A few weeks ago, a group of us from our church headed down to Tijuana, Mexico. We were there to build two houses for families in Mexico who were without adequate shelter. One of the families had lost everything they owned in a fire that destroyed their home and took the life of their three-month-old daughter. Homes can be rebuilt. Lives lost can’t.
Periodically, our church makes these kinds of trips. They aren’t something we do the second Saturday of the month, but something we do rhythmically. We go when we feel that we need to go. This may be our sixth trip as a church, but it’s my first with this faith community. What makes the trip all the more special is that included in the group piling into vans is my wife, Jamie, and four kids, ages 12 to 6.
You could say that this is a trip I’ve dreamed about for years. My wife and I are deeply committed to raising our children to understand the Christian life as a life of giving and a life of love. We’ve sought over the years to include our family in experiences that would reinforce these values, helping our children see the realities of life. But the accumulation of experiences is not what this is all about. You see, one can be exposed to a variety of experiences, yet remain unchanged by any of them.
So we’ve gathered in a parking lot at 6:00 in the morning, not in order to go “do something nice” for people who are without for the day, but for something much more subversive. In actuality, we’re going to Tijuana for a much more revolutionary reason.
You see, we believe that God is up to something, something that is transforming this world into the kind of place that God intended. We’re convinced that to be a part of the Christian faith is to embrace the invitation God is giving to join this revolutionary, restoration movement. This movement is about making things right again. It’s about finding places that are dark and broken, and bringing light and healing. What is this movement? It’s called the Kingdom of God.
So we’ve come to Mexico, looking to see the Kingdom come alive in the hills of Tijuana. We’ve come to see God enter into the pain of a family in Mexico, and witness the smiles on their faces as they physically see the love of God demonstrated to them.
Because the Kingdom of God came for them in the forms of wood, nails and cement. It was in the clothes, food and toys. Have you ever seen this kind of kingdom? Better yet, have you ever been a part of it? You should. It could change the world.
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What are some ways in which you, as a church or as an individual or family, are bringing a bit of heaven here? What can you be doing?
Encouraging Parents…Building Families
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