Last weekend, I flew to San Diego with two coworkers to check out some organizations in Baja California, Mexico that are hoping to open some orphanages for special needs kids in the fall. This was my first trip like this with work so I had no expectations whatsoever. It turned out to be a pretty cool trip.
The two coworkers that I went with were pretty nervous to go into Mexico. I kept assuring them we would be fine. Their nervousness was what allowed me to go on the trip---I went as the official Baja expert and Spanish-speaker. We were supposed to be driven into Mexico by someone from California but he backed out at the last minute so we rented a car. I assured them there was really only one turn and as long as you didn't miss it, you couldn't get lost. Well, we missed it and took a little tour of Tijuana. I thought maybe they should conquer their fears early.
Our main contact was at Genesis Diez (http://www.genesisdiez.org/home.html). Their main ministry is a summer camp for kids from orphanages in Tijuana and Ensenada called Rancho Genesis. We were told that there are 98 orphanages in Baja California Norte. Most of these children are placed by social services and are not true orphans. We got to be at the camp for their Friday Night Bonfire. It was really special to share that moment with the campers and with the work group that had come down.
On Saturday, we met with two other groups of people that are starting group homes for kids with special needs. One in Rosarito called Catherine's home and the other in Ensenada on the property of the Calvary Bible Chapel Bible Institute. (Sadly, I can't remember the name of the home. Both groups have great visions that will really help the children of this area. I'm really excited to see this partnership develop and to see these dreams come to fruition.