When I went on a mission trip to Monterrey, Mexico. I clearly remember crossing that border like someone stepping on the moon. That’s how far Mexico had seemed to me. I had never honestly considered Mexico another country, but when stepped on those cobbled streets, it was another world entirely. The traffic was so cluttered that the charter bus I was on waited through three green lights before we even moved. There was a grey smog that hung above the sky, a sweat the formed from the stifiling heat, and language I barely knew flittered through the air so naturaly that I felt like an invader in some way. We didn’t stay in a hotel or empty dorm rooms for that week, rather we slept on the floor of a church who’s owners had been kind enough to let us share their emenities. I found great appreciation in what was offered, because so little was given to the citizens of this darkly majestic city. However, it wasn’t the cluttered streets, the outside shops, or even the adults that changed my pepective. It was the orphange that I worked at for the week. How brilliantly their faces lit up, like the sun had been born in their smiles. It didn’t matter that they couldn’t understand us, that we were for intents and purposes passing through with a good deed. Their eyes were wide with optimism and even though they didn’t have parents who could see that, even though their hearts had been shattered by the abandoment they surely felt and I saw with my own eyes, they were the most beautiful children I’d ever seen. I can say with full honesty, that their laughter dancing through air at such simple things like painting a new room in their home or helping with the meals changed how I looked at those children. Once, I might’ve pitied them for living in a city that was consumed by a depression of poverty, loss, and sacrifice. Yet, it changed and now my thoughts of them reside in that their hearts have so much tenacity and faith that it shook my own, rebuilt the foundation, and made me think they are the light in a swallowed city.
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