A few years back an amazing opportunity presented its self to me. It was around April of 2008, when David Frederick, my youth pastor, approached me about a trip to Mexico. Our high school group would be traveling down in June right after school got out. However this wasn’t just a fun vacation with your friends. It was a tough life changing experience, and a way to give back. I couldn’t wait to be a part of the trip, and immediately signed up. By June I had raised all but 70 or so dollars of the approximately 500-dollar trip.
We departed the morning of June 10th. Anxious and excited the car ride seemed as though it was taking forever. We finally arrived on a small dirt road, which lead us to Rancho De Sus Ninos. Laughing, smiling faces of hundreds of children greeted us as we were introduced to where we would stay. Our trip would be a week long, and included everything from hard manual labor, to evangelism.
Rancho De Sus Ninos is an orphanage. It’s located just off the border near Tijuana and Tecate. The amazing fact of the orphanage is that it is NOT government run. It functions purely off donations and groups like ours that decided to come down and help. While there for the week we did various work projects including building an amphitheater. It was such a humbling experience. Most people would think you were crazy if you told them you were paying to give up part of your summer to do manual labor in the summer heat of Mexico. However for me it was such a deserving cause.
My favorite part of our trip was the time we had to spend with the orphans on the ranch. I saw their joy because of our presence, and the hope that it brought to them. It was amazing to see first hand what a difference we could make. I had taken Spanish in school and could speak well enough to talk to most of the children. My heart ached as they told me their stories of how long they had been on the streets, and the conditions they endured.
The week came to an end and it was time for us to depart. It sounds clique, but I felt changed from my week at Rancho De Sus Ninos. I had learned so much about service, and faith. I saw first hand how God could use me to help others, and it seemed so simple. I learned you are never too young or old to make a difference. My trip inspired me to really dive into service. I have now joined two-community service oriented clubs at school, and attend as many church missions trips as possible. However most importantly I learned from my trip that it is not just about going to far away places such as Mexico, more importantly their are local missions. Individuals such as the day workers are an example of local missions. There are people everywhere who are in need, and I can make a difference.
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