Twenty-one summers ago. That was my first Amor trip. At the time, I had no idea what (or who) Amor was. And I did not care. Going to Mexico was getting out of my small hometown. Going to Mexico was spending a week and a half with friends. It was new. It was different. It was an adventure.
I was 100% right! Also terribly, terribly wrong. I was obliquely aware the purpose of our church’s mission trip was to serve alongside a family in need and show the love of Jesus by building a home. And though I was not without an honest sense of altruism, I was not ready for that trip.
Between October and June, I sat through many prep meetings. What you should expect, what you should pack (sunscreen...lots of it), what each day will look like (hot to very hot), what tools the team needs (sorry, Dad, for losing your crowbar, and wire cutters, and hammer, and shovel, and…), and how you should conduct yourself (try not to act like a teenage boy) were all topics of discussion at these meetings. I heard testimonies from others, saw photos, saw slideshows, a video from Amor (hardhats? really?). It didn’t all sink in.
When I crossed the border into that summer of 1994, I was wrecked (emotionally; though literally, please drive carefully in Tijuana). Then, I was confused. Then, I was saddened. Then, challenged. And eventually, changed. As unprepared as I was for that trip, God used the experience to change my trajectory. That trajectory eventually led me to join the Amor Team - after finally learning what and who Amor was.
This summer, we (heretofore meaning the participants, parents of participants, trip leaders, spouses of trip leaders, donors, members of the Ministry Planning Boards, and Amor Team, et al) ...WE were a part of something incredible. 115 groups from Alaska to Florida, from San Diego to London (the one in England), came together to build 150 homes.
Somewhere, in the midst of the 3,000-ish people that make up the “we” this summer of 2015, are a few like me. Maybe your motives were not completely unselfish. Maybe you didn’t know why you came. I don’t care. Because maybe God is using that experience to break your heart. Maybe he’s changing your trajectory. Maybe that trajectory is to work with Amor someday. If it is, give me a call 619.662.1200 ext. 147