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Dan Hill: Dan describes himself as a Mission to Mexico junky and the 20 years and some 60+ trips give him a great perspective on so many things in his life. “I am humbled by what I am blessed with in this amazing country. My work as an architect and builder allows me to share the gifts that God gave me with youth and adults in teaching basic construction while providing homes for those in such desperate need. The combination of all these things has truly made Mission to Mexico one of the most important things in my life.”

Dan is the founder of Mission to Mexico and many say he is its ‘driving force.’ Dan is also memorably known for his love of music—guitar and harmonica as well as singing and writing an occasional song.

“I also have the most amazing group of friends from Mission to Mexico that have made my life so much richer!” Dan ( pictured here with Sister Austin)

Barry Lind: Barry, who is one of the original M2M volunteers, has taken at least 30 trips since 1991. He has two main roles: as coordinator; before and during the annual trips; between the churches, and during travel. In Mexico he is the pastor and spiritual leader and “Answers any question that doesn’t have to do with construction,” he said.  Over the years he has often traveled with his three sons: Spenser, Taylor, and Conner. His youngest son, Conner was four when he went the first time (pictured). “By going on trips with them—I developed a special father-son bond—we were brought closer by serving together, it brings out the best in them. I see the best in them, and always feel like I am at my best by getting away from it all and being together.” Barry
Lew Stewart: Lew is known as “Lewster the Rooster.” because he wakes the gang up early every mornin, whether they want to get up on not.

Since he took his first trip about 10 years ago, “I was ‘hooked.’” He had some carpentry knowledge, but modestly credits learning from some great teachers, like Dan Hill. Lew is a retired mechanic and worked for Sears for 31 years, first in Buena Park , CA , and then in Eugene , After the M2M folks found out he could tinker with a car they put Lew in charge of keeping the rigs running.

Eventually, he was put in charge of one of the three houses that is built that each spring break. A few years after I made several trips, I was honored or maybe dishonored by having a banyo (outhouse) named for him, it was called “The Lew.”

“Being with the people from several churches, the young adults that volunteer and the people of Francisco Murguia.  I feel so humbled and privileged to be a part of this great organization. I hope to continue for some years. At least until the Good Lord says “Enough.” Lew

Neva Clausen: Neva is the ‘food lady’ for Mission to Mexico . She coordinates the planning, purchasing, and preparing of meals and snacks for the travelers.  The food is ‘camp style’ and the kitchen is in a big tent. where daily meals for 127 up to 350 for the fiesta are prepared. Neva is a delight to be around and is famous for her hugs, her fruit cups, and her taco salad!
This is her 15th year with M2M, her 20th trip to Mexico and she has served on the board for many years. ."Being a part of the Mission to Mexico family is one of the greatest blessings of my life.. Mission to Mexico is a life changing experience that everyone should experience," Neva
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Krisi Kamstra
Steve Carden: Steve has taken at least 20 M2M trips over the years. He is one of the drivers for the over 20 hours of road time it takes to arrive at the El Faro orphanage. He drives a van that is known as the ‘Ice Box’ because it doesn’t have a heater or, for that matter, a cooling system. He recalls a particularly memorable border crossing, “We were at a border stop into Mexico, I was the driver so when I rolled down the window to say I do not speak Spanish, I said "No Habla English" I'm sure the guard thought I was so dumb I posed no threat so he just motioned us ahead. I guess it pays to be stupid. I think that statement will be on my tombstone!!!”His favorite part of the trip (other than In-N-Out burgers) is the dedication of the completed homes. “Even after 14 years this still gets to me,” he said. He also has developed an "extended family" of friends who, by being together on this trip so many times, have come to “mean so much to me,” Steve
Debbie Childs: Debbie has a heart for young people involved in M2M—those who travel and those who live in El Faro Since 1999 she has traveled to Mexico seven times and was involved in all three trips to build the orphanage plus four to build houses. What is compelling to Debbie about the mission is the interaction between the kids who are taken down and the kids there. “Some how there doesn’t seem to be a language barrier. I recall on our first trip our pastor’s four-year old boy was down in the dirt making toys out of our building scraps with local youngsters,” she recalls.

