At the beginning of John's first epistle, he says he writes to proclaim what he has seen and heard for the sake of fellowship and to make his joy complete. Following his example, I invite you to share in our fellowship, as I proclaim to our youth what I witnessed in our week together in Ensenada, Mexico.
Dearest Mexico team,
It has only been two weeks since we returned from our week-long adventure constructing a new home for our beautiful family of five in Mexico. When we first arrived, I barely knew your names. But after spending eight days with you (believe it or not) I count myself blessed. And before the experience fades from memory, I want to proclaim to you what I saw that week.
Courage. I watched as you bravely attempted new and different things, stepped up and took responsibility. Few of you had hammered a nail, and fewer had worked with power tools. But you fearlessly showed up that first day and went for it! We measured, marked and cut timber; hammered nails; ran wiring; laid roof tiles; painted siding; hung drywall; taped, mudded, textured, and painted walls and ceilings until it was finished!
Love. I watched you fall in love with the family and the neighbourhood (and they with you). On day one, you were all a bit shy and hid behind the sheer amount of work there was to get done. But as the sun got higher in the sky the ice melted. Smatterings of broken Spanglish were heard, often accompanied by frantic hand gestures, and then raucous laughter. By the end of that day, you have found a common language. The children laughed and played, gave hugs without hesitation and even fell fast asleep in your arms.
Joy and Koinonia. As work on the house ebbed and flowed, you delighted in bringing out activities and toys to engage the children - bubbles, sidewalk chalk, soccer balls and jump ropes. On the morning of the dedication, you could hardly wait to decorate the rooms and display all your gifts for the family - dishes, linens, clothes, stuffed animals and daily necessities carefully chosen and presented with anticipation. Later, as you passed the key from hand to hand and shared words of blessing and thanks, tears welled up, and then fell from Jesus and Monica's eyes. When the key came full circle, and Filipe put it into Jesus' hand, they embraced and wept. And you wept with them. You participated in the gratitude, wonder, and joy experienced by them as they marvelled at God's generosity manifest through you.
On our first night in Ensenada, the interpreter asked Jesus and Monica to each share a Spanish word for us to learn. They chose
Your (big) sister in Christ,