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Mexico Mission Trip

Teen Beat Reporter Daniel Wetter is heading down to Mexico with around 1,000 other teens to build houses.

This mission is the largest in the world, Bayside Church leaders say.

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SACRAMENTO-

Teens with Bayside Church returned from a trip to Mexico last week with memories that will last a lifetime.

Many came back wanting to serve even more and build more friendships.

Daniel Wetter joined Paul and Bethany on the Big Red Couch Wednesday morning to talk about the trip.

volunteers

Volunteers from Bayside Church raise the side of a new home they are building.

MEXICALI, Mexico-

A 300-square-foot home may sound like a nightmare, but to a man in Mexico, it is heaven on earth.

A group of teens and group leaders from Bayside Church spent their Spring Break near Mexicali. There they helped the community with donations of items, their time, and their hard work.

Siriaco lived in a house made of twigs. “You may not believe this, but I even would paint a cross on the ground hoping God would help it not to rain,” he said.

Now, just feet away from that house of twigs, he was given the keys to his new house – stocked with food, furniture and clothes.

“I’ve never been in a house this beautiful in my life, so I am overwhelmed, filled with happiness, filled with excitement,” said Siriaco, “I can’t compare something this beautiful to something I would get wet in.”

“It’s heartwarming to see this man come from these conditions you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy to something that only he could dream about,” said Sally, who helped build Siriaco’s home.

Siriaco didn’t ask for the granite countertops or the crown molding, just a few crosses.

“But I really want  the two crosses in front of the house so that everybody pass by will see that I’m a Christian, and how god changed my life, and how god changed my living condition,” said Stefan Beldean with Bayside Church, quoting Siriaco’s request.

Just 300-square-feet, heaven on earth in the eyes of some.

MEXICALI, Mexico-

Bayside Church is down in Mexico serving the locals there, but the teens that went are also being impacted by what they’re doing.

You could call it a case of when you park it, they will come.

Bayside Church mission groups were parked for less than a few minutes in one Mexicali neighborhood. But it was long enough for a stampede of people to surround their vehicles.

“I have so much, and to come out here to kids who have nothing, and they’re so happy about little things like socks. We have like a bajillion socks at home, it’s just cool,” said high school student Cole Boid.

From clothing to food to bibles, the group gave everything they could — even prayer for Basti Cortes-Lopez.

“I just recently lost family members. A sister-in-law and a nephew, and going through that has been hard, so having you guys pray with me brings a lot of joy to my heart,” Cortes-Lopez said.

It’s the simple giving of time that makes these local kids run every day to greet the mission teams.

“They always want to be around us. They want to spend time with us. We’re like Christmas for them,” said student Josh Sapienza.

Sapienza doesn’t have to speak the same language to know how much fun the kids are having.

“Especially when you see where they’re living in these shacks and these huts, when you can make them smile and you can make them just laugh, it’s the most amazing thing in the world,” he said.

That could be the reason leaving is so hard.

“This is my fourth year doing this, and it hurts every time I leave, I mean, because you make bonds with these kids, and it’s really hard to break those bonds.”

Local News
03/28/13

Hard to Say Goodbye

Teen Beat Reporter Daniel Wetter talks to teens as they wrap up their trip to Mexico to make a difference.

MEXICALI, Mexico-

It’s usually pretty easy to get a wheelchair in the US, but in Mexico, it’s a whole different story.

A small, simple sign posted on a nondescript box truck in Mexico simply reads, “damos sillas de rued as” – or, “we’re giving out wheelchairs.”

“In our adventure to try to find people, what we’ve done, is we’ve literally just made a sign,” Bayside Church volunteer Rob Webb said.

And it didn’t take long. Maria Dolores brought her son, Gabriel.

“I was losing hope that I would get a new chair,” Dolores said.

Gabriel has been living with spina bifida, a condition that has paralyzed him. And the news got even worse.

“In the hospital during the month that he stayed there with kidney failure, they told her that he was basically on his death bed,” Dolores said.

Gabriel is doing better now. He’s no longer hospitalized, but his wheelchair just didn’t fit.

“He really needs this transportation to help him have a good life,” Webb said.

