July 7th, 2011

 

Dear friends,

On June 4th, at 4:00 pm I arrived in Nashville TN from a week long mission trip to Reynosa Mexico. However in order to have a ending, every story must have a beginning, and this story started at 8:00 am on May 30th. That morning the Mexico mission team left the Nashville airport bound for Fort Worth, TX airport, the team consisted of; Glenn Wallace the team leader and director of the MTSU BCM, Casey Clift, Kelsey Potts, Brittany Jones, Elizabeth Wittmore, Haley Parks, and myself.  From Fort Worth we headed by plane to McAllen airport, located in McAllen TX, we were then met by the director of UTRI (Upon This Rock International, its pronounced u-tree) where we were then taken to the UTRI compound in Alamo TX.

The next day we crossed the border into Reynosa, Mexico and proceeded to an orphanage. At the orphanage Glenn and I were put to work filling in ditches dug for a septic system, while the rest of the team painted the orphanage.  After spending the rest of the day playing with the kids and helping around the orphanage, we sadly said good bye to the kids and headed to a house church within Reynosa. That Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday night the team presented a VBS/back yard bible club to the kids in the community. We taught bible stories to about 50 or so kids, many songs were sung in Spanish, crafts and games were done with the little niños. Interestingly the favorite game was “Americano futball” or American football, keeping up with them was tough but amazingly fun. On the last night of the bible club it was hard to leave their smiling faces, they cried and chased our bus as we left, and I remember each of them fondly.

During the day on Wednesday and Thursday, we had the opportunity to paint a church in Mexico. Over the 2 days, we painted every room except for the sanctuary, but we did do some touch ups and other needed repairs to the building. We were informed by the Pastor that one of the rooms we painted was the youth room and that they had wanted to paint the room for years, through us they now had a brightly painted room! On the last day in Mexico we were given the opportunity to visit Nuevo Progreso, which is a tourist town with many shops. Here I found that many Mexicans believe that tourists always need bootleg movies (mostly in spanish), dentists, and pharmaceutical drugs, I make this assumption because I counted around 15 dentistry’s, 10 pharmaceuticals, and 7 movie stands on a street about 3 blocks long!

This trip made me think a lot, I got to see the parallels and differences between our culture and theirs. Community and family are very important in Mexico and their warmth towards us as fellow Christians is very heart warming. God and me had a lot of time to talk, and by talk I mean that I had time to listen to His words, in doing so spiritual growth was insured, I realized that time is extremely important and that time needs to be made for God and our brothers and sisters in Christ. Also it was pointed out that due to media hype, many Churches have stopped mission activities into Mexico. Fellow Christians, yes parts of Mexico are dangerous but they still need our love and fellowship, please let us not neglect our brothers and sisters who are serving there and the Christians in Mexico. I hope to return to Mexico during the spring break ’12 trip and serve our spiritual family there. Also I am still a few hundred dollars short of the South Asia trip, however I thank you VERY much for your support that has been already given, you have been a tremendous blessing!

Sincerely yours,

Hakon Pankratz

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