Several hundred teenagers camped on a dairy farm in Tijuana in small tents, woke at dawn, gathered for breakfast and prayer, and headed out for a bumpy bus ride to several of the nearby poorer colonies in Tijuana, where there¹s work to do. They cut wood, paint lumber and hammer nails for four days to create a three-room house for a fortunate family.
This group of 370 students, representing 20 states, was organized by Teen Mania, a missions organization based in Texas. The students alternated their daily assignments, sometimes doing the construction and other times working on an evangelism team, sharing the love of Jesus at vacation Bible school or other outreach.
The Teen Mania group was there the first week in August for Baja Blast 2006, organized by Bob Sanders of Baja Christian Ministries. The weather was hot, but the reward was great.
³We¹re making a difference,² said one teenager from Pennsylvania. ³Everyone in this house is saved and we¹re reaching their neighbors.²
Last year, with the music group Newsboys involvement – including a concert in a Tijuana field – 1,000 young people participated. This summer the 370 teens built 11 homes, but goal for the summer of 2007 is must larger — 2,000 students.
With the students, there is also a great number of support team members needed by Baja Christian Ministries. Carpenters, ³wanna be² carpenters, and interpreters are necessities.
Janet Sanders, Bob¹s wife, heads the Barnabas Team, bringing water, watermelon, oranges and sunscreen in mid-afternoon to job sites. Helping her during the Teen Mania outreach was Cindy Reid of North Coast Calvary Chapel in Carlsbad.
Alex Guiterrez of Rancho Hills Church in the Paradise Valley area of San Diego, brought 26 bilingual interpreters from his youth group.
Guiterrez worked with Baja Christian Ministries on other projects, including staging for the concert by the Newsboys.
³Next year we¹ll need 80-100 interpreters and that means people from other churches. The need is great. Contact Bob or me. That¹s anyone – youth, adults, pastors, leaders. We need help!²
Guiterrez can be reached at (619) 470-7500 or Sanders can be reached at (909) 627-4339.