“Let me sleep a little longer!” Sure, just a little more! And as you sleep, poverty creeps upon you like a robber and destroys you; want attacks you in full armor—Proverbs 6:10-11 (TLB).
In 2008, I went on my first mission trip with 19 others from our church to Rio Bravo, Mexico. It was also the first time I’d been out of the country. However, I wasn’t prepared for the abject poverty of the people we served on our trip.
A few weeks before leaving, our senior pastor met with the team to offer encouragement as well as mission guidelines. I still recall two things from that meeting: First, he said, “Being flexible is important.” Although we had plans for the five days we’d be in Mexico, we needed to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading.
Second, because we were traveling to Mexico on our church bus, we could only take one medium suitcase apiece. My response, “Define medium.” While I said it jokingly, I was contemplating the size of my luggage at home.
The Size of Our Blessings
After driving almost 1,000 miles, we arrived in Rio Bravo. We had several projects to complete, including the construction of a 12 x 20 casita for a family of five. The young couple with three girls under 7-years-old, were living in a makeshift dwelling smaller than my walk-in closet. No running water, no electricity, all five lived in the one-room abode.
Our group, ranging in age from 49 to 74, completed the concrete block house in three-and-a-half days. The family’s new house consisted of two doors, three windows, and a loft where the children would sleep. Still no plumbing, no electricity, just a place for the five to lay their heads at night.
As the construction took shape, the young mother’s face radiated excitement. With the finished product, the looks on the faces of the family said it all. It was their mansion. Smiles graced the face of the parents. The children played on the concrete floor of their new home, a step-up from the dirt floor in their previous dwelling. What we take for granted was a luxury for them.
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SOURCE: Assist News Service