S: St. Andrew Mission Society - Servants in Cercado 2012
FC: St. Andrew Mission Society February 23rd thru March 4, 2012 | "Servants in Cercado"
1: St. Andrew Mission Society | Greetings: St. Andrew Mission Society (SAMS) was formed in 2000 by five members from St. Andrew, West Fargo, ND -- Pastor Zellers, Sara Moreland, Kathy Schmidt, and Kirk & Judy Rosin. The reason for setting up the Mission Society at that time was to pull together mission-minded people for the purpose of reaching others outside of our church through mission trips. | The St. Andrew Mission Society has taken 12 trips into Mexico, from 2001 through 2011, but during that time there have also been 11 other trips into Mexico that we have been a part of, which were organized by other church groups who asked for our assistance and/or guidance and most of them, for the use of our bus. There has always been a core group from St. Andrew that go on these trips, but organizers and trip participants have come from all over North Dakota, as well as Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana, Iowa, Nebraska, Texas and Indiana. We make these trips to reach out beyond our church and our country's borders to share the Gospel and assist the churches in Mexico through helping with and funding building projects, running VBS's, bringing Bibles and other printed Christian materials, and organizing giveaways of quilts, school and health kits, layettes, clothing and shoes. The group's prayer is that their time and efforts are a blessing and encouragement to the churches in Mexico, that their churches would continue to grow in numbers, in faith, and in outreach to their community. Many thanks to all who have donated money and time by putting together kits and sending along other donated items to aid the team and our Mexican brothers and sisters in Christ in reaching out with the love of Jesus. To God be all the glory!
2: "We make these trips to reach out beyond our church and our country's borders to share the Gospel and assist the churches in Mexico through helping with and funding building projects, running VBS's, bringing Bibles and other printed Christian materials, and organizing giveaways of quilts, school and health kits, layettes, clothing and shoes." | The group's prayer is that their time and efforts are a blessing and encouragement to the churches in Mexico, that their churches would continue to grow in numbers, in faith, and in outreach to their community. " | Why We Do What We Do ... | Our Prayer
3: The first trip for our newly formed Mission Society, in the summer of 2000, was an "in-state" servant event trip to Shepherd's Hill in Bottineau to help with a building project there. After that, we reached farther out and since then our trips have been to Mexico. We traveled to Saltillo, Mexico, in 2001. After dealing with all the challenges of seventeen of us caravaning in three vans, later that year we decided to purchase our first bus. In 2002 we made two trips, flying to El Paso in January, staying in El Paso and driving back and forth across the border into Juarez every day. In March of that year, we took our bus to Sicachique, Mexico. In the Fall of 2002 we replaced our bus with a newer one, after the first one broke down and we decided it was not worth repairing. In 2003 we made one trip, splitting our group into two teams, one staying in El Paso, and the second team again traveling on to Sicachique. In 2004 our mission team went to Rio Bravo, Mexico. In 2005 and 2006 we stayed in Laredo, Texas, and traveled every day across the border to work in Nuevo Laredo. In the summer of 2006, we decided to purchase a newer bus so that we might be able to get into Mexico easier. In 2007 we took a team to Rio Bravo, and in 2008 it was Atongo. The 2009 group split into two teams, half of them working in Rio Bravo, and the other half in Reynosa. Our 2010 trip was to Tula, and in 2011 we took a team to Villa Mainero, Mexico. In 2012 our mission team went to the village of Cercado Coahuila, Mexico (Approx one hour southwest of Saltillo, Mexico) Other locations we have gone to in Mexico with other groups include LaBoca, Villa Mainero, Torreon, and other churches in Saltillo. | Past Missions | While Helping Others | Reflecting Christ's Love
4: Leaving at 6:00 p.m. from Fargo, North Dakota on St. Andrew Mission Society's bus, our destination was Sioux Falls, South Dakota. | Relaxing and Getting Acquainted | Getting Settled In | Day 1
5: Day 2 - A Day of Travel | Catching a few Z's in South Dakota
6: D A I L Y | evotions | O N G S | Participation
7: Before retiring for the evening, we had a choice of nearby restaurants. | Arriving in Oklahoma
8: Some stretched their legs a little in the church gymnasium. We were so blessed to have other congregations open their doors to help us!
