Students Give up Spring Break to Serve in Ensenada


Over spring break, 27 college students gave up their vacation and braved muddy roads and political dangers to go love and serve the people of Ensenada, Mexico on a Christian missionary trip.  

VBS at the local church. Photo by Pheonix Borrego.

This group of students saw the loss of their spring break as a gain because they could share the love of God with those they went to serve. The group flew to San Diego, drove three hours to Ensenada. Ensenada is a port city on the Pacific coast of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.

Mexico has gotten increasingly dangerous, and the missionary group took lots of precautions. They never went anywhere alone, and they stayed either in the compound, at the church or at the building site. “We really weren’t in any situations where it was dangerous,” says Rebekah Anderson, a sophomore Kinesiology major on the University of North Georgia’s  Dahlonega campus.

Concord Baptist Church sponsors annual trips to Mexico. This year they extended the opportunity to the Baptist Collegiate Ministries in Dahlonega. There were 27 students who signed up to go on the mission trip, and they teamed up with Yugo ministries to build a house for a family in desperate need of one. Yugo ministries builds houses for people who would otherwise be living in “piles of trash, ”says Anderson. Half the team built a house in four days, and the other half of the group partnered with a local church to put on Vacation Bible School for the local kids.

“Kids came in the morning, and then we fed them lunch, then we did some bible stories and songs and played with them. And then we had another group in the afternoon, and we fed them lunch as well,” says Anderson. She was on the team that held VBS. In the mornings there would be five or six kids, but in the afternoon there were often close to 16 kids. 

“We had one group of people, like four or five of them, go and meet people on the street and invite them, so we had some fliers. But really it was just word of mouth,” says Anderson.

Where the family was living before the house was built. The blue trailer was their kitchen. Photo by Keith Wade. 

Although the language barrier was difficult and at times discouraging, Anderson recounted that there was a kid named Edwin who showed her that they could still connect.

“We did a 50 square hopscotch board, and it kept us both really entertained. We both knew that we were enjoying it and wanted to spend time with one another even though we couldn’t speak to each other. Just moments like that were really cool.” – Rebekah Anderson, UNG Student 

Anderson went to spread the name of the Lord and His gospel, but says that “any mission trip grows and blesses you more than anyone else.”

The new house. Photo by Preston Little.

The team partnering with Yugo ministries built a full house in four days for a single mom with three kids. Caroline Lantis, a UNG sophomore majoring in Psychology on the Dahlonega campus, says, “you really just tried to make yourself as useful as possible in whatever way you could. Sometimes that meant doing actual construction and sometimes it meant hanging out with the family.”

Lantis helped paint the inside and outside of the house as well as help shingle the roof.  The kids were also very involved with the house project and pitched in any way they could, like painting alongside Lantis.

“Gloria, the single mom, made us lunch everyday, and it was so good. She blew us away with her generosity.”- Caroline Lantis, UNG Student 

 Lantis says that she can see how the house would benefit the whole community because of how generous Gloria was.