Last week, the team from Woodland Baptist Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina, worked in Reynosa with us, building two houses and hosting Vacation Bible School. They came to Mexico for the first time three years ago after finding us online.
It is impossible to forget when your eyes are first truly opened to the world. For me, that was 2003. I was a 14-year-old living in white suburban privilege, with no knowledge of a world past the end of my block.
The buckets need to be filled. The wheel barrows need to be dumped. The blocks need to be stacked. The mezcla needs to be mixed. The walls need to go up. And here I sit . . . on the dusty arid land...
When one thinks of the word oasis, we often picture a place adorned with decadent landscapes with mountains so high they take the breath out of our lungs or an ocean that reaches as far as the eye can see.
One week ago, I stood on a rocky dirt of a soccer field in the outskirts of Reynosa, México. I decided to dust off my high school soccer skills on a team of the four gringos taking a swing at playful competition with our Mexican friends and foremen.
Five years. That’s how long it had been since I’d hugged Omar, eaten real tamales, and dug a foundation in the kind of heat that only exists in Reynosa in the middle of summer, at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.
I have been participating in and helped lead mission trips to the Tex-Mex border since 1989, more specifically since 1994 with Ministerio de Fe / Faith Ministry. My wife, Janis (better known as Juana in Mexico), helped lead these trips also...