S: OSI 2011
FC: Mexico 2011 "Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth." –1 John 3:18
1: Once upon a time, God called two people to serve the poorest of poor in Mexico City in collaboration with Operation Serve International. Those two people were Elliot and Amy McConnell. This is the story of their journey in the will of God, July 23-30, 2011.
2: July 23, 2011 | 5:00 AM - Arrive at church 5:30 AM - Head to airport 7:10AM - US Airways from Harrisburg to Charlotte 9:50AM- US Airways from Charlotte, to Mexico City 12:30PM - Arrive in Mexico, meet OSI staff, experience first taxi ride in Mexico City en route to hotel 5:30PM- Dinner in hotel lobby 6:30PM- Orientation in Rm 1105 8:15- Team devotions 9:30- Bed
3: In the midst of so many details, God was an ever-present help. The entire team made it safely to the hotel with few problems along way. How glad I am that our God is the God of details!
4: God put together such an incredible team. Despite our size (21 total just from Living Water), there was complete unity and love demonstrated through the week.
5: Welcome Packets | Studying the handbook | Home sweet home for one whole week! | Our lovable buses- almost broken but always survived! | A local school
6: July 24, 2011 Day Off Trip to Teotihuacan
7: Psalm 135:5 For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. | The Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon: Built by a pre-historic civilization with no machines and no pack animals, all in an effort to please their gods...still so many people working to earn salvation...still so many people who need Jesus!
8: The rest of the week was filled with service in the name of Jesus Christ. With a holistic approach to ministry, OSI seeks to address physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual issues through their work. People lined up for blocks to register and be seen for physical problems, many not realizing that their day at the clinic would change their eternity! | Loading the bus with the day's supplies | Practicing our Spanish | Beginning every day with worship and devotions
9: Almost every day when we arrived there were lines of people waiting to register for the services being offered. In total, we served over 1700 people in 5 days. There was never a lack of opportunity to invest in lives. By the grace of God, we were able to meet most of those needs or refer them to somone who could.
10: Service through TRIAGE care | Blood pressure checks | Pharmacy | Glucose level checks
11: After the physical check, Dr. Ron gave a spiritual and emotional check to the patient, often opening windows into the patient's heart and soul. | Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine,but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. | A lady came for some basic physical care and shared her story with Dr. Ron. She had a severely disabled son (age 30) for whom she did everything. Her husband had also recently passed away. She was purely exhausted. What she needed was support and love. At the end of her time in triage, the ladies in the church wrapped their arms around her and set her up with a support system in the church. Praise God!
12: Service through DENTAL CARE
13: Working in with the dentist in Mexico was a great experience for me. My job was to sterilize the dental tools after they were used. This process took about 45 minutes each time the whole through. Even though it was a long time consuming process it had to be done in order to ensure the tools were clean before they were used again. During the duration of the week it was sometimes difficult to work in dentistry when all the kids were playing soccer, but in the end I got to do both things and it was one of the best experiences of my life. ~Josh Eichelberger
14: Service through OPTICAL care
15: A pastor came in to have his eyes checked. As it turned out, our own pastor was the one who was able to give him glasses. When the Mexican pastor put on his glasses he pulled out a magnifying glass from his pocket and asked his wife to bring his Bible to him. Inside, every page was covered in notes that he had written while using his little magnifying glass to read the Word. Pastor Mike said he couldn't help but cry over the love for God this man had. What a beautiful testimony of devotion to the Lord! | Testing distance of vision | ¿Cuál es mejor- uno o dos? | Finding the right glasses
16: Service through HAIR AND NAIL care
17: "One of the most memorable moments in hair and nails was when we learned that the nail polish remover did not work at all. It did jack squat so you had to sit there scrubbing their nails for like 20 minutes before it all came off. This is something in the US that would be a travesty or end of the world-like for us. However the women did not mind because that meant they had more time to feel "pampered" and talk to you. I think they felt a sense of escape and felt special. It was just touching to see that getting their nails done, no matter how long and arduous the process, was something truly exciting to them!" ~Jelly Holmes, nails
18: Service through JEWELRY making
19: "Give a man a fish, and you've fed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, and you've fed him for a lifetime." | Jewelry making was a new area for OSI, and it went very well. The goal was to train people how to make jewelry in order for them to make an income from it in the future. Those who participated loved it, and I believe it gave them a creative outlet that many never had before.
