I returned Tuesday in the wee sma's from a little over a week spent in the service of God as a sponsor for a high school group of 24 to Los Fresnos, Texas and Matamoros, Mexico. The youth group I sponsored completed their annual week of giving back in a big way with the help of Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries.
We funded the building of a casita, a small, one-room house that is common in the area of Matamoros we worked in, and then 24 youth built the house with as little interference from the 6 sponsors as we could handle. We had Mike, a pastor who has led these groups for years, and Arturo, a Mexican citizen doing all of the interfering for us... by which I really mean the heavier work and instruction on how to make wood into a home.
We also helped on the SWGSM campus stateside- we made a living area more... liveable. We gave a ceiling a makeover and tiled a floor in the common spaces of a warehouse turned bunkhouse-cum-dental clinic. The waiting room for the newly established dental clinic got the same treatment, and I could not be prouder of the work that the kids did.
Their gifts were a HUGE gift to me- I learned watching them work. I grew seeing them grow- the youth I work with are blessed to not know from personal experience what poverty is, and seeing the poorest areas in Matamoros is something they won't forget. It made them experience a call to be the change they wish to see... and helped me see again that I am an agent of change too. The next 4 years will mold me more and more, and as much as I journal and seek other outlets for these thoughts, sometimes they really are too good, too amazing and life-changing not to share.