Three Lessons from Building Homes in Mexico [Participant Story]

September 2, 2014 by Fabiola Johnson
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For eight years Rod Brown has been coming on house building mission trips with Piedmont Community Church.

He still remembers his first trip down to Mexico. His son, Kendrick, was just a freshman in high school.

“He’s now graduating college from the University Santa Clara with a degree in Biology and Public Health. He dreams of becoming a doctor in Malawi.” Rod Brown said.

Their Amor Mission Trip was the family’s first. From that moment it became a family tradition. Rod returned later with his second son and although he hasn’t been able to convince his wife Barbara to come with them, she plays as big of a role in making the trip a success.

Barbara and other women in their church sew curtains and blankets for the families who’ll be receiving homes. This helps involve the entire church community in transforming lives, even if they can’t come on the mission trip.

Rod believes that building homes with Amor has inspired his children to continue serving internationally families in need, made them more compassionate, and in a way helped shaped their career paths.

To date, Rod has been a part of building nine homes.

“I remember on my first mission trip I wasn’t that good of a builder. I learned to build better with each subsequent trip. Every year taking more pride, letting it sink in that this home will help a family” Rod said.

There are three important lessons he’s learned from building homes in Mexico:

1.     The ability to change the future of the families you are building. “It’s incredible, if you really think about it…You change the course of their life.”
2.     The impact that makes in affluent kids’ lives is priceless. “When we bring our youth, their gifts are not always obvious to them until we immerse them in someone else’s reality.”
In all, Rod laments that the experience does not stay with them in the same intensity.
“After experiencing Mexico, they feel a bit more grateful. However the decay rate after they return is huge and a lot of it gets lost. Maybe 1% remains with them over their lifetimes.”
However, he adds… “That’s not all bad, it is all about perspective.  A course correction of one degree over a lifetime is huge. It  adds a little a sense of responsibility for their fellow man, which alters their course. They end up in a better place than they would otherwise”
3. Finally it’s about finding purpose.Rod says that for people like him who are trying every day to build a business, it’s easy to get caught up in the competition and coming on a mission trip reminds him to serve others.  

“When I suffer from doubt about my place on the planet, my reason for living when I’m physically broken down; beat down, building a house is very cathartic. When I finish this house, I’m touched by God in a way that only happens there serving others… That’s why I keep coming back.”

See for yourself how you too can use your gifts, talent, opportunities and education to make a difference: 

Create Justice Come to Yucatan

Topics: Participant Stories

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