Building Transformation

I must say, it’s pretty cool to be asked to write about God and what He has shown me. 

As a college student, I usually approach my computer with a stressed mindset and my head wrapped solely around the current assignment.

But this time it’s different. I mean, isn’t this what my heart lights up for - sharing the electricity of the Gospel through words and stories that make the hair on your arms stand up? 

It’s ridiculous to me how we can read something powerful and yet it can speak to our hearts so softly. And yet almost simultaneously, someone can be inspired to move mountains, finish a book that’s ¼ read and ¾ dust, call their grandma, pursue a passion that once seemed impossible, or begin to walk in freedom and life.

Sometimes it’s words that inspire action, other times it’s a song or podcast. But for me, what moves me most often are experiences. 

As I return this week from my third trip to Mexico, memories of the first home build I was part of with Mission Uprising come to mind. It was truly one of the most impactful and transformative experiences of my life. 

Heading toward the YWAM (Youth with a Mission) base in Tijuana, Mexico, I was surprised by so many things. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to cross a border (it was my first time ever out of the country), how comfortable and beautiful the campus was that we stayed on in Mexico, and did I forget to mention how delicious our meal at In-N-Out Burger was!

Once the build started, I was most shocked by how a team of strangers could band together and build an actual sustainable home for a family we might never meet again. 

Before we began the work, we watched a video about the home build process. One point that stood out to me was how in Mexico everything appears unfinished because it must be paid for up front. I noticed it with our family’s home and how they had tarps for the roof, large trash-can bins for drinking water, and how it was only a dirt floor in their current home. 

It shocked me to see how a family could be so content, giving thanks to God with such joy while living in these challenging physical conditions. 

This experience made me want to hold everything I own more loosely and trust God more genuinely than ever before. I mean, I can obviously see Him in the physical blessings of my life, so why can’t I trust Him with my heart?

On the last day, I watched as the father of the house, who had been helping the team build in every way, received the keys as well as a Bible with tears streaming down his dirt-smudged cheeks. This family, let alone the experience, showed me there are millions of reasons to be thankful and millions of incredible stories out there that are left untold. 

I know it’s impossible to help every person in need, but just one story, experience or house can make a huge difference in the lives of every person involved.

Jenna Knutson // Mexico Build