TRIP REFLECTIONS FROM LILY
In the whirlwind of Christmas, people tend to forget the true meaning: Jesus. So this year, we tried something new.
On December 27th of 2017, the Moores hopped in their trusty and crusty minivan and made their way to where they would be spending the next 3 days – Mexico. We were off to where we would be working for God with FFHM(Foundation for His Ministry). We were greeted by a crew of over 50. Over the next few days, they explained, we would be building a playground for the special needs kids. We stayed in a family dorm where we had to use a shared bathroom. No toilet paper in toilets, and we had to brush our teeth with bottled water because our stomachs are not used to the microbes in the water in Mexico. It made me appreciate my living conditions in America, especially since we can take showers for more than 3 minutes.
Day 1 of work: On the first day, the jobs were to help build the playground, paint parts of the playground, or help plant trees. Since I’m definitely no mechanic and I have a dislike for painting (the paint gets EVERYWHERE), I decided to help plant the trees. After that I DEFINITELY had a newfound appreciation for gardeners. Just to water the trees, the people had to walk far away to get the water.
I agreed to do outreach for the second part of the day. We arrived on a rocky and sandy hill, to find over a hundred people packed onto a small venue. When my mom and I walked up, we found ourselves whisked into the kitchen to help prepare lunch for the hundred hungry mouths. If I found myself appreciating my living conditions after the dorms, I sure appreciated them after preparing the food! The demand was high and soon we ran out of food and cups. Some little kids all had to share the same cups!
Afterward, as we were driving away, I saw an elderly woman happily wearing some new glasses from one of the stations, Bible in hand. Wow, I thought. Just those glasses that probably costed less than $50 brought her so much joy. The feeling of seeing her with so much joy brought warmth to my heart. God was showing me what effect we can have on other people. He doesn’t need me to make some grand gesture, donating the trillion dollars I’ll probably never have, trying to do everything I can but it not being enough. All I have to do is what God has planned.
We got back to FFHM after dinner, and truthfully, I was totally ready to collapse. In fact, I was making a beeline for the hotel when I heard some people say “We can’t go back to the hotel until these tables are unloaded.” I didn’t give them a second thought. “Oh well,” was my attitude toward that situation. But my dad walked right up to them, ready to assist AFTER 8 hours of hardcore playground painting and building. I was proud that even after so much hard work, my dad would still help where it was needed. If my dad, who is about 27 years older than me, can do all that work and make it throughout the day without collapsing, so can I, I amended.
Day 2: Today, I decided to join my dad. Our job was to move a big pile of rocks that had been dumped onto the property illegally, and use it for lining the parking lot. Wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow we filled, and it seemed like the pile did anything but shrink. Still, I didn’t want to give up. So, rock after rock, my dad and I picked up and wheeled over. Looking back on it, maybe the reason we had so many rocks to move was God trying to teach us something. Maybe endurance, hard work, even faith. Whatever happens, it’s part of God’s plan. I feel content when I think about that, how anything I say or do is part of God’s master plan, and everything will work out in the end.
That night we also went to the beach and fired up awesome and colorful fireworks! It was an unforgettable experience!
Day 3: Finally, all of our hard work had payed off! The playground was complete, and the property was lined with beautiful trees. We had a prayer circle and dedication. Then the little special needs kids played on the playground, joy and laughter on their faces. I had the same warm feeling, and I knew all that work was worth it. As we left Mexico, despite many conditions we had faced, I realized I was going to miss the crew and some things we did. I also couldn’t help but feel gratitude for all God has blessed me with, and I knew that someday I’ll come back again (maybe not Mexico, but to wherever God takes me).