We haven’t managed to give an update over the past couple of weeks as we’ve been very busy working with a team from our home church, Upton Vale, in Torquay. This morning I (Steve) took them to the airport and we were very sad to see them go. The two weeks they’ve been here have been fun, hard work, and heartbreaking at times, but rewarding none-the-less.
The main purpose of the team coming was to see the work Proyecto MEFI is doing – what they and the church have been supporting for so many years - and to capture the vision the MEFI team have for the future of the project so that they can go back and share it with others. They also had the opportunity to meet other missionaries and see some of the other things OMS are involved with here in Mexico.
We worked the team really hard and we think they were probably ready to collapse by today, but they all contributed so much to the work we are involved with here and they definitely left an imprint on the hearts of those they met – both street-youth and staff. It is amazing how God arranged for each individual on the team to come here – God used each one in such a huge way – probably in ways that they may never know about too. And there wasn’t a lack of hurdles they had to jump over to get here either, we’re just so thankful that they didn’t let the enemy deter them from coming. As one of the street-girls said, ‘you showed us real love, and it is because of your support that I have been able to move forward in my life’. That is the sentiment we heard over and over again, and that gratitude is for all of you who pray and support the work here, even though you may never be able to come and see these kids for yourselves.
The team spent quite a bit of time in the drop-in centre, but they were also exposed to the harsh reality of the streets when we went to visit a group and a fight nearly broke out between the street kids and some of the shop owners in that area. Many people see the street-kids as pests/criminals or as bad for business as they scare people off because of the image they have in society. However, we managed to diffuse the situation and no-one was hurt on this occasion.
At the end of the team’s time here (last Friday) we arranged to take a group of 20 street-kids and young people out of the city into the country side for a day and we all had a great time together and both the team and the kids will remember that day for a long time to come. We rented a bus and went to a place about an hour out of the city where there was open space, fresh non-polluted air, good wholesome food, and horses to ride. Most of the street-kids/young people had a little ride on the horses, the ones in the photo are O (14 yrs old) and A (3 yrs old). We always get to see the kids in a different light when they are free of the drugs and away from their normal surroundings, and a few of the kids were in tears as they shared hugs with the team members and experienced a sense of love and belonging. One of the team shared part of his story, some-one else shared a message from God and they all sang a song in both English and Spanish and taught it to the kids! It was really hard to see them get off the bus and go back to their normal surroundings on the streets, but we hope and pray that the little glimmer of hope and the love we showed them on that day may encourage them to come to the drop-in centre and to ask for help to break out of their situations, so that they can reach the potential God has for each one of them.
We have now booked our flight to come back to the UK, and will arrive on July 5th for an intense 6-9 months of support raising – most importantly for prayer support, but also for financial support. Sadly, a little second-hand shop in N. Ireland (which was being run by volunteers to support the work) recently had to close because of large overheads, so now MEFI is now heavily under-funded. So our main focus for coming back to the UK is to promote the work and get more people excited about it so that it will have a steady income to ensure it can keep going in the future. Please join us in sharing about the work and let us know if you think of anyone that might be interested in supporting it or would like us to come and talk to them about it, we want to start filling up our diaries so that we make the most of our time back in the UK!