Most people think going to Mexico means lying out on the beach all day soaking in the sun, or drinking fruit drinks and checking out the cute boys. But those are not the kind of Mexico trips I take. My trips to Mexico consist of dust, big bugs and hard, physical labor.
For the past two years I have gone with my church and a group of about 200 down to Rosarito, Mexico. We drive down in big buses, a total of three. They make lots of stops and about 15 hours after we depart, we are there! Once we arrive it is time to set up camp. We set up our tents on the dirt; this is home for the next four days.
After we get settled, the group gathers at the main tent to go over what we will be doing over the next four days. Our purpose in Mexico is to build houses for the less fortunate who live there, we build about 7 houses each year. When we show up at the work site the families are so excited, they know we are there to help give them a better life by building them a small house.
I say house, but the houses are not as sophisticated as some of the sheds we put our yard tools and bikes in. The houses we build have four walls, wrapped with tar paper, chicken wire and then stucco. There is a roof, a window and a door; the inside is unfinished, you can see the framing and this will be the home for a family of 4, 5 or even 6.
But if you could see the families’ faces when their house is done and they see it for the first time, and how grateful they are, it is truly an amazing feeling, and you are changed forever.In Mexico you never quite know what you will see. I remember the first time driving across the Mexico boarder; it changed my whole view on life. There is trash everywhere and venders on the side of the streets, selling random things; and the people just hanging out, sitting in the backs of trucks.
It really opened my eyes and showed me that I live in a wonderful place.When I was in Mexico I realized how good I have things. I may not live in a huge house and be able to travel all around the world, but I have electricity and running water I can drink. I see the smallest things that I take for granted and I appreciated them a whole lot more.
I also came closer in my faith with God my first trip to Mexico. I saw how He was able to use all of us to build these people small, little houses and to see the impact that we made on their lives. It was beyond any doubt, a remarkable thing to witness.Mexico is not all serious, we worship and learn more about our faith with God.
We spend our time with friends and make new friends. We learn about the Mexican culture and work on our Spanish. The bus ride isn’t even that bad and we all find different ways to make our trip a memorable one.
Musical instruments are brought along and bands are created. The bus ride turns into a wonderful and hilarious concert. The whole trip is fun and there is never a dull moment. There is something for everyone and everyone has fun. Through all the fun, hard work and commitment, there is an opportunity to open your heart and learn more about God and how He is working everyday in our lives.
While some people travel to Mexico to hang out on the beaches and catch a few rays, to drink fruit drinks and catch the eyes of the cute boy across the room, I go to change lives. Mexico is my all time favorite vacation and I cannot wait to do it again!
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