Off and Away
There were so many highlights – from staying on a lake resort only accessible by boat to walking the streets of a city dating back to the 1500’s.
We explored a small village specializing in creating fair market jobs for women in the textile industry to touring a jade jewelry studio.
We found art created by a Cuban defect who designed tiles for NASAs Space Shuttle program. We ate too many great meals to recount.
We loved every minute.
Over the few weeks we’ve been back, and now that we’ve jumped back into our everyday life (school, work, practices, rehearsals and more), I have recognized one gift of going on this trip. I am so excited for my kids to experience this same type of culture!
Kia and I stayed in nice resorts and beautiful places, but the physical and spiritual poverty was more than evident. We saw street beggars, kids working instead of going to school, European and American college students searching for hope and so much more.
It reminded us our home in Kansas is a palace. This trip showed us how lucky we are to belong to a loving and caring church. We have a Hope we can put our full trust in.
It’s definitely not my first time to walk into a third world country. I’ve been all around Central and South America. Kia and I have both seen poverty that will break your heart, but I forget and each time I return…I remember.
I see the brokenness.
Homes for the Homeless
This Christmas, my whole family will experience this same thing. We have made the decision to go on a Homes for the Homeless trip in Mexico. We will be going with the group Strategic Alliance which takes regular trips to do this very thing.
We will visit a community in Reynosa, Mexico (across the border from McAllen, Texas). This community is literally built on the city’s garbage dump. The residents are squatters who create the best home they can out of reclaimed wood, tarps, aluminum and other refuse. Over the last 15 years over 2500 simple plywood homes built on cinder block platforms have been built.
This isn’t my first trip to Reynosa. 10 years ago I took this same trip with then 5 year old Kessa. She played with the family’s children while I helped build the home. The mother of the family was pregnant with a child at the exact time Kia was pregnant with our son Chilton. The year before this mother had lost her child due to exposure to the elements.
It’s going to be a sacrifice, but it’s worth it.
It’s not too late!
My family may have a head start on you. We’ve been planning on this trip all year (thanks, Dave Ramsey!). It most likely will be a sacrifice for you – some bigger than others, but it’s a sacrifice that could change your life. It could also change your children’s lives.
It may not be Mexico at Christmas. It might be a local shelter at Thanksgiving…or now. It might be a trip to an orphanage in Ecuador or building wells in Africa.
Make a sacrifice, so your kids eyes (or yours) will be opened.