This summer, I got the opportunity to travel to Reynosa, Mexico with my church youth group for a mission trip, in which, we built a small house for an impoverished family. This mission trip really opened my eyes to exactly what it is that i believe.
On June 8, 2008 I reluctantly shoved my overflowing suitcase into the back of a Ford Tundra. The night before, I managed to stuff four pairs of shoes, two times as many shirts and shorts as I needed, all my sleeping and shower supplies and most importantly my make-up into the largest suitcase I could find in my house. the fact that I was practically being forced to go on this trip left me livid and I was absolutely positive that for one week I was going to be enduring my own personal slice of hell.
When we arrived at the camp, where we would be residing for the next heinous week, I felt my stomach hit the ground. The cabins were freezing, there was no more than an arms length between each of the bunk beds and the mattresses were hard and unforgiving. However, outside was even worse. The camp was infested with mosquitoes and it was so hot and humid. I couldn’t fully wrap my mind around the fact that I would be spending the next five days of my life in this hell hole.
The next morning, was the first trip we made across the border to the tiny, extremely poor city of Reynosa, Mexico. After two hours, we arrived at the dilapidated “house” of our mission family. I was in awe when an adorable, little, old lady came walking out this makeshift home and greeted the whole church youth group with a kiss and a phrase in Spanish that exclaimed her gratitude.
Over the next five days, my youth group became very attached to our little, old lady. She introduced us to her three, young grandsons. Everyday we gathered at our family’s house, we made it a point to play with the young boys as much as possible, keeping in sight our goal to finish their new house by the end of the week.
By the end of the week, we had successfully completed our family’s new house. It was smaller than my garage but nonetheless our family was so appreciative of the house we had built for them; they were honored to be able to call it their home.
The week I spent in Mexico I learned to believe that love between family members is truly all anyone needs to be able to live happily. Most of the families in Reynosa, had little to nothing of what the average American family has and yet the families in Reynosa seemed to be more functional and less selfish given only the simple things in life.
It is still amazing to me that something as simple as love is so much more significant than any worldly possession could ever hope to be.
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