Most, if not all, of you know that Eric and I began taking our kids to Mexico each summer about 5 years ago. Although we’ve tied these trips with some wonderful family vacations, we’ve found that nothing builds our family legacy like building a house for someone we don’t know, in a culture that isn’t familiar, for the sake of disrupting our comfort zone. We do it each year and it doesn’t get old! It doesn’t get tired. It definitely doesn’t get boring. Honestly, it is really, really exciting. And a little bit hot and really quite tiring. But 100% worth it!
During our first trip, we met a wonderful family, the Hughes, from Tennessee. For the last few years our families joined together in Mexico to build, all while praying for someone, ANYONE, to join us. We weren’t just trying to prove to others we weren’t crazy, we were trying to share the incredible JOY we feel with someone else.
Our joy this year didn’t just come from building a house (or the fact we actually were able to build 2 houses). It came from sharing the joy of giving with others we love. This year, God answered that prayer in a way only HE can. This year we went to Mexico with a team of 52 people, 1/3 of which ranged from ages 3 to 17. Some of these people we knew before the trip, but many we didn’t know at all. Boy, do we know them now! We know each child and their willingness to give of themselves while working, their ability to find fun in the work and their excitement when they communicate with the local kids in Mexico—through soccer, through cameras, through Google Translate! We know each teenager and each adult, who willingly put themselves in a position to persevere through the difficult and unknown for the sake of a stranger. And the families we served are no longer unknown. One, a rather private family, and the other, boisterous and eager to be part of the activity, but both in need of a home.
Each family is told that the home is a gift from God. It is not a gift from Amor or even a gift from the Americans who built it. It is, completely and wholly, a gift from Him.
I have always considered these homes a gift to our family as well. This year it was a privilege to share this gift with others. Many of the individuals who participated are hoping and planning to return to Mexico with us next year. Would you consider joining us? We plan to be in Mexico over Memorial Day weekend 2018.
Oh, that reminds me! We learned one more thing during this trip…building in May is much more pleasant than building in July!
We hope to see you in Tijuana next year!