The Bright Group theme this week was Global Faith, and inspired some amazing illustrations from the talented collection of artists at Bright. You can enjoy the incredible work here.
Faith is the central foundation of life for my family and I, so I wanted to capture a scene that has had a deep impact on our hearts, what it means to live out our faith and following God's calling.
3 years ago, my wife and I felt called to start doing short term mission trips with our 3 kids. Incredibly, God led us to the ministry of Casas Por Cristo while at a conference in Georgia. At first, we were unsettled about the thought of taking 3 young kids to Juarez, Mexico. The stories of the crime rate and fears of our friends and families had us feeling very uncertain about the decision, but we truly felt God calling us to go by faith under his banner of protection.
When we arrived in El Paso, Texas it was astonishing and heartbreaking to be standing in a hotel parking lot (where we were meeting) and looking across a fence into Juarez where extreme poverty consumed the landscape. Thankfully, ministries are reaching across borders and beyond the fearful headlines of crime and violence to help those in need.
From the moment we arrived in Juarez the next day (Friday), it was apparent that God's hand is on the ministry of Casas Por Cristo, in the way they have been protected and grown to be respected in the community. Each year they take several trips (into Juárez and Acuña México, San Raimundo, Guatemala, Santiago and the Dominican Republic) to build a home for a family in need. We have been part of groups where we serve along side random people from around the U.S. coming together to serve. In those 3 short days we become a community of friends working along side one another to build hope and show Christ's love.
It is a whirlwind of work in 3 short days. From pouring a foundation and constructing wall frames the first day, to watching a small home fully come together the 2nd day. Then finishing stucco, electrical, and clean up on the 3rd morning, followed by a celebration of welcoming the family into their new home with a prayer service and dedication. This time is always a reminder of the way God is bringing the light of hope into the darkest places.
Though our kids may not be able to do all the construction jobs, they certainly find ways to get involved with carrying boards, holding drywall, or tarring the roof. But seeing our kids playing with the kids in the neighborhood, drawing, sharing toys and gifts is such a sweet reminder that the language of love goes beyond the language barrier. They are doing some of the greatest ministry work by just being kids!
I could go on and on about the amazing ways God has used these trips in our life and the stories that have come from our time in Juarez. In the end, it is amazing how you can change the life of a family, by teaming with a crew of fellow servants in just 3 days. Basically a weekend of work, to make an impact for a lifetime.