Sunday, April 7, 2013

the house that God built

The houses our group built...weren't really built by us. They were built by Him. Through the unwavering love and faith that 135 high school students and 35 adults have for God. The kind of unselfish love that drives them to give up their Spring Break to serve others. To allow themselves to be used to do God's work through their hands.

our entire church group at our campsite
It was amazing to see high school kids come together for a greater purpose. There was no complaining, teenage drama or cattiness. Just everyone working hard for a common goal. The week was amazing and filled with so many memories and details that I could write ten more blog posts about this trip. But I'm going to try to fit it all in one.

I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you at least a little bit about life at camp.
campsite | right: boy's tents | left: girls' tents
Every morning , we'd wake up at 7am to a trumpet and kids running down each aisle yelling wake up calls. When I rolled over, this is what I'd see...
one of my five tent mates smiling at me 
Or this.
plus a little grumbling
We'd get ready, eat breakfast, pack our lunches and drive to our work site - windows down, blasting tunes and singing - saying "hola" and waving to everyone we passed. Our truck would climb the steep, pot-holed road to our family's home.

the view on the drive
When we arrived at our work site, we'd enjoy some quiet time reading the bible and preparing our hearts for the long day of work in the hot sun.

on the loft the morning before the roof went on
Then we'd say our team manifesto work site chat + prayer and get to work.
this is our work site name and banner
 And here's our house being built.
painting with Emmanuel
our house after day one (outhouse is on left)
left to right: roofing | taking a break | dad with the family's three month old pet chicken | painting beams
our house after day three
On day four, finish the drywall, electrical and put door and lights in. 
alas, our house is finished
Seeing the emotion on our family's faces when we gave them the keys to their new home was so moving. It is something I'll never forget. Especially the dad. He said, with tears in his eyes, that he is so grateful and emotional...that there aren't words to describe how he's feeling. I really felt God's presence in that moment.

This is our family in Mexico. We prayed for their happiness. We worked alongside them for a week. Wrote bible verses on the interior walls to bless their home. And through God, built them a sturdy, beautiful house. I'm so blessed to have been a part of this experience. 

You go on a trip like this to give of yourself, serve others and bless another family with a house. What you don't that the blessings come back to you threefold. One of the biggest blessings for me were the people that I drove with, slept next to and worked alongside. People that I formed strong bonds through this shared experience. 

If you ever get the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and serve others, seize it. Your heart will become more full than you could ever imagine.
left to right: manifesto trip to the taqueria on our last day, Olivia my love, Becky with the biggest heart, the little boy who stands in the road every day to fill potholes for money, my fellow vegan leader, the tent crew and my tired girls on the drive home. 
If you missed the first two Mexico mission trip posts, click here and here.


Aubrey said...

I love the cross on the outside of the house. Beautiful!

Nathalie Willmott said...

Amazing photos and what an amazing experience!

alesha said...

I love all of this. What an amazing experience.

Amber said...

What an amazing experience this had to have been. I actually would love it if you have more blog posts about your Mexico trip! I love to hear about it and how it impacted you. As much as you took away from this, I imagine you also helped those young girls have an experience that gave them memories for a lifetime. You are a great role model for those girls.

Just T said...

Such an amazing unselfish thing to do for others who don't have the means. I love this!

Laura said...

SOOOOOO very cool!! :)

Jamie Sefcik || Hello Little Scout said...

Wow, you guys are amazing. What a great cause! Have a great day pretty girl!

xoxo Jamie

Emily said...

Wow, I didn't realize there were that many of you on this trip. Amazing all of you coming together like this for an amazing cause. The house looks so cute!

Team Harries said...

Amazing!! What a trip of a lifetime. No doubt God is doing huge things because of the work y'all did there!

gayle t. said...

Oh wow, how awesome! What an incredible experience, and I'm learning more and more what a miraculous feeling it is to be used by the Lord. :) Thank you for sharing!!

Gayle | Grace for Gayle

Em said...

So cool. I loved seeing all of these pictures. I helped lead trips like this when I was in college. Such great experiences. I hope this sticks with you for a long time.

Whitney B. said...

They will never forget you and the teens will never forget this experience!

kharini said...

So nice of all of you!

TracyZLesh @ Then I Got To Thinking said...

What an incredible experience, Jess! I love the emotion the dad had when you gave them the keys - something I am sure none of you will ever forget. It's truly amazing what just a few dedicated people can accomplish in such a short time - and the difference it can make in someone's life!

Amanda said...

It's awesome to see your hard work paying off in the building of a house! That's so cool! And waking up to a trumpet is pretty cool too :)

Shelley said...

Wow...just wow.

Adrienne @ BlackWhiteColor said...

Wow! Absolutely love every last photo! What an amazing experience and to be able to give back to people! You're a special person for this :-)

Liz Yoon said...

I've done the same type of mission in Mexico couple years ago. It was totally fun! It's always fun to do God's work! Love your post.
:) Liz @

Jessica Lynn Martin said...

I just stumbled across your blog--I love it! You seem like an awesome Godly woman, I am excited to follow your adventures! I am new to the whole blogging scene, follow me at :). Xo-Jess

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