On October 25-28, Ventura Missionary Church, in partnership with YWAM's Homes of Hope ministry, sent a team down to Mexico to build a home for a family in need. The home was to be the first YWAM had planned for a new area in a town called, Valle Verde. But God's greater purpose for this trip was beyond what the team could have ever imagined.
Elias, one of the younger members of the team says, "One thing that set this trip apart was the ability I had to connect with the kids of the family and the neighboring children. These children came willing to help, especially with the painting...These Mexico home builds always prove to be more than just the assembling of a structure, but bring heavy impacts to the lives of not only the family, but anyone involved."
Elias' cousin, Nathan had similar sentiments. He also says, "This mission trip was very important to me because it made me more grateful for the things that God has given me."
Team Leader, Billy Bigler describes his amazing experience this way:
The first day went smoothly. We got the walls up, the siding on and the roof sheeted with plywood. After dinner, us guys watched Game Three of the World Series - Dodgers versus Red Sox. This was the game that lasted a record 7 1/2 hours! Some of the YWAM Bible students joined us. Felix, a Red Sox fan, sat next to me. During our conversations he asked what family we were serving. When we told him, he lit up and the game took a back seat. Felix said they had been praying specifically for this family for months. He said that they had been taken advantage of, the kids had been bullied, and racism and hate had plagued them because they were different.
The next day, I felt pulled to take a break from the labor and get to know the family. Across the street from our build site there was a church that we were able to use during our project. We found a somewhat clean spot on the concrete floor to set a few chairs together in the basement. The two translators helped facilitate...English to Spanish to Mixteco...Mixteco to Spanish to English. We started by asking the family some basic facts - How long had they been there, Where did they come from, When did they get married, etc. It took a few minutes for both translators to do their translating. As I write this now, my eyes are beginning to water as I recall how powerful the Spirit came into this room and onto all of us. In the midst of my questioning, I realized that I was right in the middle of God's will and that He'd planned this meeting months ago. as the prayers of His saints filled the cups of heaven. He was pouring out His love to them through us in that moment. I was overwhelmed by the love of God. My tears joined Odilia's on that cool concrete floor. I finally continued the interview, but I wasn't in control of the conversations any longer. This was a divine meeting with a supernatural purpose. Odilia began to open up and start to share her heart with us, telling us all the things that had happened to them. She was overwhelmed that we were actually there building a home for her. At one point as the interpreters asked if they had been Christians for a while, with tears running down her face Odilia said she had not let Jesus into her heart and gave us the excuses of why she hadn't. I then asked her if she'd like to invite Jesus into her heart completely right now. We prayed together, in three languages but in One Spirit. Odilia accepted Christ into her heart 100%. She immediately shared that she felt cleansed and warmth filled her heart in that very moment. That meeting went from my agenda to His agenda.
Another young team member, Aili, sums the trip up well when she says, "We often get caught up in our own world of school and earning money and getting stuff that we forget what really matters: showing God's love and doing His work on earth to further His kingdom. This trip really helped me to realign my focus and purpose in life.
The Fall 2018 Mexico Home Build was incredible. God used the experience to bless the givers as well as the receivers. He used the team to build an earthly home for a family, but more importantly, He also used them to help Odilia receive an eternal home in heaven.