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Jul 2015
"...This will be a humbling experience for all of us..."

"...The purpose of the wall is to prevent rocks from falling onto their homes. The houses are built onto the side of a mountain, and earthquakes and tremors occur often..."

"...I think one of my favorite parts about the mission trip is winding down at the end of the night, reading through the Book of James, and talking about what we saw/thought that day..."

"...This morning's mass really hit me- the first reading had a line ,"...For God likes cheerful givers..."."

"We went to one of the local restaurants, ordered donuts and drinks. I mean, there's no harm, right? We're all allowed, so might as well take the chance.
It's not like two Cuba Libres will be a bad hangover..."

"...A couple members of our team went to help at a preschool..."

"...We took our lunch break early and took the opportunity to hand out rosaries, toys for the kids..."

"...the work stopped just because los gringos had never seen a scorpion before!"

"It's the end of the night- time for a debrief with Randy. We read the first part of chapter 2, all about Sin of Partiality. As he read this line,"...have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs?" (James 2:4), the first thing that came to mind was prejudice..."

"The main message tonight was this: Are we willing to leave our comfort zones and show others the love of a Christian?
Something to pray about."

"...we played with the 2 and 3 year olds. They taught me a new word today- la pelota..."

"Going to the zoo tomorrow! We're going to have about 20-25 children from Pamplona with us..."

"The bus rides to and from were great, too! Despite the language barrier, we were all laughing, singing, having a good time."

"[She] nicknamed him the Fresh Prince of Pamplona."

"...I think the best part of this trip is bonding with the girls..."

"Considering we didn't meet each other before the mission trip, we've gotten along pretty well this past week!"

"...We skipped the work site and visited a school called Cerrito Azul..."

"...It's really amazing to see the community in San Juan de Miraflores, more specifically [him], help the people with special needs..."

"Azul- Blue is the color for autism awareness.
Cerrito- literally means "little hill"... the name of the school directly translates to "little blue hill""

"... a line of people passing rocks... breaking up boulders... mixing cement. It was a busy mountainside!"

"There's major progress on the wall- and not only that. We've made connections with the locals in Las Violetas that we didn't imagine would exist 2 weeks ago!..."

"What we do with our time here is so valuable. The wall keeps them safe, but the connections last a lifetime!"

"...I'm surprised by all the American music they listen to..."

"...The people of Pamplona have stolen my heart..."

"... I've never really had the desire to go on a mission trip before this..."

"...That good feeling you get even tough you're exhausted... There are no words to describe it..."

"...I'm going to miss the community of Las Violetas in Pamplona.
Gabriella, who calls [him] "chico malo".
Her mom, who is very wonderful.
A young mom with a very happy little boy!"

"...We went to Alegria en el Senor (Joy in the Lord), which is a school for physically disabled students..."

"It was such a special experience, to be able to see how happy they are despite their disabilities.
They see them as a blessing..."

"...Pan Para mis Hermanos (Bread for my Brothers)..."

"...It's a way for the street vendors to feel appreciated and loved. The volunteers go out once a week and hand out bread and whatever drink they have- hot tea, hot chocolate, water.
They also pray with the vendors."

"...This trip has been very humbling overall, because the things that I complain about at home are things that I take advantage of."
Elaine M Smith
Written by
Elaine M Smith  North Dakota
(North Dakota)   
     Don Bouchard and Timothy
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