I made my first trip to Zorrillo, Mexico, in July of 2006. I had seen pictures, but as I arrived, I clearly had no idea what to expect. Camping next to the ocean on the Baja Coast sounded like a great vacation, and it was. However, the tent I slept in with my three friends was probably more luxurious and more spacious than the lean-tos and shacks in which the locals resided with their families.
Probably the most astonishing thing was that the family who lived in a building made of scrap wood, with a gravel floor, was more satisfied with what little they had than I was for all the blessings I had taken for granted.
It was amazing to have a team of people come together to build a home for a family to live in. What’s more, was the outpouring of thanks and emotion when we dedicated a new home to the family in glory of God.
I don’t think anyone with whom I traveled felt entitled to any thanks or appreciation, but our family was so overwhelmed with thanks, they were moved to tears. The sincere gratitude expressed by the family was unreal.
As a police officer, I’ve worked with all sorts of people and seen many different forms of poverty. The people I’m used to working with are poor and malnourished as a product of their own choices made in life and often hostile toward any form of assistance. The people we worked with in Zorrillo were far different from anyone I had worked with back home. Moreover, they were born into poverty through no choice of their own. They live in a place where it’s almost impossible to look past the lack of employment opportunity, or the one room school house, or the lack of nutrition. Yet still, it’s hard to miss that these are God’s people, who are grateful for what they have in life that really counts.
Taking a week out of my life to be able to spend time working together with the local residents and friends, for the purpose of sharing God’s glory was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. As long as this program continues, I will make sure to be a part of it.