When a barefoot and malnourished child stares into your eyes and asks for help your heart sinks with sadness and your mind races with ways to give and protect this child. Pablo Gomez, age four, did stare at me with pain and anguish as he watched me hammer the last nail into the board. I turned around and said in Spanish, “Esta es su casa nueva.” I have never witnessed so much joy from one little boy. All he knew was life in a run-down trailer. Now he would live in a brand new, two bedroom house.
The children in the mexican village of Rosarito are the innocent victims of much poverty, lack of food and healthcare, and suitable living quarters. My church youth group, referred to as the Issiah Project, went to Mexico in the spring of 2008 to build homes for the needy. I made the decision to volunteer for this program, because I conduct my own life by the words of the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If I were in the same position in life as these innocent and vulnerable children, I would pray to God that someone would have the heart and the compassion to help me with my adversity.
In a one-week period of time, our missionary group was fortunate to construct five solid dwellings, which housed at least 25 people in the village. Most of the residents in Rosarito live in roofless shacks or in dilapidated trailers that topple and fall apart in frequent hurricanes. The weather and substandard living conditions create homelessness for many people. So, to have new homes built for the homeless was such a gift from God for these appreciative people.
Pablo stood by my side for most of the building project. Even though there was a communication gap, I could tell by his sparkling eyes and exuberant body movements that this little boy’s prayers had been answered. I took Pablo by the hand, and we walked in silence around his new casita. We walked into his new bedroom, and Pablo jumped up and down with excitement. His words echoed throughout the house, “Esta es mi cuarto. Mi casa vieja no tenia un tejado.” I knew that he was telling me that his old house did not have a roof. He was so elated just to be standing in his own bedroom, knowing that he would be sheltered from the rains and whipping winds. When I looked into his eyes, tears were streaming down his face. At that very moment I knew I had done the right thing by coming to Rosarito.
All of us have busy lives and hectic schedules. Its so easy to say, “I can’t even keep up with myself; how am I going to do something special for others?” But if we stop for a moment and really listen to our hearts, we will hear God speaking to us, “My dear child, I want you to take the time, stop and listen, to hear what my best direction is for you.” This is exactly what I did; I prayed to God and asked for his guidance. He told me that there are so many innocent children in the world, and they need my help. I was directed to do God’s work in the village of Rosarito.
I will always do God’s work for as long as I live on Earth. I know that He is proud that I abide by the Golden Rule. I will live by my Christian standards and serve God in any way that I can. I can be a spiritual mentor to children, I can further my missionary work, or lead small group bible studies to spread the word of God. No matter where I continue my education, God will always be in my heart giving me direction and personal guidance so that I can be the best christian role model.
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