Sarah: Despite our limited time, this experience was full of learning. I learned many new skills such as how to properly stretch chicken wire, stucco the outside of the house, and install insulation and drywall. I also felt God teaching me to switch my mindset off myself and re-focus it on others. I was pleasantly surprised by the genuineness with which the team engaged with each other, and it was so refreshing. There were multiple times this past week where a teammate chose to speak a word of encouragement to me at a time when I was feeling drained, and it truly blessed me. I praise God for Casas por Cristo, and the good work they are doing for His glory. It was an honor to serve with the team in the community of Acuña, and I am so very grateful to have had this opportunity to learn and grow.
Mason: I was very much aware of the fact going into the trip that we would be building a house, but you can never be fully primed for what God is going to do throughout the journey. We knew we would be serving a family but had no clue that the family would end up being the compassionate people we know now. We also knew we would be hammering nails, but we definitely did not comprehend how many. In a short summary, besides a few bumps and bruises, there are no negative takeaways from the trip. We were able to further God’s Kingdom in exactly the way He planned and further our personal faith through the experience. I love and appreciate everything and everyone that God put in my life over the last week, as well as Belmont for allowing it to happen.
Elania: Coming back to Acuña is always such a humbling and beautiful experience. It teaches me all the things I take for granted each day and reminds me how big God’s love really is. I’m so grateful for the people who went with me, they were so welcoming and kind. Every relationship I built this week, with my peers and the family, I will cherish for a lifetime. I’m so lucky to have been a part of this amazing trip and work with Casas por Cristo. The city of Acuña and the people there are such a huge blessing. Casas por Cristo is such an amazing organization, and I encourage everyone to work with them someday.
Katie: As we leave Mexico, I just feel so joyful. This family now have a roof over their head and a house that is livable. Their previous home leaked every time it rained. I can’t even imagine living in a house that leaked when it rains. It made me realize just how much I can sometimes take for granted at home like a roof. Giving is always better than receiving. I am so glad I went on this trip again this spring break!
Grace: I learned that God can bring different communities together in so many ways and that we could show love to each other in so many ways. It was beautiful.
Jamie: My biggest takeaway from this trip is that God’s love and power have no boundaries. Most of us going on the trip had never met before, but our love for God brought us together to serve in a different country where none of us spoke the language fluently. Even though there was a language barrier, we were able to show the family the love of God through our actions which meant more than words. The most powerful moment for me was when we prayed over the family on the final day to dedicate the house. God was so present in that moment as everyone cried tears of joy and sorrow. I learned many skills on this trip and learned so much about myself and my faith. I know that God will continue to work in Acuña through Casas por Cristo, and I hope to stay in touch with Pastor Cristian and the family.