My Journey to Amor started in high school. I came on three trips with my church youth group and I can honestly say that those summer trips were the highlight of my high school career.
From the outside, each trip would seem the same – drive for two days straight down the Interstate, check in and set up camp, build a house in four days, drive for two days straight back up the Interstate. But each trip was entirely different; every family we built for, every community we went to, every person that came on the trips – the stories and experiences are far from the same.
From a trip full of newbies or a trip full of veterans to building a school classroom or building a house for a family who was renting out their current “home” for steady income.
After I graduated high school and was no longer a part of the youth group, it felt like a part of my summer was missing. In 2011, I came back to Amor as a Project Nexus intern. I was already in love with the work that the ministry was doing in Mexico and abroad, but that summer changed my life. I know, totally cliché…but I have no other words to describe what happened that summer. I recently looked back on a blog post that I wrote as a Nexus. Here’s an excerpt:
“When I made the decision to apply for and later accept this Project Nexus opportunity I was really excited that I was going to be experiencing this week-long mission experience that I loved for a whole summer. It wasn’t until two weeks into the program when we were building our training house that it really hit me: I get to be a part of something bigger this summer, because not only do I get to witness God’s love being shown to these families every week through the house-building process, but I also get to be a part of a new group each week experiencing that same love and camaraderie that I loved so much about my Amor Mission Trips in high school.”
This realization I had in the second week of my summer turned out to be nothing but truth. Over the next eight weeks I met some excellent people, worked with amazing groups, and helped touch the lives of so many families who had next to nothing.
When I started school at Western Washington University after that summer, I felt a constant pulling on my heart to go back to Mexico. I participated in the Project Barnabas volunteer program on my spring breaks over the next three years.
No matter how many times I went back, I was constantly amazed at the work God is doing through Amor Ministries. It never got old – experiencing the dedication and camaraderie of the mission teams that come down to work, experiencing the thrill of seeing a house being built by ordinary people who gave up a week of their comfortable lives to be in Mexico, experiencing a family receiving the keys to their new home, experiencing a mission team grow and learn together as they do God’s work – I just knew I had to keep coming back.
When I started thinking about what I was going to do after graduation, coming back full-time to Amor was always on my mind. One thing led to another, God opened all the right doors, and last fall I began raising support for a year-long internship with Amor Ministries.
So. After eight years of participant trips and volunteer programs, I find myself here at the Amor Ministries office. Each experience that I have had with Amor over the years has been unique, but one thing has always remained the same: we have all come to build hope. I look forward to what this next year has to offer.