It’s that time of the year again... "Back to school!" On Saturday, August 29th, Reaching the Hungry brought together a group of 65 willing people, piled into vans and headed down to Tijuana, Mexico to help children and families prepare for the new school year! The group consisted of a worship team from Iglesia Jerusalem, Reaching the Hungry volunteers, Worldwide Transformation Ministries, and a youth group from Saddleback Church.
Trevor Berges (green shirt) took his 11-year-old son, Tanner, on his first mission trip with Reaching the Hungry.
“First mission trip with Tanner and me. Good day in Mexico with Reaching The Hungry ministry. Amazing time!”
Tijuana is a very poor community with a great need of support. How beautiful it is when communities come together to help another community in need. About 300 hundred backpacks filled with school supplies, were collected and distributed to children. Each family also had check-ups from the medical team from Project Compassion and glasses were prescribed and given when needed. At noon, volunteers made and handed out around 500 meals for children and families.
All these things are wonderful acts and gifts of kindness and love. But all of it is completely meaningless if it weren’t for the common denominator: the hope of the Gospel. The good news of Jesus Christ is what ties it all together. Not only were the needs of the physically hungry met, but also the spiritually hungry had an opportunity to “ taste and see that the Lord is good,” Psalm 34:8
Briana Kwiatek recalls of her time in Mexico:
"I had been to Mexico twice before, but this time was different. This time we went to a community of shanties comprised of plastic and scraps of wood. I hadn't seen poverty like this before in my entire life. The kids were so excited to see us and had been waiting since the early morning for our arrival, anxious to receive the gifts we had brought. We got to work right away, making hundreds of lunches and putting together the school supplies and backpacks. My favorite part of the day was getting to meet the children and hand out stickers. As I walked down the line of children waiting for their gifts, I would ask "Cual color quieres? --Which color do you want?" They were so excited to receive a little smiley face sticker. I got to look each of them in the eyes and show them in a small way that they were special, and they had value. That's what these trips are all about, showing people that they are worth it. That God loves them more than anything and that they are valuable."
We are called to not only bring the good news of the Gospel, but to also live it out. To share the truth that there is rest for the weary, hope for the hopeless, food for the hungry, a home for the orphaned, and safety for the abandoned. That is what these trips are all about. Thank you to all the volunteers and the very generous donations of the communities that helped make this trip happen. See you on the bus next time!
"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings the good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns." Isaiah 52:7