I haven’t been able to sort pictures yet and write about all that happened. I really can’t get into all that I learned and all that highlighted the trip yet until I tell you all that, but school actually forced me to do some. Ruthie told me to write an essay with a thesis about Life Experiences. Anyway, it’s not revised or anything, but I thought I’d post it for y’all. This memory is simply lovely. You’d have to experience it.
“I wish I could give more”
-by Ellie Jackson
You probably have not said this before, but you may have thought to yourself, “I can’t give much because I don’t have much.” Not true! Life experiences humble us to admit things we otherwise would not admit.
Recently I went to Mexico, just across the boarder, and in the big city, but even in the city I was humbled by the poverty and joy of the people there, especially one family who took us into their home. The home was very small with one room, an outdoor fire, cobwebs in the low rafters, and clutter in all places. Eli joyfully ushered us into her humble home without shame and found us seats wherever she could; on beds and on spare chairs. It was a strange feeling, seeing the dirt everyplace, mixed in with pokemon toys and penguin purses.
The struggles this family had gone through were great, yet you wouldn’t have guessed it for Eli’s joy and smiles. Her son, very frail and unhealthy, has professed to be a homosexual and they believe that he was demon possessed as well, at times he speaks in different voices and foams at the mouth. When we tore down a wood roof, the family asked for the wood and nails, ants, rust, and all!
As soon as we arrived at the home, we were served Mexican Potatoes, boiled in sugar water with condensed milk on top, accompanied with warm coke. She kept pressing us to take more, almost until we were shamed to take food from these people. Her daughter, after showing us some her various toys and taking pride in them, gave each of us girls a stuffed animal. Again, we hated to take her toys–but to refuse would be rude, and she so wanted us to give us something. Eli made and sold flowers made out of ribbon and cloth, and each of the girls on the mission team had already received a hair clip, given with love and laughter.
When we were in the home, talking through a translator, letting her serve us, we were able to sit back and enjoy each other, laughing with her at her chatter and jokes, and feeling strongly, strongly connected with a sister in Christ we had never met before. The experience truly was humbling.
The only material things given were the stuffed animals and bows, but so much more was given than that. Eli gave us her home, literally. When we first arrived she told us that her home was our home while we stayed. She showed us her wedding pictures, the lasso they had used to tie her and her husband, she showed us the collection of flowers that she sold, and she loved us like a mother. Before we left, we took a group picture in front of their home, and they asked for a photo when we could get it, so they might remember our visit there.
The night before we left, we were talking with the church, thanking each other for our unity and love. Eli told us again, and it brought tears to my eyes, her home will always be our home whenever we are in Mexico. A team member said it well when he said, “You guys seem to have so little, yet you give so much, and I want to be more like that.”
I do too, and I won’t soon forget Eli’s home and how unashamed she was to show generous hospitality. Every one of us was truly blessed.