Mexico House Build Testimony
“I really wasn’t looking forward to going on the Mexico House Build mission trip. My idea of service was to just put up the money to build the house...I would rather have gone to Laguna Beach for the weekend. When I told my son-in-law (who is the foreman of my construction team) that I was going down to Mexico for a missions trip, two of my team members, who are also from Mexico, were on board to come help, so I sponsored them to come.
We made the trek down on an early Friday morning and got to the job site. I thought we would be building a home for someone that was homeless, but instead, we were upgrading an existing structure. I remember my initial reaction being that of judgement. Why isn’t this man at work? Why don’t they remove the rusted bed springs from the front yard? I also thought, “man, what a crap hole.” Why are we spending time on this project when they can’t even clean up their front yard? I also had time during my breaks to assess the entire situation. I found out that the minimum wage for Tijuana was about $5 per day. Skilled labor was around $12 per day. I then calculated the cost of getting all of us down there, and what our minimum wage would be and found out that if we just mailed them a check for about $1,500, we could have gotten the job done and saved about $10,000!
I also was looking for the people to be more appreciative to us for building them a house. Since I paid for it, I was looking for something that made me feel better than I felt. I wanted a return on my investment that I just wasn’t feeling. Did I mention that the voice of one of the women in our group drove me crazy? It did! Please, just don’t talk! I slept on a hard bed, in stifling heat, next to my two employees and my buddy, Dan. Not a great night’s sleep.
So, before you think I’m a terrible person, which I probably am, God decided to show up!
It started when one of our team members cleaned a dollop of drywall mud off my shoe while she was on her knees cleaning the floor. I don’t know why, but it totally changed my attitude!
I got to know someone else's story as I drywalled with them.
I saw my two team members working harder than anyone and they saw their boss drenched in sweat working for their fellow countrymen. It was freaking magic!
I was supposed to do the devotional but didn’t have a Bible, a pen, or paper. I went over to the girl’s room and asked for a Bible. “Oh sure, take mine.” I asked for a pen and immediately got one. Nobody had any any paper for me to jot down some notes, so the owner of the Bible said, “Just use the margins of my Bible” and she meant it.
That’s when I really got it. We were a community who’s only mission was to help people less fortunate than us. Everyone who went down there did it for one reason: service! No one had any agenda except to serve their fellow man because that’s what they were supposed to do. Period! So I was surrounded by people who were just doing what God asked them to do and they were simply being obedient. Wow!
Did I mention that my employees wouldn’t allow me to buy anything? They said, “you take care of us, now we take care of you!” Even as I write this, I get a little choked up.
So the bottom line is, I try to quantify everything. I judge everything, but after this trip, not so much. I can’t wait for the opportunity to go back in October to see what God has in store. I used to think “service” was throwing money at stuff. I now think it’s about doing what God asks me to do, period. If I’m obedient, he’ll reveal some really cool stuff! Can’t wait for the next chapter!
- Jim, Mexico House Build Team Member”
You can learn more about our mission trips at oneandall.church/trips!