Today was our designated “Rest” day, which meant sleeping in a bit, pancakes & bacon, & a slower pace for the whole day. To me, a rest day on a mission trip isn’t a “waste” of a day – rather, it is a celebration of the fact that even when we ARE on a mission, we benefit & are strengthened by stopping from our labors, resting, & enjoying ourselves. Plus, its a reminder for all of us for when we return home to our local “mission from God,” we need time for rest, recreation, & reflection.
After breakfast, we meandered down to the local flea market (it’s not a flea market, but that word gives you the idea of the atmosphere) for people to buy trinkets, ponchos, jewelry, & handwoven backpacks & the like. I didn’t buy anything, but I did walk around & make sure nothing hinky was going on, accompanied by my new friend Alejandro. His nickname is “Tiny” which of course means he would fit in in any NFL locker room at the defensive lineman meetings. Goodness. And I’ve loved hearing his story of redemption – how God took his heart, full of hate, mistrust, & violence, & healed it so he could love & trust again. Gentle dude.
When the shoppers had had their fill of acquisitions, we walked across the street to Paisans Tacos. It was our 2nd trip there in 3 days, & this time, there was barely anyone there. Which meant we could get seconds if we wanted. And I wanted. I ate carne asada tacos & 2 asada burritos with some of the best homemade salsa on the planet. My body revolted against the yummy goodness after burrito #2, but it was nothing Mr. Tums Antacid couldn’t get me through.
Rest day also equals a day at the beach. It’s not really the kind of ocean you just go swimming in – it looks & feels a lot like Santa Cruz, where you’d only head out if you were a) surfing or b) silly. I was neither today, so the closest I got to the water was walking down the beach holding hands with theBean as the water rushed over our feet. Being around living waters (rivers, lakes, & the ocean) feeds theBean’s soul, so you can only imagine the smile on that girl’s face as we walked up & down the beach, talking about everything & nothing, plotting together for next summer when we get to go to Puerto Vallarta. Boom.
One of the highlights of our day was when a school of dolphins appeared in the surf less than 100 yards out from our spot on the beach. We watched them do X-Games-style stunts, jumping & sailing through the oncoming surf, dancing on the surface, splashing around & generally entertaining anyone who happened to be on the beach at the time. It was one of the coolest sites I’ve seen in person. Yes, I’ve seen trained dolphins at Sea World, but man, this was dolphins doing what dolphins do “For Love Of The Game.”
If the sun & surf really took it out of us… the activity back at the place we are staying finished the job. Actually, Tony Mac & I read, a couple others worked out, & the hoopers played hard for a couple of hours, until we decided it was time to end our feeding for the day with chili nachos. All of us were fading as we headed to our daily debrief, but talks about our day’s highlights revived us enough to get us through til bed time.
It’s relatively quiet now (10:27 p.m.) save for the barking dogs outside, the occasional drive by truck with a megaphone announcing a sale on propane or pizzas, or the sound of Jordan being… Jordan. The sea breezes are just about reaching us & are making the rooms almost cool enough for sleep.
Tomorrow, our main activities are heading to the Vista Marina church, about 15-20 minutes from Rosarito, where we get to do our special dance again, set to “Every Move I Make.” And a couple of people will have the chance to “tell their story.” After a sack-dinner, we’re heading back to the beach to meet with the Hope Chapel Youth Group for a bonfire & S’mores. Yes. This is a rough life.
Thank you for your prayers – we feel them & appreciate them.
I love the idea of taking a “rest day” on a missions trip. Plus, X-Games-ready dolphins and homemade salsa. Best. Day. Ever. So happy for the Hillside team to be there with the Hope Chapel Rosarito crew!