A few weeks ago the world of education celebrated Dr. Seuss and his contributions to children's literacy and reading. One of my favorite Dr Seuss quotes is "A person is a person no matter how small" from his book Horton Hears a Who. I serve in education on the mission field in Mexico and this quote has an incredible duality to it. While I work with very small (physically) people & they are very important to our future I also serve alongside many people who feel small because of their heritage. We are fighting to change this mentality in both groups. God made us all in His image and we each have a purpose & plan.
As part of my role here at YWAM (Youth With A Mission) San Diego/Baja I mainly serve on the campus. Because I'm leading the Little Builders Preschool Monday through Friday, I very rarely go out into the local community. However, occasionally I have the privilege of photographing a team to document their trip.
One of my all-time favorite things on a house build, besides the dedication and turning over the keys & watching the family see their completed house for the first time, is taking the family shopping. Many teams take up money so that the family can buy some much needed supplies and food. This is also a great opportunity to get the family away from the house so that the next time they see their home it is complete. This experience can be a very emotional time as for some, this is the first time they have ever been inside a "grocery store" as many purchase their daily needs from the local family store down the street.
A few months ago, I had the incredible opportunity to do just that. I went with the Homes of Hope, a ministry of YWAM San Diego/Baja, team to buy food, toiletries, school supplies, clothing, basic things that we often take for granted, for the Gomez-Loaeza family.
As I was taking photos of these guys I was also helping to translate for the family. Most of the time we have to convince the families to choose the things they really need. I give them an idea of how much money they can spend but even still we have to go behind them and add things to their carts.
We walked through the store picking up vegetables, meat, flour, masa (Mexican corn flour), milk, eggs, cereal, peanut butter, cheese, etc. We then grabbed some cleaning supplies, toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, feminine products, even some hair dye. We convinced the parents to get some new clothes for themselves and their 3 children. Who doesn't love getting new clothes?
We then headed to the school supply aisle. The kids, Leslie (14), Jesi (9) and Evelin (8), picked out a few things like notebooks, pencil pouches, paper, and pencils. Leslie and Jesi got what they needed and chose a fun item.
The whole time I watched as the family searched carefully for each item they placed in their carts, calculating the cost, weighing their options. This is exactly what happened with Evelin when she looked at the array of pencils standing before her. I watched her eye the pretty green and purple ones with envy, the only kind that a child knows, pure and precious. I asked her if she wanted them and she replied that she did. I reached up and took down the large pack, putting them in her hand.
I then observed her look back up at the top row of pencils, notice the price tag, and stretch to put them pack, wanting to replace them with the much cheaper plain yellow ones. I could see the brief flicker of sadness as she put them back but it was quickly replaced with resolve, that this was the "right" decision.
It greatly saddened me because I KNEW she really wanted the cute purple and green ones however the reality of their situation is that sacrifices have to be made and the simple fact that she was getting pencils was good enough for her. But God doesn't want us to live in "good enough", He wants us to have the BEST. So knowing this and that it was a matter of $1 US ($15 pesos) I reached up and took the purple and green ones, replacing them with the plain No 2. yellow ones.
The look on her face moved from shock to delight in a split second and that is exactly what I wanted to see. She knew in that moment that it is OK to want something better. It is ok to choose something of higher value. She knew that she shouldn't demand it but that sometimes it is ok to spend a little extra for something that brings pure joy. This is what so many of these kids grow up missing. Sadly, this "lesson" translates into the rest of their lives. They don't strive for something better in life. They don't choose something of higher value for their lives. They don't make choices based on the joy it would bring.
Yes, I realize that sometimes we don't have the BEST in terms of materialism but that doesn't stop God from giving us the BEST, His Son. He wants us to know that there is something bigger and better out there for us. He wants to show us that sometimes, doing something just because it brings joy is totally worth it.
How is God giving you His best these days?? Leave a comment below and let me know!
If you liked this story, you will probably also like:
Make sure you also check out all of the other stories through our YWAM Ministries.
Want to join us for the next quarter? Check out all of our awesome upcoming schools that you can be a part of! Head on over to our newly designed website to find out more. If you have questions, let me know!
Next year, 2015, marks 25 years since Homes of Hope began. You've read stories of the impact on families and teams. But these are just a few of the thousands of lives that have been impacted through Youth With A Mission (YWAM) San Diego/Baja and Homes of Hope. What began as a simple house build with a youth group and a little girl asking if her daddy could build a house for "that one" has blossomed into an international movement of Hope.
In May, 2015, we will be celebrating all that God has done through this amazing ministry and you are invited!! While we normally host family, church, business, school teams or groups, we are opening up this incredible celebration weekend to individuals. We are so very excited that you can be a part of this historic event. Not only are we going to be celebrating in style (worship with Lincoln Brewster) but we will also be attempting something we've never done before, 25 houses in one weekend. You read that correctly, we will be building 25 houses, that's 25 families that will have a roof over their heads and a locking front door!
Below you will find details of cost (doesn't include your airfare to San Diego) and dates as well as a bit more about the celebration itself. Please pray about and consider coming to join us for this celebration of God's faithfulness and goodness and all that He has done. If you would like to register to come, please email me so we can get you on the list. Spaces are very limited but I promise you, you will not want to miss out!!
I am so blessed to work with such an amazing ministry. While I may not actually go out & physically build the homes anymore, I continue to support this ministry throughout the week by teaching our missionary kids in our preschool so their parents can go pay the bills, meet the families, order the wood, prepare the sandwiches, walk the teams through the process, etc.
If you liked this story, you will probably also like:
Make sure you also check out all of the other Homes of Hope stories through our YWAM Ministries.
Want to bring a team down?? I'd LOVE to host you!! For information about how you can get involved, check out our website at ywamsdb.org.
Well in our case, just in with the new here in our transient community of Youth With a Mission (YWAM). This week we not only said "see you later" (cause it's never as absolute as goodbye) to our DTS (discipleship training school) students as they left for outreach but a few hours later we began welcoming our new students for the next DTS and our newest Community Transformation and Developement School (CTDS).
With these two schools come several more families which means more kids on base. This is so very excited for all our base kids cause that means new friends. This is also very exciting to me but also means way more kiddos in preschool! Yikes, good thing God answered prayers before I knew I needed them!
We have now officially gained
7 additional students for preschool (2 of which are Spanish speaking only)
2 foundation school students
We add these to the
9 regular base kids in preschool
2 foundation school students
We also have
4 that will join a few days a week
4 toddlers on a waiting list!
That brings our total to 28 students ranging in ages of 1 all the way up to 14 under my direct care and supervision.
Pray for us as we make this transition. Praise The Lord for the provision of 3 more bilingual teachers to join us for the this quarter.
Ok, I'm going to take a nap now! My bilingual brain is fried.
I am on an amazing adventure traveling the world with Jesus. Join me on my adventure and learn what I learn.
*Add a note stating it is Staff Support for Sheril Brasher or Little Builder's Preschool