So I (Graham) asked Joelle to write a brief intro to her blog post. She was in the middle of playing with the kids, so this is all I got.
Hi I’m Joelle, I’m 17 and can’t do anymore introductions because I wanna play with the kids! Enjoy your read!
Today is Thursday. Wow, this whole trip has been such a life-changing experience! After being gradually woken up by dogs and a cooing pigeon (they get up around 5:30 am), we washed up and consumed a filling breakfast of oatmeal, fresh fruit, toast, and peanut butter (which Jaylen still didn’t eat, don’t worry Pat!).
After breakfast and broke up into our work groups for our various projects. Half of us did physical labour; anything from painting, to tiling/flooring, to clearing a fire break path around the ranch) while the other half did crafts and played with the children. It’s so satisfying to look back and see the progress we’ve made as some of our projects have begun to come to a close.
After lunch we hit the road and headed to a much poorer part of the city called San Miguel (you can Google Map this place to have a look). We visited the house of a Bernie and Cote; a couple who have generously transformed their house into a safe place for neighborhood kids to gather, play, and build community. We took soccer balls and served hot dogs to about 100 of them. We also gave out personal hygiene care packages to local families.
For dinner we were treated to a huge serving of tacos and tortas from Taqueria el Trailero, a road-side taco stand. We all got four of either beef or pork. Pretty much the freshest and speediest tacos in existence. Back at ranch we did foot-washing, chapel and finally campfire.
Having been to Mexico before, I was not surprised by the poverty I saw on our excursion to San Miguel. But it did once again challenge my own complacency I have at home. I have done nothing to deserve the house I live in. I have the luxury of having an abundance of food, and more than enough clean drinking water.
The fact that I don’t deserve what I have makes me feel all the more responsible. There are very many wealthy people here in Mexico, but there’s no denying there are many more who are living in absolute poverty and constant need.
Most of us living on this planet would agree that we ought to help when there’s a need. We should be supporting charities that help the poor. It’s even a great idea to volunteer two weeks of our summer and come down here. But how am I okay with spending $8 on a bag I don’t really need 30 minutes after playing with these children whose basic needs are often barely being met.
We are ALL children of the Father, and he desires each and every one of us. After building relationships with these children I’ll be home in less than a week. I don’t want to forget them here. I’m asking God now where and how he wants me to give. What more can I do to bring him glory? I challenge you all to ask him that.
Please pray for our final 24 hours at the ranch. Pray that we would leave with our hearts in the right place, our bodies well and a deeper relationship with the Lord. Pray for the kid’s safety, growth, and that they’d able to make good use of the buildings we’ve touched up. Finally pray and thank God for our leaders. They have put so much effort into making this trip the experience that it has been and I am extreeeemely thankful for all their humility, service and support (:
Hope you’re all doing well, we love and miss you!!!
- Joelle, on behalf of all the #PSMEX2015 crew
Posted on August 8, 2015