South of the Border~Part 1

15 Apr

A Slice of Life

Bill LItes

Bill Stars Plane


In the summer of 2002 our church here in Titusville, FL sponsored a construction project and trip to northeastern Mexico, to build houses for homeless people living in that area. A Christian family organization by the name of Only A Servant Ministries, Inc. (OSM) in San Antonio, Texas organizes the building project trips. Once the trip plans and funding have been finalized with a given visiting group, OSM coordinates locating the building sites, securing all the necessary local Mexican permits, and arranging for power and water to each building site. Then they clear the designated sites, dig the foundations, pour the slabs and buy all the necessary building materials for each visiting team they have arriving to build a very basic 16’ x 20’ house.   All of this is done ahead of the arrival date of the visiting groups, so that no time is taken away from the actual building time. They also schedule travel time to and from the building sites in Mexico, and arrange for all transportation, housing and food requirements for the visiting groups. It’s a huge coordination effort that they somehow managed to accomplish, sometimes as many as12-15 times each year. 1                                    For our particular trip, 23 of us left Orlando, FL on Saturday, and flew to San Antonio, TX where we were met by our OSM hosts, the Kennedy family. After we found all of our luggage, we had a quick lunch (nothing is very quick when you are dealing with 25 people) and then headed for the Singing Hills Retreat Center (about 45 minutes northeast of San Antonio), where we would spend the night. 2 After settling in, we had time to visit the Kennedy’s ranch compound (about 30 minutes from the retreat center), where we did some relaxing, and then some of our group helped prepare dinner for the large gathering (the Kennedys had 10 of their 13 children at home for that meal). After dinner, we had a wonderful time getting acquainted with everyone, before we headed back to the Retreat Center for a good night’s rest. 3 After breakfast Sunday morning, we traveled to the nearby Natural Bridge Park and attended a short church service in the park. After the church service, we toured the Natural Bridge Caverns, which were discovered in 1960, and get their name from the limestone slab bridge, which was formed when a sinkhole collapsed below it, and now spans the cavern’s entrance. These caverns are beautiful and said to be some of the largest commercial caverns in the United States. 4 After our tour, we stopped for lunch at the Alamo Café, and then took time for a short stroll on the famous River Walk which it is said evolved, over the years, from the aftermath of a 1921 flood of the San Antonio River. After that beautiful experience, we headed back to the Kennedy ranch for some free time. 5 Then, after dinner, our group all gathered around so Ken could give us a detailed pre-trip briefing about what we could expect during the next week’s activities. After the briefing, we were free to enjoy the serenity of the ranch and its surroundings before heading back to the Retreat Center and bed.


—–To be continued—–


2 Responses to “South of the Border~Part 1”

  1. timelessitaly April 18, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

    Sounds like a great time in the making…love the River Walk photo!


  2. Louise Gibson April 16, 2015 at 8:17 am #



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