Back from Mexico…
I’ve been debating whether to do this first post as the deep spiritual insights or the general thoughts on my time down there. Still haven’t decided, so we’ll kind of stream-of-consciousness see where we end up.
I hadn’t been to the area since ’97 or ’98, and knew there’d been a lot of changes between the economic downturn and the cartel violence that had come into the area during that time. In regard to the latter, I was pleasantly surprised…was given some good insight on the way down from the driver, who was from Ensenada…everything from the curbing of the violence to how the Mexican federal government treats the state of Baja California compared to other states to the effects of the economic downturn. One of the biggest surprises for me was in not only the presence of the federales and Mexican army troops. I’d seen occasionally in previous trips in the 90s, but not only was there more presence, but they appeared and acted far more professional now.
In regard to the former, there has been some development, but the area is still a study in contrasts…beautiful new buildings next to little shacks, or big gullies that have turned into dumping grounds. But downtown Rosarito has changed a lot…to the point I didn’t recognize, and in a good way. Lots of little shops, restaurants, cafes….lots of people walking, and fairly busy.
But what has remained steady are the people….they are resilient, hard-working, friendly, and some of the most hospitable people on earth.
The YWAM (Youth with a Mission) base at San Antonio del Mar was amazing in its own right. Not only is the base and the area beautiful, but to meet people from all over the globe was fantastic. When introduced to someone, you quite literally had no idea what to expect where they’d be from or what accent they might have. For example, met a New Zealander who did his DTS (Discipleship Training School), his Outreach to Liberia, was in the States for a bit, then down in Mexico. Heard not just the expected Spanish and English, but German, some sort of Scandinavian I believe (didn’t ask), and my favorite, an awesome Irish accent. And there was a couple that, in appearance, looked like they walked out of Burning Man or some hippie festival….but absolutely and genuinely nice people. To me, the base was an extraordinary cross-section of actual Christianity, not the Americanized, often watered-down and mostly ineffectual, but the radically-changed lives that come from every walk of life all over the globe. It was an encouraging reminder, for sure.
As for the work, I’d gone down to lend some technical expertise to some infrastructure needs they had. We had an ambitious list, and unfortunately, not all was accomplished, because other issues were uncovered, and my advice was to take a step back and make the corrections so that the infrastructure is stable and the issues not repeating. So there’s very likely to be another visit.
Despite daily video calls, it sure was good to make it back home to these two (and everyone else too):
Turns out that the deeper thoughts will be tomorrow. 😉
I’ve been debating whether to do this first post as the deep spiritual insights or the general thoughts on my time down there. Still haven’t decided, so we’ll kind of stream-of-consciousness see where we end up. I hadn’t been to the area since ’97 or ’98, and knew there’d been a lot of changes…