Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Big 27

Rodolfo turned 27 on March 28th. We have been working a TON and have loved every minute of it. But i was wanting to celebrate in the midst of having to work. So, In the morning i brought Rodo his favorite bread from a bakery here and his favorite kind of coffee. Then, we worked all day. But i had a little surprise for him up my sleeve for when he was out buying materials that we need for our upcoming group. Rodo LOVES camping. So when he was gone, i made a little camping experience for us right in our backyard!

We grilled out steaks & veggies and had some baked potatoes.
What is a birthday without some Birthday Cake? Rodo likes this cake from Dairy Queen that is strawberry cheesecake. When i saw it, i was a little nervous getting it because it was all pink.. but ended up getting it anyway. AND, it was SO GOOD! we shoved his face in it and everything:)
And, Rodo thought after that night sleeping in the tent was the end of his birthday. Well, it wasn't. I got out all of our camping stuff... Pots/pans and made some breakfast burritos to complete the camping experience!
Happy Birthday Jose Rodolfo Arguello Rosas. Being your wife is such a privilege and i love you more and more every day! So pumped to be on this crazy journey we call life together WITH YOU:)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Group 3 in Mazatlan


We just had our 3rd group here in Mazatlan. This group was from LifePoint Vineyard in Ohio. It was really fun going from a group of 50 to a group of 9! We had a LOT of left overs every night because i got used to cooking for bigger groups:) With smaller groups you just have more margin to do things.
We had a blast this past week together digging holes, eating tacos, finishing the pool area at floreser, having a pizza party with the girls, eating breakfast at Ricos, putting the bridge on the play set at the salvation army home, and going on a field trip with sweet girls.
We went over to deer island on the shark boat (the picture above). We had an intense game of volleyball going. It was so fun. My new friend, Sarah, was the only one that got in the water with 4 of the girls that REALLY wanted to play in the water. Literally all day long she was in the FREEZING cold water just being a friend to girls that need friends the most. Some of them had just arrived to the house the day before and they just jumped right in playing and swimming.
We bought the girls some ice cream, said our good-byes and departed to our two separate houses. It was the perfect way to end lifepoints trip with us.

Each night we have our groups circle up for what we call debriefing. Debriefing is where a staff member just walks them through their week and asks maybe some more difficult questions, that they themselves might not think of, to get their mind going. This is one of my FAVORITE positions here at back2back. And because there is so few of us here in Mazatlan i am able to be with all of our groups that come. It is a privilege to be able to be with a group as their hostess and to hear how God is working through them as individuals and as a group. I love that when we sit and reflect on what God has for us, the possibilities are endless. No other distractions here, Just God.

It is exciting to see how evident it is that Back2Back should be here in Mazatlan. It is exciting that every person that has come on a trip has seen that first hand.
We are so pumped for groups coming up and to see what God has in store for Rodolfo and I and the ministry here in Mazatlan.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Testimony of a Group Member

I asked a couple of people from our first groups to write a testimony of their week here!

Here is what one of them had to say about their week:

"My trip to Mazatlan was my first mission trip experience, and though it only lasted a week it has changed my life for good. I left for Mexico with little idea of what I would be doing and expecting nothing more than some hard physical labor to help an orphanage in need. God had much more in plan for me; throughout the week He showed me real love and humble service again and again and opened my eyes to how I could make this mission a part of my everyday life.

My biggest fear going into this trip is that it wouldn’t last- That I would spend so much money to fly to a foreign land and spend so much energy to serve a distant community and come back home with nothing to show for it but a few blisters and a bad tan. I didn’t want this trip to become just an act of charity that I remembered to feel good about myself. I wanted to experience something that was worth the trip, something that I could not get at home. I’m happy to say that God provided that experience for me.

The thing that really got me on this trip was Everything. It wasn’t just the environment, or the hard work, or the kids, or the fellowship with group members, or the staff, or the quiet time; it was all of these things combined. This total experience was one that I couldn’t get anywhere else. The foreign environment and the hard work helped tear down my mental walls so that interactions with the orphans and my group members were truly heartfelt and real, and the staff and quiet times encouraged reflection that allowed me to process just how much God was doing in me. Because of this I was inspired to change my old habits. I was challenged to facilitate sincere love and exemplify intentional faith. These challenges came home with me and continue to affect my daily life.

Back2Back Mazatlan has developed a great program to cause this type of change. The program offered challenges through hard work and foreign environments to allow experiences that are unique and exciting. Reflection is encouraged through discussion and quiet times where you can explore what God is doing in you. Then the staff challenges you to consider how you will change because of these experiences, and what actions you will take in response. To me, this was the beauty of the trip. My fears were erased as I was challenged to change because of what I had experienced. I would return home with much more than memories. I would return with a changed perspective and a goal to make a difference.

If you are considering whether or not a long distance mission trip is right for you, I encourage you to try it out. With Back2Back Mazatlan, you benefit from sharing grace through service and receiving grace as God changes you. You are challenged to reflect while still accomplishing great things for those in need. I look forward to how this experience will influence my life for years to come."

Friday, March 16, 2012

Birthdays of people I LOVE!!!!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH- Hope you have a great day and Finley loves on you A LOT:) I love how close we have become over the years. You are such a blessing to my life and one of the first people i go to for advice. I think you are a fabulous sister and Rodo just thinks you are nemo:) Thank you for being there when i need someone! I hope you are spoiled today on your special day! We Love YOU!


Because Lonnie and Todd were in from Monterrey to help with the big group, Rodo and I were actually able to celebrate our anniversary on the actual day! What a blessing it was for us.

