Deciding what to pack for a two week missions experience can be a challenge especially if two different climates are involved. In Nanacamilpa, where Lloyd and I will visit migrant workers in their homes means gloves, hats, winter coats and layers of clothing. In the morning you can see your breath and in the afternoon you can get a suntan before it turns cold again.
Ministry supplies include items for craft classes with children – foam butterflies are used to show that God can change something unattractive like a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. For the ladies craft, there are several kinds of beads, lace, ribbon, glue and glue guns and scissors, bobby pins and barrettes. While women work together to create accessories for their hair, they enjoy chatting and they see that people thousands of miles away care enough to send supplies. In a community where Christians are suspect, relationship building is very important.
A games day is planned for children and so the suitcase needs to hold skipping ropes, a jenga game and a snakes and ladders game for competition, stuffed animals and toy cars and dresses as prizes. One of the competitions involves who can pick up the most pop and juice bottles and cans from the street to turn them in to the recycle site. A dozen or more plastic bags need to be tucked in as well.
Then there are the special items – a Spanish language children’s bible requested for 8 year old Sofie, hospitality gifts like tea towel or tablecloths or a Canadian souvenir. Bibles, notebooks and cameras and a computer to record expenses and for pictures to send back home.
What about the personal items? Absolutely essential are medications and batteries for my hearing aids. Once these things are in the suitcase, we can put in some clothes, a second pair of shoes etc.