Thank you. Thank you for showing me how to truly be grateful, for showing me not only the difference between what I have and what so many others around the world have, but also the difference between what I have and what I need. And thank you for showing me people who are grateful even when they don’t have what they need.
Thank you for teaching me that God resides everywhere. Not just at church, not just among religious people, not just in joyful circumstances. God is among the pain and poverty. Thank you for making me realize that it’s not my job to reconcile difficult circumstances with a benevolent, all-powerful God, but it is my job to trust that he’s there and to spread love and to give and share everything I can with those who need it.
And thank you for demonstrating that, in R2’s (a trip sponsor) words, “God will not be out-given.” We set out on this trip each year willing to give up some luxuries for a week, willing to give our hands, feet, and lower backs to the families we’re building for, and we grow. Every. Single. Time. I am out-given. Not only do the families give us food and smiles, they give us the gift of knowing that happiness is not in stuff. Of knowing that we have enough and that giving can only help this world. Thank you for reminding me that my personal comfort is never the most important thing.
Thank you for showing me how powerful I really am. How powerful we are. I mean, 50 or so of us can build 2 or 3 houses in 5 days. If we can do that in 5 days, imagine what we can do with the rest of our lives!
And most of all, Mexico, thank you for your precious, sweet, strong, beautiful, generous people. Thank you for showing me that, although we live in vastly different circumstances, we are so similar. We all just want happiness, family, love and God, whoever we believe him (or her) to be. So thank you for letting our souls touch their souls and their souls touch our souls. Because in a world of isolation, true human connection is one of the most beautiful things I’ve found.