My first trip to SWGSM, I was 14 years old: young and eager to help, but naive and unknowing of the world. Just beginning to explore my faith, I agreed to go on a mission trip with one church I had just started attending services at, and another I didn’t know at all. I didn’t grow up going to church, so I didn’t know exactly what I was in for.
When we got to Los Fresnos, it seemed familiar. Spending many summer months visiting family in Mexico, it was like returning to my childhood. Comfortable. When we crossed the border and began to work, it was a whole different world. We spent most of our time at the orphanage, building shelves and installing a basic pipe system for sewage. I saw children with no parents, no running water, and little else. While I myself had grown up poor, I didn’t know this world.
One little girl stuck to me like glue. Knowing how hot it was, she took me over to her room, and turned on a fan. In that moment, I felt Christ in my soul. A little girl with nothing to give, gave me the gift of a few minutes of a cool breeze. Me, a girl who grew up in poverty, felt the tiniest blessing of life. The rest of the week, I saw Christ in action, through the hard work and dedication of my fellow mission trippers, and in the works and welcoming of SWGSM.
Today I’m 32, a college graduate, and a corporate employee. 18 years later, I still remember the impact that working with SWGSM had on my burgeoning faith and soul. I follow the works SWGSM continues to do, and I see Christ, giving, loving, and standing up for those who need a voice. Although there were several more, I will always carry the memories of that first mission trip with with me, the opening of my eyes, and the passion for works and justice in my heart.