Sunday, April 23, 2017

Jamie's Reflections from Mexico

The most powerful part of our relationship with Hogar de Amor has been watching how my heart, my family, and our relationships have grown and changed over the past five years. It astounds me to realize that my youngest son, Ben, has been visiting Hogar de Amor every year for over a third of his life!
9-year-old Ben at Hogar de Amor in 2012
13-year-old Ben still loves to play with the kids at Hogar de Amor!


Every year, I get more joy and deep satisfaction out of our relationships with the staff and caregivers of Hogar de Amor. 

Keep in mind that I am a card-carrying, Type A achiever. I'm a doer. I'm always busy, always producing, always striving. There's some great stuff about those personality traits - I think one has to be a bit (more than a bit?) hyper-organized to successfully bring 28 people to Mexico and home again. But there's some junk that comes along with it.

Over the years, God has redirected my heart and energy away from what we "do" in Mexico. I still relish bringing down scads of donations. I still enjoy fixing stuff around the houses and working hard to make the orphanage more pleasant and more functional for everybody who lives there. But the reality is that the curtains we sew will need to be replaced in a couple of years and the walls we repaint will get scuffed again. What we "produce" in Mexico just doesn't last.

What lasts are the relationships we forge. Seeing the faces of the church staff light up when they see us because we've built a foundation of respect and support for their ministry - that lasts. Being a familiar face to the kids and giving them some fun, special childhood memories - that lasts. Telling the caregivers through our words and actions that they are loved, supported, prayed for, and valued in good times and in hard times - that lasts. Bonding together as a team and experiencing deep community with the CenterPoint folks - that matters. Worshiping together with our Mexican brothers and sisters, praying together, crying out to God together, and experiencing what it means to be the worldwide body of Christ - that lasts.

I'm a doer. Verses like 1 John 3:18 make sense to me:
Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

What God's doing in my life is adding to my "doing" a deeper understanding of verses like 1 Corinthians 13:13:
Three things will last forever — faith, hope, and love — and the greatest of these is love.
It's not the action that lasts forever, it's the love - the relationship.

I am so grateful that at Hogar de Amor I get to be a blessing to the team, the kids, the caregivers, and the church staff. And I am so grateful that I get to be blessed and changed by the depth of the relationships that God has made possible in that amazing place.

Sasha's Reflections from Mexico

By Sasha

i got to spend a week in mexico with people and my family to help an orphanage. in the morning we would do activity's with the kids for about two hours. there were three stations sports, crafts ,and games. after that we did are jobs, like we did screens, making curtains, curtain rods to hang the curtains on. we made a patio we painted the roof and the walls we did electricity on the security lights. we made a door for the apartment the house parents lived in. we made a new sink we got rid of some old toys and sorted clothes.

Leading activities
Enjoying lunch

after that at around 4:00 or 4:30 we walked back to the hotel some of us would hop in the pool and then we would either go out on certain days or have market meals. one day we went down town to a mall and we could by stuff. i bought a bracelet a churro and some ice-cream and earrings. and we left there around four a clock on Wednesday night we had a party with a pinata. and after we had cake because it was my moms birthday. after we ate cake we did worship karen taught them a lesson then we prayed then we went back to the hotel.

on friday we always say by to the orphanage then go to the beach for 2:00 hours then we head back to the orphanage and on saturday we pack up and we hang out until the bus comes. we ride the bus to the airport then we take the plane back to utah!

oh yay! one more thing the trip felt very special to me because i never got to spend time in a orphanage with kids before and i learned that since the kids don't have families its very special to them that people come down to them an spend time with them. it means a lot of them. one of the cool things in mexico is that i met a girl named maria jose and esmerelda got along with me very fast.

Our Trip to Mexico

At the beginning of April I was blessed to take a trip of 28 folks from CenterPoint Church down to Hogar de Amor Orphanage in Colima, Mexico. It was an amazing trip, all the more so because I got to serve alongside 3 of my very favorite people!

You can read all about the trip on our team blog, http://centerpointmexico.blogspot.com and check out the video below to see highlights from our blessed week!


It was a week that touched the hearts of every member of the team as we contributed about 600 hours of labor to jobs around the orphanage and, most importantly, shared countless smiles and hugs!

In addition, the CenterPoint team was grateful to bring a ton of donations to Hogar de Amor, including:
  • Over $7,300 in project supplies and cash donations
  • 587 pairs of socks and underwear
  • 151 tubes of toothpaste
  • 201 toothbrushes
  • 381 packs of crayons
  • 121 coloring books
  • 56 bath towels
  • 79 washcloths
  • 170 hand towels, kitchen towels, and dish rags

Wow!

Thanks again to everybody who was a part of this trip - those who supported the trip financially, who prayed faithfully for the trip, who stayed in the U.S. and kept homes running while the team was away, and who donated supplies for the kids of Hogar de Amor. Your support means so much to us and to them.

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