We are finally on the last leg of our trip home. Honestly, I am ready to be back. I love Mexico, and don’t mind being there. But I’ve had enough of being a tourist. If I go back to Mexico again, I want to go as “native” as possible, even with my northern white skin.
Even though I’ve done missions work in Mexico before, this trip was different for me. Maybe it’s that I’m older, or the work was different. Maybe it is being a mom now, and seeing these kids who had nothing to eat and wore dirty clothes. Either way, there are a few heart memories and lessons that I will take away from this trip.
I loved the time I had with the girls making bracelets. The smiles on their faces as they made something for themselves were just priceless. I loved helping them make something so simple yet beautiful, and I cherish the memory of them calling me “teacher.” I am wearing the two bracelets right now that were given to me, one black and white and the other pink, purple, black and white. I know these people have nothing compared to me. But what they gave me with their love at that moment was worth more than I can ever say.
Kevin will also always be in my heart. His eyes were so bright as we marched around the school pointing out things. How he would try to form his mouth and lips in the proper English sound was so precious! Kevin was so patient with me and my deficiencies in his own language, and was so eager to learn mine. I know there is a drive inside of him, and I pray that he keeps that drive alive so that he can escape the life that is usually certain for many of these people. That I was bold enough to seek this out, and confident enough in my words in two languages speaks volumes for the work that God has done in my heart. I love that Kevin was sent into my path to show me the person that God has created me to be.
There are many other things I will carry in my heart and memories from this trip. The one during worship with my son is so special to me. I asked him later why he did that, he just said that he wanted to do what I was doing. Oh, that I can continue to be such an example for him the rest of his life! I’ll also remember the kids without clothes and shoes, coming up and getting bread. The children racing behind the truck, slapping its sides, with huge smiles because they know they will get food. And the women and men of the dump as they stood in line for their daily bread.
And Chabba Salvador. I will never forget him. His smile that first night in the dump told me that there was something special in his heart. I didn’t care that his hands had just been digging through trash; I HAD to shake his hand. After talking with him, I realized what was so special about him, and it is that realization that I will keep with me. Chabba lives a life of trust and faith in his God for everything. His daily bread is supplied by God, and he knows that. He doesn’t question why this happens or why that happens. He just believes.
I hope that I can have and keep that attitude in life. When problems come to my life, I want to remember Chabba. I want to ask myself….is my situation any more impossible to solve than his? Is mine any more or less important to my God? I want to continue to have that faith, and that knowing that God is going to take care of me, no matter what the situation. My God is a god of miracles, and he is a god of love. I saw his love for Chabba, and I know he loves me just the same.
Without Linda coming here 13 years ago, I’m not sure if I would have been here now, meeting with such as man as Chabba. But God knows the future. He knew that I and my family would eventually end up here, with the groundwork laid by Linda. He knew what our situation would be like now, and how we would need a touch from him. He knew that we needed an affirmation of his love and care in our lives. They call it “The dream that never dies” here in Puerto Vallarta.
It was the dream of just one person.
And that dream has touched my life.