It is the Eve before we leave Mexico and I am sitting here with mixed emotions.
Even as I type, the tears are rolling down my cheeks with so many thoughts and feeling swirling around my head.
Above all I am so thankful to God for this incredible family adventure He has blessed us with. From what started out as a random comment a couple of years ago, to becoming a God dream and now finally into fruition, it has been an amazing journey of strength, sacrifice and above all faith!
18 months of planning and fundraising and now 2 Mexican families have a roof over their head, a bed to sleep on and a home to call their own. It is still surreal when I really think about it.
It is so humbling that God chose Team Strong to bring His love to these families half way across the world. With the 3 other families we have travelled with, we have changed the lives of these 2 Mexican families and hopefully their destiny as well. My prayer is that as the local community asks about their new house, they will tell them the story of how 22 crazy kiwis came over from NZ to show them how much God loves them!
As we finished the second house and handed the keys over to the family I was overwhelmed at seeing the gratitude on their faces. Again, we couldn’t understand them, nor they us, but no words were needed, a smile and a tear can convey more than a thousand words ever could! As they walked through their house and saw all God had done for them, through us, they too were overwhelmed and I stood there, sweat pouring off me in the 36 degree heat, exhausted and every bone in my body aching, with muddy tears flowing down my face, I thanked God again for allowing me to be a part of this moment. I can not even comprehend how different their lives will be now.
As I watched their faces God whispered to me “They matter. These people who live a completely different life to you, these people who live thousands of miles away from you, and who don’t know me yet…..they matter.” And I knew at that moment why we were there. It wasn’t about the food and furniture we bought them, it wasn’t about making their lives more comfortable, it wasn’t even about building them a house. All these things are great, but it was all because they matter to God. They may have been overlooked and looked down on by people but God sees them and He longs for them to know Him.
To see the poverty here has been hard. There are so many families who live with nothing to their name but a broken down shack (if they are lucky) and literally the clothes on their backs. They live on a diet of beans and tortillas, literally every meal 365 days of the year, and fresh water is considered a luxury. There are not even basic things that we would consider a necessity… A toilet, running water, a shower, let alone things like an oven, a bed and pillow or even a comfy chair to sit on!
I have a million questions running through my head for God, but I know that even if I had all the answers it wouldn’t change things for the people here. God has called me to do my part, and I have been obedient in that. Only He knows if He will call me back here but the 2 families we built houses for will be forever in my heart and forever in my prayers.