I read Esquire Magazine from time to time and there is an article series that I like called “What I’ve Learned.” They usually interview celebs and musicians and people like that. So for the past two years of doing this trip, I have written a blog with long sentences and analysis and paragraphs. This year, I feel the need to close the Culver-Stockton Mexico Experience a little differently. Other people will fill in the what we did, how we did it aspects of blogging.
Introducing “What I’ve Learned (About the Last 3 years of Doing Mission Work in Mexico)”
• Mexico is frustrating. The people don’t seem to understand what they can accomplish together. In an area of 400 people there are 10 churches. Why not pool the resources?
• Kids have an innocence that is preserved no matter what environment they live in. We met this young girl named Kayla who lives in the poor community called the Ant Hill. She’s the happiest girl I’ve ever met. She’s so young, yet she hasn’t had to grasp about how her life could be, instead of how it is.
• It’s never too late to start mission work. Jim Cosgrove, Professor of Business Law and Real Estate, started his first mission work when he was over 60. I can only hope that anyone who reads this gets the call to do the same.
• I wish there was more hope in the world. I look realistically into the problem that we see at the Ant Hill, and I struggle to see a solution. There is no way one person could afford to give running water and electricity to this area. That’s where my faith kicks in and tells me that all things are possible within God.
• No one prays quite as vigorously as Mexicans. People of Islam might pray often, but there is nothing like hearing a Mexican Prayer. They utter strong words to God, and thank him for all that He does. I don’t think American Christians say thank you to God as much as we should. Which is ironic, because generally speaking we often have more to thank for.
• In Matthew 19:21, Jesus asks a man to give up all his possessions and give them to the poor,
but the man struggles because he has a lot. People who believe themselves Christian struggle with this concept because, how can we give away all our things yet not be right there with the poor? I struggle to find the middle ground while doing mission work.
• I try to imagine how joyful someone living in the Ant Hill would feel if they lived my life for a year. I’m not saying my life is perfect, but rather that they would appreciate it more than I. In my life, they have food, running water and sanitation. That’s a lot to them.
• However, I don’t ever thank God that I’m not in their place. I don’t think it’s right to thank God of this, because it makes you sound arrogant of your place in life. So I ask God to help put these people on equal footing.
• My Spanish is at a point where I could live in Mexico and get by in terms of buying food and clothes and things I need. But I wouldn’t be able to carry a conversation that would really tell me something about that person’s soul. Note to self, learn Spanish better.
• Never drive in Mexico, too hard and too crazy.
• The Mexican Government doesn’t care about some people, we could probably say the same about our government in some cases, but in Mexico seems to take it to another level.
• Back breaking work doesn’t hurt as bad when you know of how it is going to affect someone’s life for the positive.
• “I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” Christopher Reeve. I think this quote personifies the founders of the Bible Institute that Project Berea does mission work through.
• Nothing makes me feel more Christian than this Mission work. It feels good to contribute to a community. I want to continue this giving throughout my life.
• I’ve had really close friends go with me all three years that I’ve gone to Mexico. It’s nice to share experiences like this with them, because it helps you bring you closer to them.
• Having a great camera can enhance any trip that you go on. I’ll be able to remember this latest trip even more vividly because of this fact.
• I would have a better work ethic if I had had to do physical labor my whole life like some of the people we work with down in Mexico. You don’t call someone to build you a church down there, you build it yourself.
• The church in Los Villareales is really something now. When I started, it was a windowless, gray, one story brick building. Now it is colorful and two story with restrooms and windows. It’s been quite the transformation.
• Mexicans aren’t too picky about personal space; in the US we are adamant about our personal space. I think we are too picky. Touch is important to them.
• Community building is one of the most important things that is needed in Mexico, there needs to be a greater sense of it across the entire country.
• I really want to go back someday.
• There will always be someone out there who needs help.
Posted at 10:54 AM by Brad Baker