Spring Break 2013 was a week I will never forget. I spent the week in Juarez, Mexico with 6 people from Hope and 9 people from my home church in Springfield, IL. I have been to Juarez, Mexico over 50 times. I stopped keeping track a couple years ago. My family and I have been working with the people there since 2000. In 2008 my dad started a non-profit organization there called Amigos en Cristo. Last year during Spring Break a group of Hope students went to Juarez and worked at an orphanage that partners with Amigos en Cristo. This year we worked at the same orphanage and also at one of the Amigos en Cristo’s community centers where we built a classroom.
When our group wasn’t busy working on a project or busy painting, there were definitely plenty of kids around who wanted to play. We played a lot of soccer! Our typical day consisted of waking up bright and early and leaving for the job site at 8 AM. We did various work jobs and played with the kids as well. For lunch some of the cooks at one of the community centers would cook us a delicious lunch, and then we would continue on with our work until about 6 PM. After work, we would head to the other Amigo’s en Cristo’s community center and have dinner together. We also used this time to reflect on our day, sing songs in English and Spanish, and hear a testimony of someone working with Amigos en Cristo. All of the people had incredible testimonies and it was great to hear about how God is working in Juarez.
Once we finished up at the community center we would come back to the mission training center where we slept every night. However before we could shower and get ready for bed, the Hope students normally played some soccer in the streets with the neighborhood kids. We would start out with just a couple of children and then more and more would come to check out the fun. We would laugh and run around and have a good time with everyone. Even though there was a language barrier for some of the people on the trip we still had a good time.
I am already excited to go back next year with another group form Hope. God is working in so many lives there! Every time when I come back to my nice warm, safe, clean house where I have a warm bed, clean running water, electricity, and so much more it always reminds me to be thankful. God has truly blessed me, and he has always blessed the people living in poverty in Juarez, Mexico just in a different way. God can work in any environment I am thankful for such an incredible trip with so many great people. I look forward to hear about the progress in Juarez at the community centers and orphanages.