Hey! My name is Josh Blasdel, thanks for checking out my story.

I've been going to church for about as long as I can remember and started really following Jesus back in 2000. Since then, I've helped several non-profits here and there and served in the church in many ways.

I have been a high school small group leader for over seven years at two different churches. Being able to work with teenagers is awesome! There were so many people who helped me become the person who I am today & being able to be a small part of these student’s stories is so humbling.

July 2019, I had the privilege of going to the Yucatan with seven adults and twenty-six students. Our partner was Shalom church in Merida, Mexico via a guy named Gabriel (Gabby) who is a man with a passion for spreading the love of God to the people of the Yucatan. He has an amazing team of people who follow his example, love on the community, and made our mission trip possible.

On our trip we did some demanding work. As an analyst, I’m prone to run the numbers, and my math may not be 100% accurate, but we slung a lot of concrete. I calculate that we mixed 17,637 pounds of cement with ~4,800 gallons of sand (polvo) and ~3,200 gallons of gravel (grava), which translates to over 5,000 buckets worth of concrete, or 70+ tons. Wow!

We spent our first and last day working to lay the flooring of the 2nd and 3rd floor of Centro Educativo Blas Pascal, a Christian school in Merida. This required a bucket bridge, scaffolding, and some serious muscle.

We also spent two days working at Iglesia Nacional Presbiteriana El Sinai, a church in the small village of Santa Rosa. Here we laid the cement for a basketball court / meeting area. When we first arrived Pastor Joel, a couple of local men, and several local women were there to help us with the project, but as the day progressed a multitude of children started showing up. And they were all waiting for us when we showed up the next day. Our breaks were filled with games, art projects, and having fun with these kids. This community really welcomed our entire team and showed us how impactful our work was. We had also been told the church had been saving up for four years in order to start this project and without our help would have taken several more years to finish the funding. I also saw my first ever Mayan language bible.

The trip was not all work. We played soccer with locals, learned new card games, made bird noises, had amazing food, swam in the cenotes of Santa Barbara, visited local markets, slathered ourselves in sunscreen and bug spray, wandered through an art museum, had bus time worship, supported encouragement partners, prayed outside hospitals, took a late night adventure to BK, sat confused in front of a fountain, cooled off with massive fans, almost lost our luggage, had a dance party at a churrascaria, listened to some amazing devos from future church leaders, crammed into tiny elevators, shared stories, hydrated… a lot, rode a horse led rail-car, listened to a Spanish sermon, churros, stayed up way too late, woke up way too early, sweat, mic checks, asked the big questions (like what superpower you would have), gave massages, praised the lord (HUH!), made friends, learned hard lessons, and grew closer to God.

In reflection, I’d say this was a very challenging trip. It was hot, it was humid, my mosquito bites are still itchy, and we pushed our selves to (and in a few cases past) the limit. But I sincerely appreciate getting to know and work alongside twenty-six amazing teenagers and seven equally awesome adults and will cherish the memories from this trip for the rest of my life. And if you’re on the fence about going yourself, I’d encourage you to sign up next year.

¡Gracias y adios!