20: Loving on the Children
22: Triage: 191 served | Dental: 54 served | Optical: 495 served | Haircare: 134 served | Final Stats | But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. ~Matthew 10:30-31
23: Nails: 2,680 painted | Jewelry: 154 served | Children's Ministry: 355 served | Haircuts: 71 served | Total Served: 1722
24: The greatest number of all... | 307 Salvations
25: At the first church, I was able to meet 13-year old Litzy who had recently started attending the church. She was the only one in her whole family who attended church. During her time with us on the first day, she made a necklace. That night she gave it to her mom. The follow-ing day, her mom came with her to see what we were doing. While there, she heard the story of Christ’s love for her and the salvation she could receive from Him, and she became a believer in Jesus Christ! Litzy came right over to find me and tell me the good news. Her whole face was glowing with joy! If that had been the only life changed during our time in Mexico, I whole-heartedly believe it would have been worth it. | Litzy | Mama Rosi (OSI coordinator) and Litzy
26: This was the my third consecutive trip to Mexico City and it is consistently a joy. I love the city; I love having the opportunity to serve the people of Mexico; and I love spending seven days with members of our Living Water family. Watching each member of our team so joyfully and faithfully serve brought great joy to my heart. I loved laughing on the bus, praying together during the evenings; exploring the city; and most of all showing the love of Jesus to the Mexican people who I may never see again this side of heaven. Every year this trip brings to life Romans 10, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “ How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" What a great privilege it is to me the one who brings the Good News. ~Pastor Mike
27: I came into this experience without any real expectations, as I didn’t know enough to expect anything. What really struck me was the amazing opportunity to live a New Testament experience 24/7 for a week. If you look at Acts 2:42-47, what was spelled out in that passage we got to do – daily: worship, the Word, prayer, fellowship (even swing dancing was spiritual!), giving, sharing and loving. Watch those who become part of the family grow in numbers– daily. And God’s presence was very near, at all times. I tend to get emotional when I sense God’s presence (what do you do with all of Him? My vessel cannot contain it, and it just spills out!), so whether during worship, in which the tears flowed freely, or the privelage of praying with everyone after fitting them with glasses, I would get choked up as I sensed God moving through me to the people I was praying for. It was very powerful. While I recognize they couldn’t recognize what I said in English, I trust that they felt God’s presence and love through my prayers. I look forward to fully understanding that impact when meeting some of the folks I prayed for in Mexico in heaven someday ~John Holmes, optical
28: Mexico City and my life in the United States are very different and yet I found similarities. Probably the most profound similarity that at the same time increased my passion for service to these people was the love a mother has for her children. As a mother of two children, I know the deep love, many times sacrifical, that consumes me for my children. | My role in Optical was to take eye readings using an auto-refractor. After triage, I was the first point of contact with every individual that came through the Optical station. I met many mothers bringing their children for eye exams and then often coming back to receive services for themselves once their childrens needs had been met. One particular mother was being fitted for eye glasses by my husband. The glasses looked particularly stylist on the woman so I asked an interpreter to communicate that to her. The interpreter did and the woman smiled from ear to ear. After the exam was over, she approached me and said that she appreciated my kind words but she was more thrilled at the prospect of going home and seeing her four children. She shared with me that her vision had been bad for quite a long time, so much so that she had not been able to see the definition of features on her childrens' faces because her vision was so blurry. Now with these glasses she was able to see much better and could not wait to go home and look upon their beautiful faces. It was very hard to remain composed at that moment as I recognized the blessing that I had not truly appreciated for many years and that was seeing my own two childrens' faces clearly on a daily basis. I cannot imagine not having my sight to see and appreciate my children and those that I love. The following day, this particular woman blessed my heart by returning and bringing 2 of her 4 children for me to see. She was beaming from ear to ear and wearing her new glasses. What a tremendous blessing it was to serve the Mexican people by helpig to restore their sight. ~Shari Holmes, optical
29: What God taught the McConnells...
30: Throughout the week, children would come up to us and ask for something; typically a new coloring page, or to play with the ball or jump rope. We quickly found that there are about fifty different words for each of those items! It would sometimes take several minutes of talking back and forth (with our broken Spanish) to determine what they were asking for. However, during the entire dialogue, the children never became frustrated or angry, nor did they simply take what they wanted and run off. Rather they would pause, attempt to rephrase their request, and persevered until the language barrier was broken. "Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright." (Proverbs 20:11) | Elliot
31: Amy | How can I summarize all that God showed me in Mexico? He taught me patience not only with others but with His plans as well. I went on this trip thinking I would be in the children's area because of my school project. I ended up in jewelry not sure as to what God had in mind. His plans were perfect. I not only got to use teaching skills to help the ladies, but I also got to use my Spanish to help translate between the nationals and my team members. He also taught me trust. His ways are not my ways, and His power is all I need. When it seemed impossible to serve the hundreds of people waiting in line, He gave strength and provision to care for all of them. He had everything worked out before I could even worry about it. He truly is an amazing God!
32: Little children, let us not love in word or talk... | ...But in deed and in truth I John 3:18