Well, it's obvious from the lack of blog posts over the last two weeks that we hit the ground running as soon as we got home from El Monte! The last few days in Mexico were filled with debriefing, goodbyes, and last minute souvenir purchases. Oh, and packing! We actually brought less home with us, because we left tools and materials at El Monte that we had brought from the states. Still, an all day job packing all of us back up. I meticulously went through all the suitcases and removed each item, shook it out, and refolded it to make sure we wouldn't bring home any stowaways (read: SCORPIONS). Can you believe one of those awful little creatures ALMOST did weasel its way into the luggage?
The day we flew home was a long one....we went through security in Mexico City, but since our layover in Dallas was our first port of entry into the U.S we had to do it all over again there. We had a four hour layover there, and almost all of it was spent standing in lines for security and customs. Sounds dreadful, but the kids did GREAT...lugging their own stuff and not one word of complaint. I enjoyed some quiet time on the flights reflecting on the trip and what it all meant....
Since we've been home, we've been asked many times if we accomplished everything we wanted to while we were at El Monte. It's hard to answer that question. Tim had a long list of things that needed to be done electrically, and he worked almost every day; but he would love to go back and finish more. I worked with the MKs during the second week, but I certainly felt like I could have done more work or helped accomplish some task. So when we get that question, I have to honestly answer that I believe El Monte gave to the Adams much more than the Adams gave to El Monte. El Monte gave us an honest and firsthand look at missionary life. We came home with much more knowledge about the Mexican culture and its history. El Monte gave us the experience of having to completely rely on other people for transportation, communication, translation, and understanding of our surroundings. This was HARD for me! I like to be in control!! (Really, Teri? I never would have guessed... :) As I would look out our window at the mountain range surrounding us, I would picture our location on a globe...south central Mexico. Not that far away from home, no, but FAR away from what I KNOW. And I would think about how long it would take to get to an emergency room....or if I needed help, there were only about 20 people (the El Monte staff) within hundreds of miles that would understand me. It was a shrinking feeling! There were some challenges we faced at El Monte that made me realize how little control I do have...and how much time and energy I spend trying to control things instead of trusting God and His sovereignty. One particular situation reminded me that (Ps.139).."all the days ordained for me (or my KIDS!) were written in your book before one of them came to be." God takes care of His children no matter where in the world they are, and regardless of whether or not their mothers can keep bad things from happening!
It's hard to put into words the impact our trip to El Monte had on our family...and perhaps it's not meant to be put into words. My previous experiences on mission trips have been before I was married, and with big teams where we would work all day and where all sorts of bonding would take place through working together. Going as a family was way different. Aside from the camp work, there was laundry. There was schoolwork. There were sleepwalking children. There was isolation. There were pleas for new batteries in the Leapster game. You don't exactly have that with a team of 20-somethings! :) BUT there was a different kind of bonding that our family experienced through the work and laundry and schoolwork and isolation and sleepwalking..and I guess I can't really explain it. But we loved it. It was fun, it was hard, it was a privilege, it was a challenge....it was awesome.
The staff at El Monte have a big vision and big plans, and God is at work there in HUGE ways. We had the amazing opportunity to be a part of it, and probably anyone reading this blog helped make it happen. Isn't that amazing? I think it is. You helped start some very special relationships, and I don't think the story ends here.
Thanks for reading my blog. I really appreciate it. And to everyone who encouraged, supported, and prayed for our trip to El Monte..thank you.