Since we have landed in Mazatlan we have had A TON of stuff to do while preparing for our groups and everything.

On March 5, 2012 (Our Anniversary) we took the day off and just enjoyed not having a schedule. Not needing to be somewhere at a certain time or anything. Rodo surprised me with those BEAUTIFUL flowers you see in the first picture. Then we took our dogs with us and enjoyed some beach time:) Please note since living here close to a beach, that was only our 2nd time to be at the beach!

Then the group surprised us and pulled some money together so we could go to a nice dinner!
We felt so blessed by that gesture. So, we got all dressed up and went to an awesome seafood restaurant on the beach called Cilantro's. As you can see from the 2nd picture above we ordered the big seafood platter. It was delicious.

Then after an incredible dinner we went home and watched our wedding video and our wedding reception. It was so fun reminiscing what was going on throughout our whole day at the exact time. Also, remembering that all of the people we loved were at our wedding a year ago on that date. Man, our wedding was so perfect:)

As was our 1st anniversary!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Todd and Lonnie came in from Monterrey to help with our group of 50!
So thankful for you TWO Tacos Catered In.... YUMMMM!!!!!!!!!

The group of 15 men from Riverview Church left on Friday afternoon. The College Group from MSU of 50 came Saturday afternoon.
I had the privilege of walking this group of 50 through their week. ( what we call debriefing). Seeing God move so mightily in each and every one of the students that was here was incredible.
They had a hard work week ahead of them before they even got here. Every night some ones "picture of the day" would be about mixing cement by hand or digging super deep holes, or falling into one of the holes:) That being said, the hard work that was in store for them for the week, they took it as a blessing. They were such hard workers. Some of them kept saying they have never slept so good.
They spent 2 days at the special needs home, 2 days at Salvation Army, we had a cookout at Ciudad de los ninos (City of Kids).
To end our week we went on a fieldtrip to the BOSQUE (The Forest). It was this HUGE park that had a soccer field, playground sets, a pond with turtles, and fun circle picnic tables. We invited Floreser ( The all girls home), Salvation Army home, and Rancho. We invited all these homes because there was 50 students and we don't have a home that has 50 Children. So, there was a lot of one on one time which was so sweet to watch. We packed the kids a sandwich, chips, hostess cake, and a juice. We had little picnics while watching soccer games and spending time getting to know the kids.
It is a funny thing here in Mazatlan because with these first few groups our staff is still getting to know the homes. So, when our groups are getting to know the kids and care takers better, so are we.

My picture of this week was that while we were at Bosque for the fieldtrip, i saw all the kids happy and smiling and then i look over under the pavilion and saw the caretakers all talking and enjoying snacks together. At the Salvation Army home it is a husband and wife who take care of the whole home. David and Marienela are their names. They were on a bench snuggling next to each other. Seeing them all there relaxing and not worried about their kids was a blessing for me. Knowing that for a few hours they can take a break and enjoy being outside of their home together. Seeing them talking to each other, i can only imagine the stories they can tell each other.

I am excited to get to know the children here more and more. With every fieldtrip, every work project, every word spoken we are building a new foundation here in Mazatlan. A foundation that shouts that Christ is our foundation and with every hand digging or spreading cement, that foundation is being laid. With these first few groups we have, they are helping us as Back2Back put our hands where our mouth is. We (Back2Back) have talked with each home about what Back2Back is and our purpose here. So with the groups we are literally showing them what we mean when we explain who we are. Seeing the Body of Christ act as the starting foundation is incredible. The first two groups have literally been building foundations and spiritually been laying foundations.

What a blessing to be where we are!

Loving every moment put in front of us and allowing God to lead!

Riverview Mens Group Making History

Our FIRST group here in Mazatlan, Mexico was a group of 15 men from a church called Riverview. We saw a lot of familiar faces which is always a plus.
We keep saying it was a perfect way to start off our groups here in Mazatlan. The men came ready to work and help provide supplies we needed for the future. Lets face it, guys get more excited about home depot runs more than girls do.

This group saw 3 homes. They primarily worked on concrete pours by hand, filling in a pool with dirt, and starting a playground. Oh and lets not forget the holes that were dug.
One of the days when they started digging holes for the perimeter fence out at Rancho de Los Ninos, i was able to go and just get to know the kids and the home better. What a great day for me while talking with all the caretakers, figuring out their routine, and what drove them to work with a special needs childrens home.
These workers really care for the kids there. There is a smile on everyones face pretty much all day.
As a group member you might walk in
and feel overwhelmed by kids that can't walk, talk, or communicate ,but by the end of the day you leave with a sense that Rancho has love, joy, and Christ being built into them daily.

Everytime i have left this specific home, i am overwhelmed with the need. But God continues to tell me to invest in their lives and continue to love on them one day at a time. So that is EXACTLY what we are going to do.
To end our week with the Riverview men, we took them to have quiet times and small group time on the beach. Then we headed out to the Salvation Army Childrens home to take them on a fieldtrip.
The pastor of a local church here in Mazatlan owns an aqua sports tourist store on the beach. They have everything from jet skis to parasailing to deep sea fishing.
Well for the first group Carlos (the pastor) told us we can use whatever we wanted to. So, we took him up on the offer and we had a big boat take 30 people from salvation army and the 18 of us on a big boat to an island called Deer Island. It was incredible. When we got to the island, we played volleyball, soccer, dug some holes with kids, jumped in the beach ( the water was FREEZING), and ate some yummy snacks and fresh fruit. The best part was that the kids from Salvation Army had NEVER done anything like that. Knowing that makes a fieldtrip that much better:)

Our first week was a success and it is so fun to see God move in such big ways.