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The purpose of hosting short-term mission trips is always two-fold. The first is the obvious, to take advantage of the extra sets of hands to make progress on the various projects we have here in Laredo. The second reason is less obvious, but important nonetheless. It is to minister to those doing the volunteering.

It never ceases to amaze us the impact that these short-term mission trips have on the missionaries themselves. When you have all your needs and even wants met, you do not always realize how frail and needy you actually are. Sometimes we see people that may not live in nice homes or have nice things and we feel sorry for them, when in reality, we are ourselves are also in need of “saving.” Many of our missionaries come to that realization once they get here in Laredo and it opens up great opportunities for the pastors to minister to their hearts and show them how Christ came to heal their wounds too. Many times we don’t even realize the impact we had on the missionaries until we read their comments in the mission surveys which you read in the section below entitled “In Their Own Words.” We are therefore thankful that our most recent team, Sophie’s Choice, also was greatly impacted.

Sophie’s Choice did a stellar job here in Laredo. They had the unenviable task of working at the ranch after a day of rain which translates to a muddy mess. They planted many vegetables to include squash without complaints.

Some members continued to make progress in the Colorado House by painting the fence while others finished up some pieces in the ceramic room. All got to participate in the Silver Star program as well as distributing food to needy families in Pueblo Nuevo and El Primero.

Thank you team members of Sophie’s Choice!  Randy Shaw, Lora Dotter, Marla Hanlin, Saul Martinez, Sally Gatchel, Jenny Lietke, Akeem Scott.

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In Their Own Words

“My experience in Laredo changed my views on a lot of things. It gave me a chance to see the other side of things and how people live day-to-day with just necessities to live and they are always grateful and appreciative. The one thing that did it for me was when we visited the stables and I met this little boy, the smile on his face when I began speaking to him was priceless. I didn’t understand what I was getting into when I signed up but I learned a lot about myself, these people, and how bad the world really can be.”

“I felt welcomed with opened arms and all the beauty that was around me and that the mission will continue to do great things. And I hope to always be a part of that. And I see how God has given Lucy and Luis a great job. To see the kindness and love for Laredo was overwhelming. My heart will always be with the people of Laredo and that I will be grateful for what I have and learn to forgive and let God have it.”

“My experience in Laredo has been life changing. There is no other way to describe my experience. Thank you for helping me to change my heart and my life.”

“This was my first true mission trip. I had mostly only served by packing food/helpful items or giving money from behind the scenes, not face-to-face. This experience has helped me see that I not serving others because I feel sorry for them and what they don’t have, but only because I LOVE THEM as God’s children. The chance to hug the elders and look them in the eyes to let them know they are loved just as much as when they were tiny children was very impactful to me. To meet [one of the workers], who maybe at one point did not think life was worth living, work hard and smile all day long helps open my heart just a little more as I have been there and know how hard it is to do that. I pray for him and his children. For Lucy to share her past with me was very special. She showed me how forgiveness and an open heart can change you and others who follow you in so many ways. Even if I am not ready to all that yet, I have at least opened the door to peek out. Lastly, to know I work with others that are truly servants helps me to trust I am in good hands and I am in the right place. I will never forget this experience.”

“Another amazing trip in watching a group of strangers come together as one team in just two days. Great attitude and amazing revelations were brought forward by the spirit of God. I am so thankful.”

“I came on this trip to see if KeHE cares is the real deal. And I am thankful and excited that it is. Lucy and Luis are overflowing with God’s love and joy. It has been a privilege to share these days with these new friends. I saw God ordained conversations throughout the day in an atmosphere of openness and safety. God was invited into every detail of the day and He was given the glory at the end of each day. My goal is to be an Ambassador for the Laredo Mission for my Nature’s Best co-workers.”

If you would like to do a short term missions trip, contact us or call us. If you are an individual, we can attach you to another group. If you are a company/church,/organization that would like to organize something for your employees/members, we can put something together as well. We certainly can use the help!

Author: Luisa Rodriguez is the official blogger for New Vision Community Church, daughter of Pastors Lucy and Luis DeLeon, and the author of Fruitfully Living.