My sister was the translator for the second family that our team from Rooftop Community Church in St. Louis, Missouri helped in La Colonia, Reynosa, Mexico in December 2009. Since I was working on the other house, most of what I learned was through conversations in the evening with the other team. For the first couple of days, the adults of the family were not present. There was help from neighbors, the kids, and people that had gotten homes previously, but it was a little unusual that they were no where to be found. There were seven people living in a cement structure and the new house was going to be a second house for the growing family. There were many generations living under one roof. I always thought of this family as “Ana’s Family.”
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Ana, we soon learned, had a heart defect and had spent most of the week in the hospital, thus the adults not being present during the build. In the poorest of the poor neighborhoods, Ana’s family dropped everything to care for her. During the build, prayer was going up even more regularly for Ana’s health and for her family.
This house was full of children and laughter, but there was a layer of sadness that permeated the air and the smiles about this sick little baby. Kayla prayed with Ana’s mom and they talked about miracles, grace, and love. When the house was completed, Ana’s mom was so overwhelmed by emotion that she ran out of the house, saying that she didn’t deserve this gift. The woman was suffering in ways that I could never understand. This made me recognize how great our Father’s love for us is, that He gave His only son, Jesus Christ, to us as a gift that would take away the stains of our sins and bring us salvation – a gift that we did nothing to earn, all we have to do is accept.
This was a week of amazing experiences that I, and many others will never forget. Kayla had the gift of going back to Reynosa and La Colonia in December of 2012 where she saw some of the families that have been helped in the past and had new amazing experiences. One of the heart aches was to learn that little Ana had died not long after our visit in 2009. I know that she is at peace in the arms of Christ, but the heart ache of being left behind is a difficult one to handle. I pray that the people of La Colonia and the world, learn of the love of Christ and that we all live within that love without hate or fear. Our lives, no longer how long or how short, are a gift from God to be cherished. Please don’t waste that gift.