Debbie also remembers some of the times: One ‘funny’ moment occurred early on. The first trip down everyone was pitching their tents on the dusty old ground. But three of us girls found a nice patch of green grass that looked a lot more comfortable. Unfortunately, with so many people using a dilapidated septic system the tank burped in the middle of the night. You guessed it, that’s why there was green grass.

Jon Koenig: Jon and his wife Lynne went on their first Mission to Mexico in 1998 as co-high school youth leaders for their church. He describes himself as ‘hopelessly addicted’ to M2M. Jon is a fireman and paramedic and is the medical director and provider for trips as well as one of the building leaders during the construction phase. “I could provide you with page after page of detailed experiences that I have had with this mission. However, I won’t because I want you to come, be blessed as we have been, and experience it for yourself. ‘Do something, God can’t bless nothing.’” Jon

Jon recently was asked to be the president of the board of directors of the Pentecostal Faith Mission, that provides the funding and leadership for the El Faro Orphanage to ensure that the ministry and mission, that was started by Sister Austin and led by God, will continue for many years to come.

Toni Screen Toni’s daughter enjoyed her first trip with M2M so much that Toni volunteered the next year. Since then, Toni and her family have made over 20 mission trips. At the site, evidence of Toni’s personal passion for the work is seen in the beautiful floral designs she paints on the walls of each house.

She has made many life long friends through M2M in Oregon and in Mexico . In 2007 her team built a home for a family of seven. The family lived in a 10x10 structure made out of bedsprings, cardboard, and blankets. All seven lived in this roofless structure, sleeping on two mattresses, with no access to electricity or water. When Toni went to visit the family this year she discovered that they are now hooked up to water and. When she drove up the dusty drive the five kids recognized her van and came running out to greet her.  Rosa and Martin the parents, were able through their tears to express their gratitude. “The hugs and kisses I got from the whole family were beyond wonderful. This is just one of many memorable experiences over the years and I have never had a bad one!” Toni

Jessica Johnson first went on a M2M trip when she was 15 years old—this fall her two children are starting school at the middle school where she now teaches. She never dreamed what a life changing experience that first trip would be. “I was introduced to the true joy that comes through serving others. I began to understand the blessings that come through friendships and family, blessings that God freely gives us no matter what country we live in or how many material possessions we have. I have so many memories of the Mexican people, the homes I have helped build, and the friendships formed around late night campfires.” she recalls.

Since that first trip, she has taken 11 spring break trips, 2 Thanksgiving trips and quite a few scouting trips. Over the years she’s been part of the steering committee and board, helping out with registration, bookkeeping, vacation bible study for children in Mexico and travel arrangements.

“I am so excited for the future of Mission to Mexico . I hope that you will be able to come and see for yourself what a life changing adventure this trip can be.” Jessica

Jessica Johnson:
Jim Billick:
Hal Lincoln: Hal first learned about Mission 2 Mexico in 2001 on a mission trip to Honduras with several other M2M folks. In 2002 he made his first trip to El Faro and says that, “God gave me a connection with the orphanage that continues to burn. Having spent two and a half years in an orphanage myself and as a young boy it has been very easy to relate with these children, even though there is a language barrier. I am honored and blessed that God has allowed me to be apart of this mission.” Hal now makes his home in Sandpoint , ID.
Tyler Childs: has been going to Mexico since 1995. One of his most memorable trips was in November 2001 when he met his future wife. She lived four blocks from the orphanage and her grandparents lived right across the street. Her name is Yadira and they have now been married five years.

One of his fond memories took place in Francisco Murguia the little village of  the orphanage.  When the Bridge over the Colorado River was out the only way to cross to get to one of the main towns was to drive across the railroad bridge. The van they were riding in slipped off the tracks and onto the ties scaring everyone nearly to death. They made it to the other side and now enjoy one of the many memories.