My Mission Trip to Mexico

April 12, 2018
By coragreene BRONZE, Amery, Wisconsin
coragreene BRONZE, Amery, Wisconsin
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

In the summer of 2016 I went on my  first mission trip, and since then I’ve gone on two others. My first trip was to Kansas City, Kansas and my second trip was to the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, both were with other youths from my church. Both of these were amazing trips filled awesome experiences that really made an impact on me. Without those trips I would’ve never thought that I would enjoy a mission trip to Mexico. As great as they were they didn’t truly prepare me for what I would see on my trip. Mexico was an eye-opening trip and my previous trips can’t even compare to it.

My grandfather and grandmother have been going on the trip to Mexico for many years. My grandpa and grandma met on the trip, so it’s a pretty big deal in my family. I’d been hearing about the trip forever, but it never interested me until a little over a year ago when my grandpa asked me if I would be interested and I jumped at the opportunity. My previous mission trips had such a positive influence me I knew that I needed to go on this trip, so I got a job and saved up enough money to go.

When we crossed the border and arrived in Guadalupe, Chihuahua, the first thing I saw were the houses that were abandoned during the peak years of the drug war and even the burnt remains of the house of a former drug lord who had fled. Children were dirty and running around without shoes on, while stray dogs with matted fur scavenged for something to eat. It was heartbreaking because I could see how beautiful the city must’ve been before all the conflict and fear had taken it over. After seeing all of these things it really hit me that this wasn’t just any trip and it had the potential to change my life.

Most of my time during the mission trip was spent building an orphanage in Guadalupe. To get there we had to travel through a small part of the Guadalupe and then drive down a long, windy dirt road through the desert. After a long drive, we could see a large wall surrounding the property of the orphanage. Once inside the wall, we could finally see the orphanage and it amazed me. It was huge and shaped like a cross that will someday be home to over 200 children who are living on the streets of Mexico. I learned that the orphanage had been built entirely by volunteers and the paid for by over 8 million dollars in donations. Hearing that was heartwarming for me because so many people had put into such an amazing project that would someday help so many children in need.

The hardest part- but also my favorite part- of my trip to Mexico was “Mercenary Day.” The day began with us driving to Ciudad Juarez, where we would pick up a lot of food at a large grocery store. All this food would be used to feed over 200 families who are can’t provide for themselves. Along with the food, we brought warm clothes and blankets that had been donated to hand out because even Mexico gets chilly. We arrived in a neighborhood that looked nothing like any neighborhood I had ever seen. Instead of houses the people were living in small shacks made out of whatever objects they could find such as cardboard and plywood. These were far worse than the conditions I’d seen in Guadalupe and it was shocking because I hadn’t known it could get worse than that. It made me truly appreciate my life and the advantages I was lucky enough to be born with.
We pulled up to the small building that acted as their church where we would be handing out everything and we could see a large group of people behind the fence. These people had been waiting all day in the harsh, cold for us to arrive and give them food.  The line was filled with people of all ages. From babies too young to walk to the elderly who couldn’t even hold their bag filled with food. After we got everything set up, everyone was given a station where we would hand out a certain food. Seeing the difference of how the people accepted the food was interesting. Most of the women and the elderly would be smiling and thanking us as much as they could, while many the men were the opposite. They were ashamed that they couldn’t provide for their families and they accepted the food with scowls on their faces and avoiding eye contact. Although we had been warned about this behavior beforehand, it was still so hard to get used to, but deep down I knew they were grateful.

As we continued to hand out food, we began to realize that we most likely didn’t have enough food for everyone at the end of the line. We were told to pray over our pile of food to see if somehow we could make a miracle, so that’s exactly what we all did. In the end, we had ran out of everything except the tomatoes and peppers, but those would only feed a family for so long. Seeing all the families who didn’t receive all the food was hard for me because even though we fed over 200 hundred families, there were still so many people who would leave with so little. It was so disappointing because I felt like we had let those people down but then I had to remember all the people who we did have enough for. Those people went home with the peace of mind that their kids would be warm enough and they wouldn’t have to go to sleep with an empty stomach. It was then that I realized that is what this whole trip was for. Even though we couldn’t always help everyone, we were still doing everything in our power to help as many people as we could.

Throughout my trip to Mexico, the things I had the opportunity to see and experience were eye-opening. My life has view on the world has changed so much after going on the trip. It taught me that I have lived a sheltered and privileged life. Before that I had never truly understood when people would tell me I’m lucky to live the life that I do. Now it’s so easy for me to appreciate all of the good in my life. I want to use my privilege for the better to help people who have far less of an advantage than I do and try to make the world a better place. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to go on the mission trip to Mexico and for the experience and knowledge that came along with it.

The author's comments:

This piece is about my experiences on a mission trip to Mexico and the things I learned.

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