“¡Sí tu puedes!” is the phrase I heard at least a hundred times last week.
“Yes, you can!” was chanted loudly, encouraging the residents of Casa Hogar Douglas children’s home and the Hope Program as they competed in the obstacle courses we designed. This encouragement, smiles, and positive affirmation play a small, but important role in helping piece together the shattered hearts of children and teenagers who have experienced severe social trauma throughout their lives.
After last year’s inaugural mission trip to Monterrey, Mexico, I had high expectations and admittedly a higher level of comfort for the return sponsored by Back2Back Ministries. I knew what I was getting into. One of my descriptions for the trip is “exhaustingly good“. We do a lot! We do small work projects to improve the living environment. We create meals and feed the kids – giving the over-burdened caregivers a few hours break. We play with the kids. We take them mountain climbing. We take them bike riding. We offer fitness challenges. We design and implement an obstacle race and give away medals, shirts, headbands, etc. donated from obstacle racers and OCR organizations across the world. We do a whole lot, but we get even more in return.
The plight of these orphaned children will break your heart, but it will also inspire you. Inspire you to be good and do good. Immersed in that environment, I spent no more than a total of 20 minutes the entire week on email and social media. My spirits were high and my soul was as filled as it has been in a long time. Then, while waiting at the airport for the flight home, I opened the door to the Internet and was flooded with negativity – the whining, the protests, the complaints about protests, the attacks, and the moral elitism on both sides of the equation. I shut that door and my whole approach to social media changed. Because of this trip, I realized there are more important, worthwhile, and uplifting things I can do with my time than be brought down by opinions that I don’t need or care to know. You see, I have been so moved by the mission experience that I now have 2 sponsored kids in Monterrey. They need my support, my letters of encouragement, my involvement, and my mentoring to fight their way out of a hole deeper than most people in American have even thought about.
If that is the type of inspiration that you want, the type of action that will truly make a difference in someone’s life, then I encourage (beg) you to go with me next year. You will not regret it. Just ask Jason Throndsen, Ethan Throndsen, Steve McCollum, or Arnel Banawa. Ask Chris Shapman, Taylor Clark, or Andy Bell who went last year, but were unable to come this year. If that is not enough, watch the video below created by Arnel of OCR Tube. Even if you are already convinced, watch the video anyways. It is the most accurate description of the week and the mission that I can possibly share.
Details are being worked out for the 2018 trip and more information will follow shortly. In the meantime, feel to contact me if you’re interested or have questions.