One of the ministries done here in Tijuana is called Youth Street, where we bring teenagers to come hang out here at the base. It gives them the option to do something positive with their time, and allows us to share God's love and the Gospel with them as we hang out. Today was the first time in 4 months that the ministry started up again, but it has been a rainy weekend. There are only dirt roads in the neighborhood where the kids live, and it was extremely muddy. We made several attempts to drive the van up the hill on the muddy roads, but the tires just spun out and wouldn't go. We reversed the van, and tried to get back up the hill with momentum, but each time we reached a certain point of the hill, the tires would just spin out. We prayed and asked God if we should keep going or turn back, and we felt like God said to try once more before turning back. We tried again, but it didn't work, so we decided to head back. But-- heading back was where we had the problems.
We were on a pretty flat surface that was thick with mud when we started to spin out. We were a half a mile from leaving the neighborhood, without any kids (because we couldn't get to them). We tried to reverse the van, but we continued to spin out. One guy suggested that the 3 of us go to the last row of the van and jump, to put weight on the back tires. It seemed hilarious and ridiculous to me, and I just laughed as we jumped as fast and hard as we could while Andrea tried to get us unstuck. We made a little progress, but not enough to get us out. Our last option was to get out and push the van. I was wearing flip-flops and when I stepped out of the mud, I sunk in it up to my ankles. I'm not sure if I was any actual help in pushing the van, because I kept sliding backwards myself, but we did manage to get the van out of its position. (It was me pushing with 2 other guys.) Then a person came (who we knew), and used a chain to pull the car out of the rest of the mud. As I was walking towards the van from having pushed it, my feet slipped-- and if my friend wouldn't have grabbed my arm, I would have been face first in the mud! Thank goodness for quick reactions!!
We made it back to the base, muddy and a little discouraged, when we got a phone call from some of the teens. They told us of a back route, and said they had already walked a few miles to a place where there was no mud, and where the van could get to. They had put their money together for the gas, and begged us to try again. What could we say? We tried again (the way they suggested), and ended up getting lost. An hour later, after driving in circles, we finally made it, and found the group of 14 kids waiting for us. We were able to bring them back to the base and play games with them for an hour and feed them, before taking them back home.
It was quite the adventure getting the kids, but also very cool to see how much the program meant to them, as they kept calling us, were willing to walk very far, and pay for us to come get them!