This weekend I was on a missions trip to Rocky Point, Mexico (Puerto Peñasco) through Weekend Missions Inc. It’s a Christian organization doing great work in this Mexican city. If you are in Arizona and are looking for a way to make a positive impact with our southern neighbors, I highly recommend it.
On Saturday morning, I was a group that helped install foam insulation in a church. That afternoon, the men went to a shelter for males in drug and alcohol rehab.
The director of the men’s shelter pointed out some of the men who were making progress. Someone in our group said, “They look so young.”
The director replied, “Here the boys have to grow up faster than in the States. They age five years faster. A thirteen year-old boy is like your eighteen year-olds. they have to provide for their family. An eighteen year-old boy is just old.”
Of course, I’ve heard the stories. I knew how tough it could be for poor families. But somehow, the stories don’t have the impact of seeing the results face-to-face.
Mexico has beauty and clutter. There are beautiful people just trying to get by and people who are very determined to wash your windshield whether it’s dirty or not. Rocky Point has a fantastic beach with plenty of peddlers selling their wares. They have a vibrant downtown. There is hope and there is tragedy. And there are children just trying to make a living and find their way in the world.
I’ve volunteered in children’s ministry for over twenty years. This makes me consider what children’s ministry should look like in a poor community that’s just an hour hour’s drive away.
I have no answers this morning, just lots of thoughts.