Mission to Cozumel–Reflections from a Volunteer … July 31, 2012

David helped build a bed for the therapy house used by families with children with disabilities.

I am flooded with thoughts as my wife, Barbara and I wrap up our small portion of the mission efforts here in Cozumel!  God continues to speak to me in new ways and open my eyes to so much. Here are some impressions and reflections.

 

Home of a local family with a disabled child.

In Genesis 2:31, after God finished His creation, He declared it to be very good. As you look around here in Cozumel would you agree that creation is indeed very good?  Large resorts, Cruise ship terminals, incredible beaches, jungles, and marine life are abundant. Then you head four or five blocks off the main tourist drag and see people living in abject poverty. I know there is poverty to rival this all over the world. Don’t you think that breaks God’s heart?  You see that broken heart and His reaction in the hearts and faces of people drawn here to volunteer.  Hearts soft with compassion for those less fortunate. Hearts recognizing how truly blessed they are. Hearts desiring to share time, talents and treasure given to them from God.

When I am preparing for a church service, I ask God to tell me what He has to say to His people. I had a chance to experience that in a language I don’t even speak. Sunday, we visited Vida Abundante and were ministered to by God through Gary, Larry and Pastor Mariela. Praise songs in Spanish still moved my heart as I felt the Holy Spirit’s direction. The message was about having a choice – an important one.  God tells us what we should do, gives us Christ as a guide and the Holy Spirit as a helper, then leaves the choice up to us. What will you choose? Daily?

Gary (left), Pastor Mariela (center) and Larry (right) conducted a service at Vida Abundante, an open-air church far from the tourist zone.

Tonight was the carnival. The kids began to gather as we set up. We had eight games to set up in a very small space.  That would never be enough back home!  There were probably 200 kids – all ages – with parents. They seemed a bit unsure at first but warmed up quickly. