In March 2007 I was fortunate enough to be able to travel with my church to the Piedras Negras area of Mexico. Piedras Negras is just across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas. We made our way there in several large vehicles and the trip took probably 14 hours.
At Eagle Pass, Texas we stopped for some supplies and to stretch a little bit. While we were in the Wal-Mart, one of the cashiers became vocally irritated at "our kind", meaning the type of people that take supplies across the border to do missionary work with the poorer communities. Her perception was that the government paid missionary groups to go across the border and thus we werent truely a missionary group. Well, possibly that does happen with some groups but it was not the case with ours.
We stopped in a small colony (sorry, I cannot remember the name) and we were treated to a feast of sorts. This particular colony looked rather poor. The building that we ate in was also in poor shape but the service was terrific and the food even better.
Afterwards we left for Zaragoza, which was the location we would be staying at. In Zaragoza, we stayed in a beautiful ranch called Rancho Dos Countries. There were seperate bunking areas for the men and women. There was a rather large ranch house with a seperate dining area. Tables were set up out side the kitchen area and a hot springs creek ran through the property within a short distance of the tables.
We visited several of the little towns around Zaragoza including Morelos, Piedras Negras, and Nava. At each town we set up a little trailer with supplies that an eye doctor could use to do check ups. We passed out approximately 500 pairs of glasses in the week that we were there. We also reach out to them with love and ministry. Several people accepted Jesus that week.
The children were amazing. In each town, we set up tables and booths to try to entertain the children. One lady drew cartoons on their faces and arms as mock tattoos. We played games with them. We handed out candy. Their smiles were infectious. The best part about the children, for me, was how attracted to my camera they were. They loved getting their pictures taken.
It is amazing to me, that in such poor conditions there are people with truly loving, gentle hearts. I could easily say that I was blessed much more than the people that I met that week. Hopefully, they were touched as well.