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Athletic mission trip to Mexico: Hard to say goodbye
Monday, August 6, 2018
By Caitlin Plocheck
Athletic mission trip to Mexico: Hard to say goodbye

This morning we had to get up to say our goodbyes. It’s always difficult no matter how many times you have been on this trip.

We went to Diaz Ordaz first which is Rafael’s church. His kids are Victor and Alexander which are two teenage boys who are incredibly good at soccer and look almost identical, and daughter Joseline who is 8. No matter how you are with kids she will make you laugh just by her personality. They are all practicing their English and getting so good at it that we could almost use English majority of the time with them. We all prayed together and gave one last big hug to each of them.

Once we finally gathered ourselves to leave there we headed to the church in Colonet to say our goodbyes there. Antonio and Dulce do so much for us that we can never say thank you enough. Their kids are daughter Ilse (who is going to college soon!) and son Isai who is 12 and will give you a hug every chance he possibly gets.

When we arrived there, Andre and Abraham, who are also about 10, were also there to tell us goodbye. Andre never stops smiling, even when he is giving us hugs and knows we’re leaving, he is fighting back tears and still be trying to show us that bright smile. Abraham didn’t talk to us as much at the beginning of the trip, but by the end he was hugging just as much as the rest. He at one point during the trip picked flowers for every single one of the girls in our group and handed them out to each of us. The boys gave each of us letters and cards they created. It makes all of us satisfied knowing that if we are impacting these young crazy boys, we know we are doing God’s work here. We prayed together there as well and said our final goodbyes.

The drive after is always terrible because we know we have two hours in the vans ahead of us. Everyone is crying, silent and just wants to be with their thoughts. Like I said, I thought surely this time would be easier given my third time on this trip, and it was until we prayed at Colonet once more. It all just hits you because this place and these people hold a very special place in your heart.

Once arriving into the town of Ensenada, we went out walking around together to do some shopping and eating that wasn’t Mexican food. You love it while you’re there, but when you have other options, without tortillas, we have to change it up. We had Italian that surprisingly wasn’t bad at all, so it was a good night to ourselves to do some touristy things.

We had to get up bright and early to head back across the border, then we ate breakfast at Bryan’s 24 which serves huge portions of food and is always delicious. We’ve made it our own tradition to end the trip kind of like La Playa. I know that everyone on the trip feels the same way so I will speak for everyone, we had a fantastic week. Serving in so many ways, painting, running, laughing, cooking, practicing Spanish and English, delivering food, and just loving on everyone because in the end that’s all they really want. It is all so worth it and I know that we will continue coming to this amazing place each year and building our relationships with each other and Christ. Until next year…