Since 1990, VPC has sent mission groups to our sister church in Tekax, Mexico, to experience what it means to truly live in the love of God.
We have made 17 trips, and over 100 different people have gone to visit.
In addition to construction-oriented adult trips (with a few youth coming along), there have been 3 youth-oriented trips, and one Women's Retreat.
Over these years we assisted our brothers and sisters in constructing their own church campus buildings (the sanctuary, manse, education and kitchen buildings), extending outreach to a neighboring town and building a church there (in Kancab).
In 1997, we funded an economic development plan for their community by giving them seed money to loan for local business startups.
In Spring 2008, three MdS members traveled to Portola Valley to worship with us and help us celebrate our 50th anniversary. We showed them some of our other mission projects (a Habitat build in Redwood City, serving lunch at St. Anthony Dining Room in San Francisco, a Partners in Caring seniors exercise class), held a Bible Study, and did a little sightseeing in San Francisco and Monterey.
A summer 2008 youth trip energized yet more members of VPC who fell in love with our brothers and sisters in Tekax.
Our latest endeavor is a partnership that installed a Living Waters for the World water filtration and purification system on the MdS grounds, providing their congregation and some of their community with clean water. A survey trip to Tekax by three of us in Spring 2009 found them excited about this next phase. They purchased the house adjacent to the church for the system, and the three of them who hold US travel visas returned here in Oct 09 for LWW training in Calvin Crest, CA.
A large group from VPC visited Tekax in Feb 2010 to install the LWW system. We installed, we taught local educators, we helped the educators teach the community, we laughed, we sang, we worshiped. About 350 people from the MdS community watched the dedication of their clean water system. And then we said our goodbyes, amidst tears, saying "hasta luego" - because we will return twice in the next 2 years to monitor their use of this system. Tekax Memories 20102010 YROS Installation Report
We returned in 2011 (only Ted and Anita) to check up on the LWW system, and found that they had added a second raw water tank and were producing more clean water than expected.
We returned in 2012 with a group of 10. We found they had dug a well to increase their raw water during the dry season (when municipal water is spotty). We funded a well pump and connection to the raw water tanks with a loan of $3200. During this trip we again taught some water health and hygiene classes to all ages to reinforce the teaching of 2010. 2012 Follow-up Trip Report
In February, 2013, 13 youth, and 11 adults traveled to Tekax. The group, led by Cathy Bowers and Jana van de Goor, enjoyed a very full, fun, and blessed visit. The visit included some work, some home visitation, participation in school English lessons, play, and prayer. Each heart was blessed, and transformed, and each traveler experienced the amazing love and community of these wonderful Mayan people.
Here are the trip highlights, as written by Cathy Bowers:
We toured the Living Waters for the World plant/storefront, painted the pastor's manse, and played soccer games with the Tekax youth and young adults. Building on the wonderful relationships begun and nurtured over 20+ years.
We worshipped together twice with passionate live music.
We visited Marlena's school for 3 days and read with the children, and they read to us. Their reading in English was quite good and we all had fun.
The Girl Scouts on our trip, led by Dana, Audrey and Jordan, donated many children's books to Marlena's school, which were collected through a big book drive back home before we departed.
Each of our small groups did home visits accompanied by elders of the church, visiting local families including some benefitting from the Living Waters for the World free water program.
Living Waters for the World is proving to be a wonderful mission and outreach tool for Christ into their local community!
We were blessed to visit Monte de Sion's outreach church in the village of Kancab, to see what God is doing through our Tekax brothers and sisters, as their love spills outside their local community.
One of our groups visited an orphanage where some of our youth got to read and share with the children.
Cynthia McNaughton, our nurse, gave two nutritional and health talks, with Bruce Bowers as her translator/assistant, and took a lot of the parishioners' blood pressure. The talks were very well attended.
We enjoyed many delicious meals -- breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day at church -- made with love by our gracious hermanas of the church.
We visited the hilltop chapel one magical night where we sang songs, shared and gave testimony of our joy in Christ and our relationship.
On the last night, they serenaded us, and showered us with song, laughter and love, and more delicious food.
1997 trip to build the Sanctuary, dedicated in 2000