Three and a half days. That’s how long four Heritage students, along with their youth group, had to build a house this summer.
During the last week of July, Heritage Freshmen Trevor Young and Tess Selden and Seniors Sarah Krohn and Sarah Selden traveled down to Anapra, Mexico with their youth group from St. Philip Lutheran Church in order to build a home for a family in need.
“I wanted to go to make a difference—it sounded like a great opportunity to help someone in need,” says T. Selden.
Other than the four Heritage students, five other youth went on the trip, along with two chaperones from St. Philip, two counselors from Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp and two interns from Casas Por Cristo, the organization that they worked through. However, that wasn’t the only help the youth received on their trip.
“My favorite part of the trip was having interactions with the neighborhood kids while building the house. All the kids that came over while we were building wanted to help in any way they could,” remembers Krohn.
“We were able to form bonds with the kids even though we didn’t speak their language. It was awesome,” says T. Selden.
But the trip wasn’t all fun and games with the kids. Anapra is a suburb of Juarez, a city known for being in the middle of a desert and therefore home to some very high temperatures.
“The heat was definitely a challenge, especially since we had to wear workpants at the worksite all week. Also, the workdays were pretty long,” says T. Selden.
Despite the heat, the volunteers were able to take away some major lessons from the trip.
“The biggest lesson I took was that you always have enough to help those around you. The family that we were building the house for gave us lunch our last day on the worksite. They gave us a lot of food and when were done with our plate, they would bring us another plate just as full. A family who didn’t have much gave us more than any of us could have believed they would give,” says Krohn.
T. Selden also learned some valuable lessons in Mexico.
“I learned that materials and objects don’t matter. It’s the relationships you build that matter. The kids down there have practically nothing, yet they are so happy. It was amazing to see,” says T. Selden.by