So with the help of Bayside Church Mission teams and an organization called Johnny and Friends, Gabriel got a new chair.

“I feel very happy,” he told FOX40.

Yet another life changed because of a simple sign measuring 22 inches by 15 inches.

MEXICALI, Mexico—

You know what they say: a picture is worth a thousand words. But, for some, it’s worth much more.

“A photo is a simple thing, we all take it for granted, but not everybody has ever really had a photo taken of them,” said Bayside Photographer Darren Takegami.

And in Mexico, family portraits are a common thing to go without.

“A lot of these kids have never had a formal picture,” Takegami said. That’s exactly why the photo studio was brought to them.

Complete with two professional photographers, lights, printers and – of course – the smiles.

“You know, these kids, they don’t have much, but they’re really happy, and that’s something to be said about not having things, but still being very, very happy with life,” Takegami said.

Margarita Guerro had her portrait taken for the first time in her life – something that brought her to tears.

In Spanish, she said “I’m very happy. Thank you.”

And although it’s clear she’ll remember this day for a long time, she won’t have to. Because, in this case, the picture wasn’t worth a thousand words – just a few joyful tears.

“I’m going to save it to remember you all,” Guerro said.

MEXICALI, Mexico

Siriaco lives in a house made of straw.

“Lots of people in the states would not keep even their animal in this kind of condition because it’s very difficult to live on,” he told FOX40.

And that kind of condition— a house made out of twigs. Something that Siriaco has been living in for nearly 30 years.

“Day and night, it rained continuously, and I had to hide myself, and I hid underneath a table where I had plastic to keep my clothes dry because I couldn’t stay in my bed anymore, so I had to hide myself underneath the table to keep myself dry,” Siriaco said.

Siriaco’s bedroom is not something that most of us would consider a bedroom, with brush for the roof and the walls.

“It just made me realize how much of my life I take for granted, and how thankful I should be,” said Karissa Barnson, college student and Bayside Church volunteer.

Siriaco’s pay is 500 pesos a week. As of this writing, he only has one peso to his name. That would translate to about 10 cents in the United States.

“He has nothing. Nothing to do on a day, but he’s happy. He’s happy because he has god in his life, and that’s the amazing part about it,” Barnson said.

But now, he’ll be even happier. Bayside Church Mexico Mission teams are building him a house this week.

Siriaco is very happy, because he says he won’t get wet when it rains.

Local News
03/25/13

New Home for Man who Lives in Twigs

Teen Beat Reporter Daniel Wetter joins us live via Skype to show us his latest project down in Mexico.

Local News
03/23/13

Bayside Mexico Mission Trip: Logistics

MEXICALI, Mexico–

From the homeland to a land seen more on the news for drug cartels and rampant poverty.

“It softens your heart and you just feel so sorry for everyone,” says Abbey Harmon, a Del Oro High School sophomore.

Bayside Church mission teams have crossed the border into Mexico for their yearly Spring Break trip.

“We’re here to serve the hopeless. Give people hope. Serve the poor,” says Bayside Pastor Jason Krogh.

But, before they do that, they have to get 1,000 people from one country to another – a job that is focused on for the better part of the year.

“Getting those thousand people down to Mexico can be a daunting task, but we have a group of 5 to 10 people, and that’s all they do is assigning vehicles, getting our vehicles setup to transport our students,” says John Westin, Bayside’s Mexico logistics director.

The trip requires nearly 200 vehicles all assigned to a 3-car caravan, a system of binders, and plenty of snacks.

So where do those 1,000 campers stay for a week once they get to Mexico?

It starts as a lonely alfalfa field in the middle of Mexico, but quickly becomes something else: basecamp.

“We feel like we’re setting up a mini city here, with a thousand people coming down,” says Kendall Lewis, a Oak Ridge High School senior.

It’s grueling work, and it’s done by teenagers.

“For a lot of our students, it’s the first time they’ve built something like this with their hands. So that whole process is fun in itself, and then it’s a great way to give back,” says Bayside Youth Pastor William Weisman.

And for Weisman, it’s more than just swinging a sledgehammer or tying rope.

“This is actually my 12th time down to this area in Mexicali, and I’m only 23. So it’s been a big part of my life.”

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