9: Devotions, prayer, and . . . | bedtime
10: We arrived in Laredo, Texas where we stayed at the Latin American Lutheran Mission (LALM). LALM’s strategy has always been to train Mexican nationals as pastors and missionaries. It conducts Bible institute training and extension classes. The Laredo mission station has seven outposts in Nuevo Laredo and other locations across the border in Mexico. Short-term missions historically have performed a valuable function for LALM, although with the recent outbreaks of drug cartel related violence, their focus in the future will be on training pastors and missionaries. Other activities they are involved in include helping with Bible school, maintenance, street ministry, music, and health care. | We unloaded some of the gifts, clothing and other items donated to the needy in Mexico. LALM will see to the distribution of the items we could not take across the border with us.
11: Meal time, and . . . Changing from our bus to vans which will take us into Mexico, and . . . An unexpected treat!
12: Border documentos necesario el pasaporte . . . | Practicing the Mexican Traditions of . . . Fiesta and Siesta
13: It took several hours to get across the border, as the rules had changed now requiring even children to have a passport and not just an original birth certificate and photo ID. Only after leaving a small "gift" of money with a border patrol officer (as a token of our appreciation) were we allowed to cross the border into Mexico! | A "token" of our Appreciation | As we went across the border, we were directed to pull over and empty our trailer. This would have taken quite a long time, and since were were already behind schedule due to some passport issues, we prayed that God would intervene. That is when a border patrol officer came up and told the other officers to let us through. She was a Christian she stated, and she appreciated our mission. Praise God! After leaving Neuvo Laredo, we traveled towards Saltillo. On the way, we were stopped by the Policia Federal de Caminos (Federal Police of the roads ). Our experienced and fearless leader, Pastor Erickson, did the talking, and he came back to the van seeking Bible study literature, stating that the officer was interested in materials he could read about the Second Coming of Christ! We rejoiced in the Lord's hand of protection over us, and His allowing us to be used to spread God's Word! | Watching Over Us
15: The congregations of the Saltillo and Cercado churches came to greet us, and led us the last several miles down the unpaved roads to Cercado. | buenas noches
18: Upon our arrival in Cercado, we learned that a church family had prepared a meal for us. Even though we arrived several hours late, our hosts were anxious for our arrival, and had kept the food hot and ready.
20: Kitchen & Sleeping Room Accommodations We were pleased to have use of the building below as our kitchen, and we felt safe and secure in the school house where we slept. | Settling In
21: Donde esta el banyo?
22: Building a church is why we went to Cercado. Building the foundation and walls takes tools, muscle, and sweat. Building relationships by reflecting Christ's love is the the cornerstone to our church building. | Church Building
23: A Labor of Christian Love | Building Relationships
28: We came with our construction expert, hard working good people with lots of willingness to help, and a little muscle, too! | When it was time to go, there were tears and hugs shared with our new friends in Christ, and promises to keep them in our prayers.
32: VBS | Vacation Bible School | After school was out for the day, flyers were handed out to spread the news about VBS.
33: Both young and old came to VBS
37: At the end of the day, we gathered outside to share a time of fellowship and worship with our Cercado and Saltillo friends. God provided the blanket of beauty overhead.
40: S.A.M.S. donated sports equipment, including baseball bats and balls, basketballs, soccer and tennis balls to the school at Cercado. | The Cercado school teacher accepts the gifts. | The Kitchen is Where it's Happening ! ! !
41: Kitchen Duty
44: We had FUN !
50: When Shelly washed several people's hair, it reminded me of the story of Jesus washing His diciples’ feet. John 13:1-17 tells the story: It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” | 9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
52: It's CARNIVAL Day!
53: St. Andrew Mission Society has a tradition of hosting a Carnival on the last day of the mission. In addition to the fun and games that are enjoyed by all, there is also a time to give those items that have been so generously donated by so many "friends of S.A.M.S." These items generally include donations of school supplies, shoes, clothing, backpacks, toys, blankets, quilts, and so many other things. It is so touching to see others receive and appreciate the items that are donated.
63: S a y i n g "A d i o s "
64: Miscellaneous Pictures
71: Policia Federal de Caminos
72: St. Andrew Mission Society
73: February 23rd March 4, 2012