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Building Houses and Latrines in Baja California Mexico
 

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Submitted February 2, 2001 by Sue DiSanto, after her first building mission to Tijuana.

 

After having spent more than one Sunday at church listening to how great it was to build a church in Mexico, I told my boyfriend that this would be a great opportunity for him to use his skills as a contractor! He agreed that this would make him feel that he was contributing to the cause and serving the Lord. I even told him that I'd go to cheer him on, moral support, you might say.

When the appointed weekend came around, lo and behold, he couldn't make it. He hadn't planned well enough and, I feel, wasn't ready for what he was afraid he was going to see. Poverty is not very pretty and, if you don't look, some people feel, it's not there. However, I had committed myself and I was not going to back out. I felt that I was answerable to a greater authority!! So, I went. I drove myself to Otay Mesa and met up with everyone at the border. To say I was apprehensive is to put it mildly. I was one of four females there and my knowledge of carpentry was, at best, minimal. But, I know that God puts us places where we belong, even if at the time it does not seem to make sense!

What a joy when I found out that one of the people attending this trip was an old high school friend of mine and his wife, whom I met for the first time that weekend. Everyone on the trip made me feel welcomed and a necessary part of the troop. After making it through the border, the ride through Mexico was somewhat akin to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland, except there are no tracks and you never get lost in Disneyland and I ALMOST GOT LOST! I was driving by myself and it was kinda scary when I lost the truck I was following for a split second, at exactly the moment when I was supposed to decide whether to turn left or right! Luckily, God, and the guy in the truck in front of me, were watching and saw that I was confused and flashed their lights so that I could make the right decision! I was wondering if I had gotten myself into something too much for me to handle!

Over the next two days I got to help with moving lumber, bending wire, preparing wood for paint and shaping mesh to be used as fly retardant. But more than that, I got to spend time with a great bunch of people and see how the caring of a few can affect many. We were so immersed in getting the job done that when the day came to leave and we offered our little gifts to the family, I saw grown men weep, overcome with emotion, at the appreciation and gratitude that the family expressed. I felt insignificant as a carpenter, but I felt proud to have just stood there and witnessed how God transformed wood and paint into love and caring for a family who had nothing. It's not what you can do with your hands, it's what you can do with your heart!

I don't have the boyfriend anymore, he still can't plan his life, but I have a plan, inside me, to go back again, and make a difference. And if you get the chance, I highly recommend it!

God bless!
Sue DiSanto

 

 

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Last modified: April 06, 2007