February 7, 2020

“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” – Galatians 6:10

The summer of my senior year of high school, my youth group headed to Juarez, Mexico.  The purpose of this trip was to build a house for a family living on the outskirts of the city.  We loaded up on our church bus, which was a repainted, beyond-used vehicle.  We piled our luggage in the back seats and started our ten-hour journey.

I love missions!  Each time I have gone on a mission trip, it seems like I experience a small piece of heaven.  However, I must admit, I am not a gifted craftsman.  When it comes to building projects, I am definitely an amateur.  My lack of handyman skills has never stopped me from trying.  I have helped build a church, dig sewers, build homes, and much more on mission trips.

The reason my senior mission trip stands out to me is not because of the work I did.  The memory of this trip stands out because of the last day of work in Juarez.  Our work was to build a small house, approximately 20’ x 14’.  It was smaller than any room in my house back in Oklahoma.  It was such a simple structure with a concrete floor and concrete blocks for walls.  There were two windows with no glass and one opening for a door, but it didn’t have a door.  It was capped off by a tin roof.

When we finished the house, the family came to meet with us.  We all pressed inside this small home.  We were going to pray together and ask God’s blessing on the home and the family.  It was then that the mother of the family began to cry.  She was overwhelmed with gratitude.  Her joy came pouring out through her tears.  We prayed together and, by the time we were done, there was not a dry eye in the house!  Their lives were changed.  Before we arrived, the family’s house was built out of scrap lumber, paper, and other materials that they could scavenge.  Now they had a home that was built with more substantial materials.

This mission trip was a life-changing event for me.  We truly made a difference in this family’s life.  We blessed our neighbors, all because we were willing to reach out beyond our own perceived limitations and put ourselves in a position to make a difference.  God used us.  Each of us is called to a life that makes a difference.  It may be building houses in Mexico; it may be in your own neighborhood.  When we trust God and are willing to try, we will make a difference.  We will bless our neighbors’ lives and we will, in turn, be blessed.

– Keith King, Pastor of Worship