At the tail end of this summer I was asked to write an article for my church’s newspaper that we were going to put out. Honored to contribute, I began rekindling all of my thoughts from the month prior. As much as I love to write, it was extremely difficult to put this story into words. After writing the article, I found out that I had to shorten in by quite a bit. As hard as it was write the 1400 or so words that I wrote, it was even harder to cut it to 400. So I wanted to share with you guys the full article.
I remember sitting in a writing class at my Christian college where we were given our first piece.. an essay on a defining moment in our life. So many students announced “missions trips” as their topic that our professor set a ground rule: No Missions Essays. Thank God. I mean, seriously. Who wants to hear someone gloat about their vacation? These were my thoughts while sitting in that classroom.
A month before the trip I was invited to go to Mexico along with some of our core students. Now I wasn’t too keen on the ‘missions idea’, but leading our students is something I could do. I gratefully accepted the invitation, the overwhelming sponsorship, and the burdening responsibility of raising money for the trip.
Arriving at the airport we saw familiar faces. Everyone was pumped. From that point on I was assured that we were being sent not just by a church but by God himself. (Did I mention Dave Smith was on board? I wasn’t sure if Mexico was ready for this!!)
We arrive at the worksite. I see a 5’x5’ house and am told that it housed three families. I peak in to this house (there was no door) and I see a baby on the bed. Not just a bed, but the bed. No one else was in the house. I am speechless. We are not in America any more.
Let the work begin. I’m not sure if I mentioned this, but I knew nothing about building a house! (Did anybody?!) But from that moment on I grew greatly appreciative of Dave Smith and Jeff Benedict. Two heroes in my book.
You may have noticed I haven’t mentioned the kids yet. Aren’t they what it’s all about? Absolutely. The reason I’ve struggled to bring them up in this article so far, and even in conversation since returning from the trip, is that I am simply without words. How do I describe how intimately I saw Jesus through these kids? My mind cannot handle the beauty in each one, and how each is ignored and neglected. Estrella, Dadiana, Paloma, Gabi, Roberto, Daniella. These are the names of the faces and the hearts that changed my life.
We made a world of a difference to those kids. We did not build each one of them a house nor fix their problems. What we did do is show each one of them the love of Jesus, an outpouring of the love that Christ has shown us. We deposited something inside them that nothing in this world could take away. Because of this, I have changed.
Most importantly I have learned how to treat my Savior. For without His grace we deserve nothing, and every good and perfect thing comes from Him.
All it took was that one phone call to rock my world.. Perhaps this could be your phone call? Think about it. Pray about it. Then make it happen.