Reflections by Leslie Morgans:
Back Home with my head and heart full of great memories, real relationships, and an iconic theme song from a 1970’s comedy.
Toward the end of our Mission trip to San Luis, Mexico, Zack (one of our two great leaders) started playing the theme song from the 1970’s television comedy, ‘Sanford and Son’ (Actually called “The Streetbeater” by Quincy Jones) when we rode in our van or while playing with the boys at Oasis. Since being back, I find that song still playing over and over in my head whether I am at home or work. Now that you have thought about that theme song you will have it playing in your head too while you read the rest of this blog. You are welcome.
As for the great memories, please read (or re-read) the six previous blogs written by our team members and be reminded just how much we did in a week. I could easily fall asleep each night giving thanks for all the places we visited in San Luis and Baja each day along with all the wonderful people we met and worked alongside. Back home I am reminded through network news and social media just how topical we were with our visit to the Immigrant House. This is a new ministry that Caring Hearts supports along with the local Catholic Church in San Luis. We decided as a group (with Maggie’s encouragement), many months before our trip that serving pizza to immigrants who are temporarily housed at the Border would be a wonderful way to serve as missionaries. Luis’s difficult story along with Pastor Francisco’s retelling of other immigrants’ stories will remain a powerful memory. We were privileged to listen and briefly serve those who are making national news, but more importantly had our eyes and hearts opened to suffering brothers and sisters in Christ. His ways are higher than my ways (Isaiah 55:9), thankfully.
Maggie stopped her blog at the Father’s Day Church Service (I was thankful that Dave is better than me at remembering our children’s Birthdays!). That evening we celebrated what has become a kind of tradition for Lebanon Church’s Mission Trips to San Luis. At the Oasis Boy’s Home, we make a charcoal camp style fire and invite all the Caring Hearts Staff along with our group and the boys for a do-it-yourself foil pack dinner followed by S’mores. The evening finished with much laughter, games, soccer, and dancing to the ‘Sanford and Son’ theme song (Yes, now it is playing in your head again, you are welcome!) This is a real treat for them because outdoor campfires are rare and usually reserved to celebrate the Christmas Holidays. It was very special for me in that it reminded me of the bonds of friendship and the real relationships that have grown from the trips to San Luis, Mexico. Not just with me but with all the members of our group. Joyce and Patrick were new, but easily talked of their ‘next time’ trips and took home many memories of their new friends. Ryan had not been since he was a boy, but easily fell back into playing and heartily laughing with all the boys (Ask him about playing the card game Uno). Carrie (our other great leader) had not been to San Luis for a few years, but she had her theme verse of love in 1 Corinthians 13 demonstrated repeatedly. LeAnne eagerly joined with the boys at Oasis day or night playing soccer, talking, and laughing. This was her favorite memory from her first trip and she will be back. Maggie was reunited with her friend Daniella and enjoyed rekindling their relationship. Zack and Dave both enjoyed deepening relationships that began many years ago and both talk of how it feels like home.
I agree that a visit to San Luis does feel like home. Home, in that I feel comfortable in every place we visit. Home, in that the new people I meet and the friends I have grown closer to over the years of serving alongside ever so briefly fill my heart with wonderful memories. From the woman who created art in the sand with sticks while we served her and the others who toil daily in the city dump to Maggie and Pedro who laughed endlessly while creating sand drawings and then trying to guess what they made. To Fran and I who laughed and reminisced about our children, grandchildren and how they have grown. To Adalberto who amazes me each time he teaches from the Bible. I am always thrilled to learn from his wonderful ministry. Back home I am grateful for the special bonds that are created with the others you serve with on a mission trip. Anyone who has stepped out of their comfort zone and served on a mission trip is shaking their head “yes” right now. These are all great memories and by the grace of God I will someday get called to go back again.