My first trip with LTTWM was in Tijuana, Mexico. I didn’t know what to expect honestly, and I especially didn’t know how God will use me. But thats the beauty of it; not knowing. Not knowing what I was going to encounter in Tijuana made it that much more special and made me more susceptible to see God’s hand throughout the trip. I saw how God’s love is so unconditional and so limitless. No matter if you are from California with so many opportunities and blessings or if you are in the dumps owned of Tijuana.
During the kids festival, I looked around and couldn’t believe how the love of God brought us all together. We are different people, from different backgrounds, different cities, but in God’s love, we are the same. The smiles on the children’s faces were priceless. They were real. They were genuine, full of the love of the Father.
In this trip, more than ever, I realized that to love is to give. It’s all about displaying the same love that God displayed when He GAVE His son Jesus, on the cross. As children of God is it our responsibility to plant the seeds of love wherever we go. John 3:16 never stood out clearer to me as it did in this trip.
Its all about love.
A roof over your head, food on the table and clean water to drink..imagine waking up tomorrow without these absolute basic needs. As a wife, and mom to my 9-week old son, Remy, I can’t imagine not being able to cook even a simple meal to nourish my family.
Last year in December of 2017, my husband Dennis and I had the opportunity to embark on a mission to Tijuana, Mexico with the LTTWM team. Weeks of preparation for this trip included putting together an extensive program for the kids festival & crusade, care packages for the rehab center, gifts for the orphans, basic necessities for residents of the dump site, and spiritual preparation for the battle ahead. But from my experience, no amount of planning ever really prepares you for what you see on these mission trips. This trip was no different.
I can go on about moments that touched my heart during our time in Tijuana, but there was one day that stood out to me the most. It was the day we went down to the dumps. Quite honestly, I couldn’t believe what my eyes were seeing; families were literally born and raised in grounds where all the city trash is dumped (ie. dump site)! Their homes consist of tiny little shacks, and their daily life - sorting trash. My heart still aches when I ponder on the thought of ever having to grow up in such an environment.
There, I met the people who wake up daily wondering when their next meal is going to be. When we began serving food, my heart broke. I have yet to see people so eager to eat.
It was then I made the decision to never use the word “only” so lightly again. Instead of complaining about having “only” so much money, or “only” so much clothes, consider those who wish they had only a few dollars to buy the next meal for their family and at least a jacket to stay warm. The things we think we have only so much of can be the difference between life and death for so many of those people. We spend so much of our time wishing we had more, more, more, while hundreds of thousands of people wish they had just enough to get by.
Most of us are privileged to know we’ll get to wake up in a heated home, plenty of options for breakfast, and not a day where we experience real thirst. But the majority of these people will wake up tomorrow on a cardboard box, with barely anything covering their cold bodies, and the struggle for survival will begin all over again.
Thank you, LTTWM, for the work you do to bring the gospel to the lost & hope to the hopeless. After all, isn’t that what Christianity is all about?