Juarez, Mexico is not your typical vacation spot, yet we hope to make it the spot we commonly spend our Thanksgiving holiday. This year will be our second time back to a colonia about 30km outside of Juarez–relatively the same distance from Newberg to Portland. Last year’s trip definitely impacted us and we found it to be a very meaningful way to spend Thanksgiving. We are looking forward to being back–to seeing the family we built for last year, driving the bumpy dirt roads, getting to know the local crew, meeting the new family whose home we will construct, working hard for a short 8 hours and watching a home unfold in front of our eyes.
Last week I found a little list I had jotted down on the plane as we returned home last year. The list was my ideas of how to continue to be part of what’s going on in this colonia. Things like praying for a woman I met who was at about the same point in her pregnancy as I was; looking for videos in Spanish that the pastors there could show; and learning Spanish better. The best idea I had was to encourage whoever it is that does the grocery shopping in a household to add a can of formula and package of diapers to their list each time they do a big grocery run. Or, more simply, set aside the cost of a can of formula and diapers from the grocery budget and send that to Missions Ministries for the purchase and distribution of the items. (Diapers and formula are desperately needed in this community and is a significant amount of the cargo brought into the colonia each trip.) I admit I didn’t follow through well on many of the action items (and am now scrambling to practice as much Spanish as possible before we leave). Sure is easy to just get back into regular life when you return home, isn’t it?
We now wait for the final funds to be raised (we’re more than halfway to the $8300 needed for the build–click if you want to contribute) and for news about the family for whom we will be building a home. They will be our partners in the build. Perhaps they will be moving from an old van or a house made of wooden pallets or corrugated tin. Maybe they will have young children or an elderly mother or father who will survive a frigid winter (yes, it gets cold in Mexico–last year it was below freezing while we were there!) because they have an insulated home. Whatever their case, they deserve a chance to improve their lives and their health through this small thing of a home. A home without plumbing, electricity, carpet, kitchen, sink, closet, shower…just six windows, one door, and three small rooms. Quite simple, but profoundly life changing.