Tonight as we gathered for evening devotional, communion, and to talk about the events of the day, we saw a young couple pass by the church grounds. The young man was riding his bike, a three wheel cruiser, and his lady was sitting on the back as he peddled down the street. The leisurely pace told us they were in no hurry, and they had the whole street to themselves. As they passed the corner, they reminded us of the wider community, quietly enjoying the balmy night. Though they were only in our little corner of Reynosa for a few moments, the tranquility surrounding their passage left a deep impact. With the distant sound of a family playing music and the cool breeze stirring the trees, we reflected on the peaceful setting surrounding us.
From the warm welcoming embrace of David to the barbeque dinner cooked for us tonight, we have encountered a series of people and events that remind us more of our extended family gatherings than trips abroad. Marisela, Dora and Rebecca have taken the time each day we have been here to provide us with lunches and dinners that they would serve at their own tables. Angel, José, and José Cruz staff the church grounds each night. Angel doubles as our work site foreman and with the other Mexican volunteers, guides and teaches us during construction hours. Though we make mistakes and are sometimes slower than we would like, there is nothing that tries the patience of these volunteers. Omar takes us on trips to the grocery store and leads our nightly excursions to get gelato after a long day of work. Chuky (otherwise known as Julio) makes faces and cracks jokes between showing us how to bend metal frames and cut rebar. Each part of our day is filled with people who are looking out for us, teaching us, and embracing us as family in their homes.
The connections we have made over a short three days defy conventional definitions of relationships. From the unbelievably gregarious volunteer groups, full of generous people with open hearts, to the families connected to Faith Ministry and the FM staff, our time has been spent learning about and from wonderful people with great depths of compassion. Being embraced by Faith Ministry and the wider community in Reynosa has made us feel like we have come home.