Their student ministry is called Impact and one of the amazing things they are planning to do with their trip this year is to live up to their name. They want to Impact the city and communities (colonias) of Ensenada. As I said they are hoping to build 5 houses but above and beyond that they are wanting to do so much more. During our visit last week, we were able to meet with several ministry leaders in the surrounding areas of Ensenada. Some I knew personally, some I had met in passing and some I just knew from pictures and updates from various friends on Facebook. It was such a blessing to hear the hearts of these leaders and the impact they are making on the lives around them.
We talked with the family that started a soup kitchen out of their home and heard their hearts & the story of how this ministry was started. We heard of how the father asked their neighbor, a young child, what he had gotten for Christmas. The child replied nothing. He asked what they had eaten for their Christmas meal, the child replied "left-over tamales that his mother hadn't sold". This broke this father's heart and he and his wife started feeding neighborhood children out of their own kitchen and their own pocket. This has grown from just a few kids to about 40 kids every Monday through Friday. Most of these kids come from broken homes, some of them wouldn't have a hot nutritious meal if not for this family. These guys have been opening their home up for about 4 years now. This family also has 3 beautiful young daughters (ages 3-10) experiencing this amazing loving act and are learning along-side their parents what God's love really looks like. They told us of a young man who had accidentally dropped his meal on the ground and was quickly trying to clean it up before anyone noticed and was planning to still eat it (they eat outside in the dirt). He was looking around to make sure no one saw him. When the father saw this, he came over to help and to let the boy know it was ok and that he could have a new plate the boy quickly cowered against the wall as if bracing for the beating. This again broke the father's heart. They realized that, more than just food for the tummies, their ministry was LOVING these children.
The stories go on and on. They are heart-wrenching & tragic at times. They are overwhelming at times to imagine these people living in these conditions and not knowing love. It also makes me think of the many children in our own backyards and neighborhoods that don't know what true love is all about. This happens in our own cities, not just impoverished countries. So it begs the question: What are we doing about it?? Would we be willing to feed all the neighborhood kids out of our own kitchens and pockets?? Would we be willing to step in and take in a child with extreme medical needs?? I find that it tends to be easy to walk past this hurt and need in the states because "someone else will take care of it". As much as I love missions and want people to come to my second home (Mexico) to serve the people there who says we can't and shouldn't do that same thing in our cities, in our hometowns, in our backyards.
What are you doing to impact the world around you???