Editor’s Note: Pastor John Erwin is the Associate Pastor of Agoura Bible Fellowship and the Pablano’s Tour Guide. He is the former Chairman of the Board and a current Board Member of YUGO Ministries.
Today, he shares how he got started with mission trips to Mexico, and he still cry’s at every house key ceremony.
I love going to Mexico but my how things have changed over the last 41 years! My first trip was in December 1978.
I was a 22-year-old Jr. High pastor at the Evangelical Free Church at the time. It was a Jr. High Outreach Conference during Christmas vacation and I brought 20 of my Jr. Highers as part of a larger group of over 200 kids.
Each day, we would travel across the border from El Centro to our location to do various types of ministries. These ministry outreaches included: children, sports, women’s, and evening preaching.
Since that first trip, I have been back with various size teams over 30 times. Each trip has its own special memories and were life changing for the participants.
Over the years, YUGO Ministries developed properties in Rosarito and Ensenada.
These campuses serve as a home base and we no longer need to sleep on the US side of the border each night. They have also added perks like showers, children’s curriculum, food that actually tastes good, the opportunity to build houses, feeding programs, pastor training, a children’s orphanage, video highlights of the day and so much more.
They have moved from an emphasis of bringing youth groups only, to the finest entry level missions experience for families. Our youngest participant so far has been a 3-year-old!
Going to Mexico is like a hybrid of going to Hume Lake, Camp ABF, Habitat for Humanity and a vacation with a purpose.
It is a unique experience that allows our ABF families to make a difference in the lives of Mexican families.
I had the privilege of introducing ABF to YUGO ministries in December of 2012 and we have been coming back every year since.
I hope you can join us in July 2020 for our next great adventure!