Have you ever found yourself in a situation where God did not provide in a circumstance where you thought he should have–a circumstance that seemed to be lined up with his will? I recently had this happen to me. Despite a tremendous amount of prayer and promotion I could not raise up the needed amount of people to make this year’s trip to Japan happen (which would have been the 13th annual trip).  So in June I had to cancel Japan and the opportunity to go back to a children’s refuge in Tapachula Mexico came up, and within a week I had my team.

Although I was truly sad we would not be going to Japan this year I was very grateful to go back to Tapachula where we led a team seven years ago to serve at Misión México. Misión México provides a loving, secure home for children of all ages who have been abused, neglected, orphaned or abandoned.  They built an amazing facility on the coast complete with lodging and a swimming pool with hopes of using it to reach out to the local community. They call this place Misión Surf.

They asked Walking On Water to come down and run surf and swim clinics for both the children’s refuge and for the kids that live in the neighborhood surrounding Misión Surf.  In addition we also put on a life saving class and did a couple Bible stories with the kids.

On the team we had a fluent Spanish speaker, a former swim instructor, a high school surf coach, a life guard, a fire captain and someone who was incredibly gifted in relationships—making everyone she met feel special and loved, plus a hand full of amazing kiddos.  It’s as if God had put this team together!

A highlight for me was to see the enjoyment on the village kids faces when we took them from the pool to the surf. Although their village was on the beach they had never been given the opportunity to surf, as they are very poor.  A picture is worth a thousand words, but I forgot my camera…so I’ll have to use words.  Mauricio (14) and his brother Paco (9) were among these kids who surfed.

Both of them were wearing green pants in the water because they didn’t have any board shorts (Dang, I wish I had my camera!). That didn’t stop them though from learning how to surf. The pure joy on their faces from riding the waves said it all.  These kids are hooked on surfing now, and they have a place at Misión Surf to help fuel this desire.

Our last day of swim and surf clinic for the village kids was kicked of by a Spanish narration/drama of the story of Jesus raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead. This time was special because the kids heard that Jesus has the power to raise the dead, and this is ultimately our hope in Messiah.  I am encouraged that the vision of the mum (she’s Australian) at Misión Mexico is to use the center down at the beach as a place of outreach in the community, to do Bible studies, and bring the love and hope of Christ to this little village.  I feel privileged that we were afforded the opportunity to build into this vision.

While down in Mexico I found out there was a super typhoon, headed not only for Amami island—our destination in Japan, but for all of Japan. This storm was so big that all flights and ferries were canceled to Amami Island. If we had gone to Japan I’m not sure we would have made it to Amami Island, and if we did, we wouldn’t have been able to leave our place of lodging!  I believe God in his infinite wisdom did not provide a team to Japan for a reason, I can’t prove it but I have a strong hunch.

There is a documentary about the children’s refuge called Somewhere Near Tapachula. CLICK HERE watch it for free or purchase the DVD from the Walking On Water store.

Written by Todd Morehead