November 7, 2013
Never have I felt taller than I did during my time in Camalú. Or younger for that matter (ok I guess I've felt younger, but not this much in a while). I travelled with 10 other men (all over 50 years of age) to the small, mostly indigenous town along the west coast of Mexico's Baja California peninsula. Our job was to build a roof on the expansion of a small church in a new neighbourhood. I don't think I met one person at this church that was less than half a foot shorter than I was (and I'm only 5'10") - but, maybe ironically, I didn't meet one person I didn't look up to in some way.
time off of work and school to help lay blocks, mix concrete, prepare food and clean up for the multiple services each week. Without "vacation time", "banked hours" or large savings accounts, the sacrifice of taking time off work is that much greater. Despite this, each volunteer seemed happy to be there - excited to do their part in helping build God's Kingdom here on earth.
|The roof after day 2|
Our team was down there to help finish off the addition to their existing church building. The walls were up when we arrived, but a roof was still needed.
Since the Mexicans have much less experience working with wood than Canadians (most of the wood and shingles were actually manufactured in Canada), this was a great way for us to help.
Unlike the two other trips I've been on to Mexico, we actually worked along side the members of this Mexican church. We showed them a bit on how to work with wood, they showed us a bit on how to work with concrete block.
We didn't show up in a whirlwind, do our
work, and leave in a rush. We spent time together. We learned to communicate despite language barriers. We broke bread (tortillas) together.
As expected, we got the roof done (with time to spare). The specifics of how everything got done seem much less important now. In reality, the roof isn't really the "product" of the trip. I think we all, Mexicans and Canadians, experienced one important thing. Our many differences - cultural, language, height and otherwise - are insignificant compared to the faith we have in common.
I could share a lot more stories - how our first rental van blew a wheel bearing, about the amazing local food we had, and about the missionaries we stayed with. Feel free to ask me about it if you want. More than anything though, I will remember the feeling of all of us coming together as ONE church, ONE body filled with ONE Spirit. I'm especially blessed - I get to look forward to experiencing this many more times on eMi trips. Sí, Dios me ha bendecido.
Here's a few more pictures...