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 16 trips, and about 100 different people have gone to visit.
In addition to construction-oriented adult trips (with a few youth coming along), there have been two youth-oriented trips (the most recent in Summer 2008), 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 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 '08 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 May/June 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.
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.
A youth-oriented trip is being planned for February 2013.
1997 trip to build the Sanctuary, dedicated in 2000