Like many others before them, the Anomaly Missions Team to Mexico returned home far richer than they left. Their increase wasn’t in gold or gems but in priceless experiences and golden memories.
Pastor Jeremy Gifford has been leading ministry teams south of the border for the past six years. Every trip, like every team, is unique. The 2016 team consisted of eighteen members, aged fifteen to twenty three along with Pastor Jeremy and Kerri Wagensveld (whose age remains a closely guarded secret).
Peter and Bonnie Kozak from North Pointe moved to Vicente Guerrero, Mexico to serve as missionaries over a decade ago. They’ve hosted all of our missions teams. The onsite ministries include an orphanage, special needs care, a halfway house for abused women, a Macadamia Nut farm, an orchard and local outreaches.
First Day of School
During the mission the local elementary school held their first day of classes. The team decided that a good way to share God’s love would be to feed breakfast to the community – students and moms with babies.
Much to the surprise of the team, they discovered that not all of the children were able to go to school. A school uniform was required for attendance. Dozens of children were denied an education because their family could not afford money for a uniform.
This is Mexico.
The team decided to give the community their money so that material could be purchased and uniforms made for the children. They were able to provide over a hundred uniforms and give an equal number of kids the opportunity to learn.
This is generosity.
Why We Send Short-Term Teams
Short-term trips build faith like few other experiences.
Team members must trust God for resources, save, sacrifice and work together to raise money. That’s faith stretching.
Once in the field their cross-cultural experiences have a tendency to rock their sense of normal.
Jeremy says, “The extreme poverty the teams encounter in the migrant workers camps is overwhelming for Canadian kids.” On the last day of the trip, one team member gave all of her clothes, except the ones on her back, to the kids in the orphanage. What mom and dad or for that matter, pastor, wouldn’t be proud of generosity like that?
Soccer, jump rope, singing, and hanging out with the children were the staple activities each day.
One team member says, “I grew closer to God in ways I can’t even explain. Couldn’t have asked for a better 10 days!”
Soap And More S.O.A.P.
Soap was a valuable commodity and concept during the trip.
Clean hands were vital for keeping intestinal challenges at bay.
Clean hearts bonded the team together. Each day, team members were expected to read a devotional and follow the S.O.A.P. method of Bible study (Scripture / Observation / Application / Prayer). They recorded their reflections in their journals. For some, this was their first consistent experience with “daily devotions.”
Each evening the team gathered for a debrief where they shared “hi-lites,” “low-lites” and “God winks.” Every team member testified to what God was doing in their lives on the trip.
Enroute back to Canada, the team stayed over in San Diego, held a worship service and went to Aquatica.
Pastor Jeremy purchased all of the passes for the team. When the passes were printed off, every team member’s last name was changed to “Gifford.” A great time was had by “Dad” and his team family.
Thank you to everyone who invested in this missions team by buying leaves from “The Giving Tree,” purchasing tacos, donating money and praying. Stay tuned for the 2017 Anomaly Missions trip.
APPLICATION: Please leave a comment for Jeremy and the team below.
I write to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose. If this material is helpful to you, please follow me.
- Subscribe. I’ll put helpful content into your email box early Mondays and Thursdays, as well as upcoming events at North Pointe Community Church, Edmonton, Alberta.
- Follow on Twitter. I daily tweet info I think you’ll be interested in.
- Friend on Facebook. If you “like” my page, let me know you found me here.
- Connect on Linkedin. I like this because it reminds me what people think I’m good at.