smiles
The youth team which did an awesome job of making the kids excited.
They could hardly wait to open their boxes.
This little girl won our heart right away.
She loved the attention. We were playing peekaboo with her box while we waited for the other kids to get their box.
Who could resist her smile?
My oldest son helping her open her box.
She was so excited about everything in her box!
This was a neat toy someone made. A popsicle stick with ribbon attached.
The mom's always waited outside. And the kids could hardly wait to go outside and show them what they had received.
Another cute pirate.
This transportation would not go over in Canada:)
Although our kids thought it would be fun to get around this way.
We had 3 distributions slated for our first day. But we had some boxes left, and we were able to stop in this Orphanage for mentally and physically handicapped children to end our day. It is supported by churches in the States, I do believe. It was a nice home for them, with a big area for them to run around in. The couple running it were very lovely, caring and kind.
The guy on the swing, put on a lot of miles on his swing.
I was able to help this boy open his box.
At first I thought he was blind, as he put everything up to his nose to smell it. Then he felt it and then put it onto the floor. But they told me he was not.
After a busy day on Saturday, we were grateful for a nice comfortable bed and good nights sleep. And to have some time to reflect on the day. What a day! A day of answered prayers, of loving the children, of being God's hands and feet to bring the Gospel to these children.
We were excited about what Sunday would hold. More children hearing about Jesus! Life doesn't get any better than this!
We helped with a distribution at our Missionaries church Amistad Familiar in the heart of Mazatlan. If you are ever in Mazatlan, stop in. The church is so warm and welcoming and they translate the service into English.
We were once again blessed to help out and see joy in these precious children's eyes.
Handing out snack.
One thing that stuck out at this distribution was that I was hot and the rest of the kids didn't seem to notice. It is their winter, so they were dressed like we would dress in winter. Which made me even hotter!
So proud. Love the huge smile from the girl in the pink.
These boys were so proud of their shirts!
I always loved seeing the kids go through their boxes again.
Even though there was a language barrier, we could still love them. Love knows no language. And God created them all in his image. And they are all beautiful and we pray they all accept Jesus as their personal Savior!