Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekend Transformation

I just got back a couple of hours ago from a weekend trip to Tijuana, Mexico. Twenty people from our church loaded up tools, tents, sleeping bags, and a few days of clothes so we could build a house for a single mom and her two little kids.

The neighborhood we were in was on a hillside that overlooked a dairy with hundreds of cows. It was a picturesque setting, but one full of poverty everywhere we looked. Martha and her two girls, Daniela and Alexa, were super sweet! As we worked, they looked on with excited anticipation as they were seeing their new house being built right before their eyes.

Each day as we finished working, Martha would clean up the exterior and interior of the house, already taking such pride of ownership. This morning, we finished up a second coat of stucco and then had a house dedication. We presented Martha with the keys to her new house, and prayed a blessing over her and her kids. It was an awesome moment!

Last night it was freezing cold in our camp. It had to be in the 30's and our tents were like refrigerators. I can't imagine what it would have been like this weekend if it would have rained. I'm sure we would have handled it, but it made me think about families like Martha who struggle every day without proper housing to live in. Tonight will be a different story! Martha and her kids will tuck themselves into their house for a great night of sleep!

Today as we were finishing, another church group from Washington state came and started 5 more houses. Right around the corner, a Chinese church was finishing up their houses. We were all right in the middle of a complete community transformation. These houses were all practical expressions of God's love to this community and a gift from the local church in Tijuana. Amor Ministries made it all possible! It was an AWESOME weekend!

Several transformational things happened this weekend. Martha's family's lives will never be the same. Now Martha can focus what little money she has on feeding, clothing, and educating her kids. The next rain storm will no longer be a fear for her. In addition to that, our team's lives were totally transformed. We saw God through the eyes of the poor. It's not every weekend you get the privilege of building a house for someone. It's amazing what God can do through us when we work together to accomplish something bigger than we are! I'm praying that this was just the beginning for our team to make a difference in the world!

Now for all you Mexico haters who can't believe anyone would go to MEXICO because you think it's way too dangerous. Well...once again...my experience tells me something VERY different! Just like all of the other hundreds of times (probably into the thousands now) I've been in Mexico, we were completely safe the entire time! So my challenge for you is this...quit living your life in fear and start living your life in faith! God shows up big time when we live in audacious faith, not fear!

As for me and our Newbreak team this weekend...we can't wait to go back and do it again! You should join us!

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