(Written by Seth)-Please note the sarcasm
Considering it was our first attempt to illegally traffic students across the border, we feel it was pretty successful. On Day 1, all of the students gave us most of their life savings to coyote them across the border (thank you parents!). Unfortunately, we were caught on the first attempt and had to bribe away more of their savings. At another crossing, we were ambushed by drug lord guerrillas and, while most got away, a few more were captured and held ransom for even more money. In one last attempt, the students made a push to cross the border under cover of night while armed border agents with flashlights combed the woods looking for them. Most were captured by border agents and, unfortunately, the few who made it across the border did not locate their falsified passports. Luckily for them, corrupt agents took their remaining savings, provided them with counterfeit passports, and sold them into slavery to avoid prison and deportation. All-in-all, a productive youth event.
Leaders: 1 Students: 0
(Written by Kelsey L.)
DAY 4- Mount Vernon mission/training
Kelsey talking! Well, to only describe today would give you a very small scope into what’s been going on these past couple days, so I’ll give you a briefish outline of the weekend!! We are currently staying at the Hillabush Sr. abode. However, Friday night we students had no idea what to expect for accommodations! The leaders started off with worship and a nice pizza dinner, then promptly divided us up into families. The families were given individual stories about their heritage and 500 pesos. Marcia Ramos was my name. My husband, Diego (Nick Del Degan), my two children, Emilio (Caleb Pang) and Dora (Caitlin Clark), and I were Mexicans trying to cross the Mexican/U.S. border in search of a better life. We paid our coyote (guide) 200 pesos to take us in a car from the church to cross the border. We took many different paths, but there was always opposition. Finally, after Nick got captured, Caleb, Caitlin, and I, wandered through the forest to reunite with him then get our passports to finally get to the U.S.. Little did we know that we were being trafficked. The next morning we were woken up early and ordered to get on the bus and dress in grubby clothes. We worked all day, 8:30 to 6:30, clearing brush. We got one bathroom break and everything cost money--room and board, transportation, use of tools and repair of them. Food…. Oh food! By the time we’d paid for everything else, there was barely enough pesos to feed one person, much less a family of four!!! We left that day bruised, hungry, and many of us very angry… I know I was at points. However, we all had a much keener understanding of how migrant workers, illegal immigrants, labor trafficked people are treated. Luckily we came home to an amazing dinner that was absolutely FREE!!!!!!!! :D :D Though, Seth lead us on to believe that we’d have to pay….the next morning (Sunday) we were again woken up to work. We all pile on the bus to find that there was no work for us that day!!! Let’s just say, many were hacked at Seth!! We spent yesterday working through testimonies, learning specifics about our trip, and bonding as a group! Today we were woken up much nicer, though Kerstin DID pull mine and Christina’s covers off!!! :/ Most of today was spent mastering our three dramas! We are now done with them! Spiritual attacks keep hitting each of us, and we have to struggle to keep each other upright, but we’re making it!!! We’re excited for our trip and getting more prepared!! Please pray for strength as we battle through strongholds in our life and continue to try to stay at a surrendered place!! Thanks!