Mexico Mission Team

"I love you, Miss Connie," Raul said as he headed back to the boy's dorm.

"I love you" is something I say to my adult children whenever we talk on the phone. Sometimes it's said so routinely that the phrase loses its power. But this time, it brought tears to Connie's eyes because of the story behind it.

When the Mission team made its annual trip to Casa Hogar Elim orphanage in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, it was Mark and Connie Wilson's ninth trip. This year, five Shalimar UMC members joined the multi-church mission team: Mark, Connie, and their son Kyle along with Kyra and Aspen Lenox. It was a seven-day trip to bring love and hope to the 95 children who call Casa Hogar home.

Mark and Connie met Raul nine years ago on their very first visit. He was eight years old and full of misdirected energy acting out so much so that he became a real distraction for the other children. Raul's life's particular circumstances are not the subject here, but the children of Nuevo Laredo are often given up by parents out of desperation or find refuge there from the violence of the local drug cartel. Raul's anger issues were understandable under the circumstances. However, the Wilsons and other team members showed unconditional love to Raul while the rest of the world showed cold indifference.

Now nine years later, Raul is a confident and loving seventeen-year old young man ready to face the world with the strength of God's love. Last year, he even traveled with the mission team to Puerto Vallarta and learned what it was like to serve instead of being served. It was not the attention they gave him that first year or any particular year, but the ongoing, long-term love they showed each time they visited. Raul came to understand that he would see them again each year and count on them. In these long-term relationships, we can make a real difference in the lives of other people.

We can be so proud that our Mexico mission team is transforming these children's lives, one person at a time. We can also be proud that this is made possible through our church family's efforts and generosity. If you would like to be a part of this wonderful ministry, contact Mark or Connie Wilson. There's room on the bus for you! If you cannot go to Mexico with them, know that you are still part of the team in any way, you support them. Thanks to our church family for making this possible.
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Brian Dale

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