Sunday, April 21, 2013


I just got back from Mexico last night.  I went to Juarez on a short term missions trip with a church that my father belongs to.  We went with an organization called Casas Por Cristo to build three houses for families in need.  Then once the houses were complete, we spent two days at orphanages in the city.

It seems like I have been gone forever, but it also feels like it went by really fast.  The trip was humbling in so many ways.  We spent the first three days building our houses and the last two days at an orphanage playing with children and doing some painting for them.  It was an amazing experience.  The director of the orphanage asked me if I would like to come down to volunteer there for the summer.  I am very torn.  While my heart is there, I am worried that I will not want to come back.  I want to finish school, but also feel like maybe there are other things that are more important in life.  I am not sure where to go from here. 

I have always had a really hard time with the whole God thing.  Not that I don't believe that there is "something" but I just don't know if the God of the bible exists.  Whatever God there is, he was present this week.  And our team motto turned into "we are right where God wants us to be," which took on several meanings throughout the week. 

It was amazing to see how kind, generous, and humble the people in Juarez are.  Despite the fact that they live in complete poverty, they share everything they have and always greet you with a smile.  It was eye opening to see the difference between the US and there.  Americans have everything, every opportunity and yet we still complain and are unhappy.  It brings about all kinds of guilty feelings. 

Anyway, I am sure that I will have the chance to share more with you as time goes on, but right now (as you can tell) my brain is still processing all of it.  It was an amazing experience and I hope that I have the opportunity to go back very soon.  I feel drawn to that city and its people. 

One of the team leaders wrote this in the church blog and I think it was an extremely important part of our experience.  When we were driving along this stretch of highway, the van with 14 people in it fell completely silent.  There is no way to reconcile the poverty on the right with the overindulgence on the left.  Steph said, "as we drove into El Paso the highway ran along the border between the United States and Mexico for several minutes. To the left were the suburbs of El Paso, and to the right, on the other side of the border fence, was Juarez. The difference is as stark as the line on a dirty windshield where the wipers won’t reach. To compare the multimillion dollar houses with the 11 foot by 20 foot home we had just built, a home that could be duplicated for dozens of mexican families with the money that it cost to build one of those Texas homes, was like a fist in my chest. I can’t imagine what it must be like to live on the lower side of the fence and look up at the wealth above any more than I can imagine looking down at the scattered shacks and huts that serve as houses from my thousand dollar couch in my million dollar home."

I know that this is pretty scattered, but I wanted to get some of these thoughts down while they are fresh.  I will try to write more soon and fill in details.  I hope you are all doing well in blogland!

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like an amazing experience! Here's my unasked for advice--finish school as quickly as you can, and then go. The degree will come in handy over time, and the people down there aren't going anywhere. They'll be as happy to have you in 2 years as they are to have you this summer, and you might never have the heart to start school over again once you leave.