Wendy's Work in Juarez

Going to Juarez was the most eye-opening thing I have ever done. Seeing the people there helped my gratitude grow, because I noticed how thankful they were for so little, when I have so much that I take for granted.

It also made a big difference in the lives of the family who received the house that we built. The family has three kids, and they were so happy that they shouted with joy when they got the keys to their home.

Monday was about the construction of the houses. The house was like a big shoe box, 36 feet long and 12 feet wide. It had three rooms and six windows. I had lots of jobs. I hammered in nails to build the walls. I helped pull the walls up, and I helped nail on the roof. There were specialized construction workers telling us what to do.

We went back to the Team Center for our meals and sleeping. On Monday after work, we took a tour to visit some of the people who have received houses in the past. We saw 4 families, all of which had children. It surprised me how neat the houses were. The paint still looked good. The insides of the houses looked cozy and comfortable. The people were very welcoming, and they wanted to show us their appreciation.

On Tuesday, we painted our house blue and the trim white. We also finished putting in insulation and dry walling the inside of the house. Our house did not have plumbing in it. We painted a new outhouse. They could get their water in big jugs from outside at the well.

We gave our family the keys to their new house before we returned to the Team Center. The children ran into the house, screaming with joy, for all the stuff we had brought for them, such as beds, blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, a couch, table and chairs, cabinets, dressers, food, toys, bottled water and a Bible.

On our last night, we had a church service in the church that organizes all of our projects. We heard stories of thanks from Mexicans who are living in houses that our team built other years. While the parents were getting seated there were crafts for the kids, and I led one of the crafts. We sang lots of songs in Spanish. Then we did a Mexican dance. I could tell they were very happy.

I am glad I went because it really helped people. I also made good friends. I want to go on another mission trip as soon as I can. I feel like it changed me somehow, but it is hard to explain.

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