So, there is a rule when you go on a trip with Back2Back Ministries, “do not talk about past trips.” It is an important rule because they don’t want people who are first timers to feel left out. It is a rule that we all try to follow. However, it does become a joke sometimes for us when we accidentally bring up or compare past trips.
This is the forth trip my family and I have made. It is something that has become a part of us. None of us can imagine a June without visiting the team and orphans in Monterrey, Mexico. Every year is different in it’s own way and life changing. That is how I always describe my trips “Life Changing.” I truly mean it too. However, there are always a few consistent things we can look forward too. At least, so I thought.
There are a couple of treats for us to look forward to when we go. The pool after a hard days work, Kathy’s cooking for dinner, water balloon fights, Mexican soda, and El Pollo Loco. My kids talk about El Pollo Loco all year long. For those of you who don’t know, it is an amazing fast food restaurant in Mexico. I would try to describe, but I just can’t. It took my son about an hour to realize it was not on the schedule when we got there. “It is OK. Something better will come up.” This is what we kept telling ourselves and something better did come up. We got to go to the church the kids in the orphanage we serve in attend and got to spend extra time with the orphans who don’t get to go “home” on the weekends. We also got to meet a little girl that thinks stickers are the best birthday present ever.
After three years, we have created some true bonds. This is something we look forward to every year. Some are with the kids and some are with people who work at Back2Back Ministries. These missionaries are true inspirations. One of the men my husband waits all year to see is Jose. He takes care of teenage boys. He teaches them how to cope with stress through art. Jose is an amazing artist and we look forward to visiting his home every year because his studio is there. He sells his beautiful artwork and uses the money to go on trips to Israel. Not only that, my husband and Jose can talk for hours about anything and everything. Guess what, we did not go to his house this year. Instead we went on a field trip with the teenage boys Jose cares for and Jose was not even there. My husband was heartbroken. “It is OK. Something better will come up.” It did. Our field trip with the boys involved a four mile hike and a lot of adventure. My husband started a belly flop contest with American and Mexican children and for a time language meant nothing. The teenagers who are not cute and cuddly got to be the center of attention for once.
However, I did not want my husband to have a broken heart. So I begged the staff for help. God made just enough time for Jose to come see us with some of his paintings right before we left Mexico. I think the group bought almost all of them. We also made a special request for next year. And my husband did get to talk with Jose for a little while. Also, we did not miss El Pollo Loco completely. This is what it ended up looking like: a take out picnic with good friends.
So, the much needed lesson I really needed to learn: It’s not all about me. It is not about my expectations. Even though I had the best intentions for my kids and my husband. I could not see the whole picture until God choose to reveal it to me. Even when we are doing what God asks we still need to be patient. Our expectations may not be nearly good enough. God always has the best plan. So, keep telling yourself, “It is OK. Something better will come up.”
By: Robin Kercher