Intentional Spring Break
Casas por Cristo and His House Christian Fellowship provided me with an uncommon opportunity. While a lot of college kids might think spending a spring break in Mexico on the beach is a great idea, my experience was commonly described as “like the beach, but without the water.” But unlike all the college kids who were taking a much deserved respite from all their studies, I learned that giving back to a community who couldn’t even dream of studying at a university was just as reinvigorating. I learned that I didn’t have to spend a ton of money and waste a week of my life on myself consuming. In fact, I learned that it is even more fulfilling to spend my time giving to a culture that can enjoy life despite it’s poverty.
The School Bus
I remember growing up as a kid and hating riding the school bus. Lucky for me the school bus I rode in was nice and comfy with a radio and beautiful scenery out of the window. I could slide the window down and breathe the fresh Michigan air as the color changing leaves brushed past. In Juarez there are hardly any trees and the air is filled with dust, sand, and trash. But before I make this sound like some egocentric charity promotion, I must emphasize the joy and happiness that the families shown despite their apparent poverty. I learned that while these families really appreciated our help, material wealth doesn’t make or break a family’s happiness.
The Smiling Faces
The smile on these two girls changed my life. It helped me realize that no matter how hard things may seem, I am truly blessed. If I am not satisfied with my life at any point in time it’s not because I don’t have a nicer bike or a better camera. It’s not because I don’t make more money than my neighbor or have a smaller yard than my in-laws. It’s because my heart is broken and my soul is malnourished. It’s because I neglected God’s greatest commandment, to love God and to love one another. Joy is not in what we have but in how we love.