Mission Trips With My Dad To Mexico

June 19, 2015 by Madeline Friend

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My friend, your friend, and quite possibly everyone’s friend, Bob Friend

One of Amor’s core values is family, which we define as restoration of community. I have been on trips with my sister, trips with our entire family, trips that my parents supported me on, and trips with my dad. Each of these opportunities to serve as a cohesive unit was incredibly poignant in forming a lifestyle of service within our family.

In honor of Father’s Day, I am honored to share some of my memories about serving on Amor trips with my dad. His heart of service inspires and encourages me each day. My dad’s name is Bob Friend, and people affectionately refer to him as “my friend, your friend, and quite possibly everyone’s friend, Bob Friend.”

As an educator for more than twenty years, he spends his days teaching and engaging with high school students. Before becoming a teacher, he spent fifteen years working as a carpenter. By combining his technical construction skills with his ability to teach and relate, he leads incredible worksites on Amor trips. Since I was a child, I remember him teaching me how to build and work with my hands. From the small balsa wood structures I cobbled together in elementary school to the drywall we hung in San Carlos on our first Amor trip together, he has taught me so much more than just how to put things together. Everyone is included and welcome to learn any step of the process. He never discriminates on the basis of age, gender, experience, or any other preconceived notion. With my dad, there is space at the table for everyone.

Each day on the worksite, you see him serving in all capacities: mixing cement, playing with children, practicing his Spanish, encouraging others. No task is too big or too small, and I am always so proud, excited, and grateful to serve with him. The mark of a servant leader is someone who enriches the lives of others and creates a more compassionate world through their actions. This is my dad.

Amor trips were a catalyst for our family. Building together ingrained in us a special bond of sweat, service, and support. These experiences have inspired us to create justice.

I hope someday you get to serve with your new friend, Bob Friend.

Happy Father's Day! 


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Topics: Participant Stories