At the Central Pacific District we like to share insightful and inspiring content from our members, friends, and influencers. Please read the story below from Associate Pastor Tim Dunfield of South Hills Church in Henderson, Nevada and their recent mission trip to Mexicali.
When I first met C&MA Mexicali base director Gil Blanco on a vision trip to Mexicali in 2016, he told me about his vision for a soccer field on the base and the impact it would have for the local community and the orphanage he worked with. He talked about having a safe place for kids to come and play soccer and in doing so a place to offer them hope and the opportunity to introduce them to Jesus. The more he talked, the more I knew this was what God was calling our church to participate in.
The next week I began to challenge our church to participate in this venture and it did. Our congregation donated half of our Easter 2017 offering to the project and one of our members, a man who owns a business that installs turf fields all around the United States (including the new Minnesota Vikings stadium), offered his services and technical expertise to help us make this project a reality. Until the moment he stepped forward and offered to help I had no clue that he owned a company that did this type of work.
On August 20, 2017 a team from South Hills Church Community headed to Mexicali to begin the first phase of a two-phase soccer field build. It was perhaps the toughest and at the same time most rewarding experience I have had in missions. The devil fought us from the moment we arrived at the border until the moment we finished the field so we knew it must be something God wanted and the devil didn't.
We had problems and delays with customs and immigration at the border that put us almost a full day behind schedule but we paid the extra money they demanded and worked around their transportation demands. This meant we had to keep the equipment we had rented in Mexico for an extra day, which meant more money.
We searched all over Mexicali for extra supplies that we would need, but we couldn't find them so some of our team crossed the border and found the supplies in the United States. We ran out of money. South Hills church wired us more money, which meant another trip across the border. We ended up crossing the border 8 times in 5 days in order to get supplies and bring them back into Mexico so we could finish.
We battled the weather. Temperatures on the field went well above 130 degrees during the day and we battled heat exhaustion. So, we worked early in the morning, took breaks in the afternoons, drank gallons of water, and worked in the evenings. We battled higher winds than normal, so we prayed and the winds died down. After everything, we finished on time and with a sense that God had gone before us every step of the way.
As a result of this first trip several individuals in our church have donated almost all the money needed for the second phase of this build and I now have people asking me if they can go on our Spring 2018 trip when we return to finish the next phase of the field. I am so excited to take a team to Mexicali in November 2017 to host the first ever soccer camp for the local kids on the C&MA's new soccer field in Mexicali.
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