Hello friends, family, RHO and all of you wonderful supporters throughout the years!
The bags are packed and the team will be meeting up at LAX in a few hours to board a 12:15 flight and head down to see our friends at the TEC Care facility and The Orchard down in the Amazon basin in Peru. The team this year has some familiar faces like Jeff and Jaden Sherod who were with us last year, and some new faces with Nick Kinnier and Nikki Munson along for their maiden voyage.
2016 will be our 9th year and 11th time returning to the Pucallpa region of Peru. As with most ongoing relationships, the passing time and shared experiences have formed a richer, deeper bond between us and the missionaries at Mision Tec: most past team members not only support one or more kids through Kids Alive, but also support at least one of the missionary families working there. We give and receive updates about each others’ lives through email, Facebook, and Skype. So when we return, it is no longer the once-a-year catch-up session it once was. Instead, we just fall into a natural, symbiotic rhythm with our friends.
A fun bonus service aspect of these trips is getting to be a blessing to the missionaries working in the jungle by bringing a whole host of items to give them a taste of home. Quite literally a taste – we have everything from giant ziplock bags of cheerios to cookie butter, teething cookies, coffee grinders, snacks and candies as well as practical items like batteries, flashlights and all kind of other items. A HUGE thing we are bringing down is all of the funds raised through incredible giving by the church family at RockHarbor Orange Church, who for the fourth year are buying all of the Christmas presents and giant Christmas party for all 200+ children served in the different clubs and programs at TEC. We actually get to go into town on Tuesday with all of the missionaries to go on an absolutely epic shopping spree as they pick out individualized toys, shoes and clothing for the kids they love and serve year-round.
Our work schedule this year will include work projects at both locations as well as participating in all of the weekly club activities with the kids in the different programs. This is especially fun because you never know exactly how the lord is going to use these time – last year Jaden sat in as the special guest for the English class at Homework Club! But as I try to explain every year, these trips really are not as much about what we “do” as they are about us just being an encouragement to the real stars of the show – the people working year-round serving these kids. Some nights it is babysitting their kids for a night so they can have an actual date night in town, some days it is just about taking over a missionary’s group of club kids for a session so they can have one-on one time with a child who needs special attention. Hey, we’ve even given haircuts and put on plays – you never know!
I will do my best to update you guys with some photos and short stories during the trip. Our days are schedule from 7am to 9pm, and the internet can be really tricky down there but we will do our best. In the meantime, can you please support our team with your prayers. Please blanket us in prayers for the general health of our team as well as the list here: