First of all, I want to apologize for not updating any of you for the past few weeks! It's been a little crazy, and I kept putting off blogging, and now I'm three weeks into my outreach. So yeah, I'm in Mexico!
We spent the first three weeks in Tijuana doing several different ministries in Zona Norte. The first weekend, we worked with Homes of Hope, a ministry that brings teams from around the world to come together for a weekend and build a small 16'x20' home for families. Their belief is that a home like this can set a family ahead 10 years in life. They build homes for families that own a piece of land, so they not only receive a home, but also pour into it. Because of a simple home like this, kids are more likely to stay in school and the parents are more likely to keep working.
My teammate, Heidi and I were building for a family of four; The father, Alexis (22), the mother Rebeca (17) and their two children, Esteban Alexis (1) and Dulce Esmeralda (3). Rebeca had her first child with her boyfriend at the time, but he left her on her own. About a year and a half ago, Alexis came into her life, married her, and has been taking good care of her and providing for her.
The build itself was really fun. The family came and helped paint and build. I kept catching moments of Rebeca and her siblings looking into the windows, watching the house come together, and some very beautiful moments of Rebeca and Alexis working together to paint or pull things together. Even though there is a language barrier, their love for each other was communicated clearly.
The last day of the build, they took the family shopping, and we finished putting the house together. We set up the bed, set the table, and put the kitchen together. When they got back from shopping, we loaded everything into the house, but we wouldn't let them in yet. Once everything was set, we circled up, and passed the keys around, blessing them and blessing their home. Then when the keys finally got to the family, they went inside their home, took it all in, and then we knocked, and they invited us in. They thanked us for what we did, and how this was a complete blessing from God, and told us that we are now a part of his family.
I couldn't have imagined a better way to start our outreach than to do something to benefit other people and to have an impact on a family's life in the long run. It's really incredible what four walls, a slab of concrete, some paint, and a bunch of willing hands can do. You don't need to be the most eloquent speaker, you don't need to be perfect at speaking other languages, you don't need much, you just need to say yes. Just get out and do something.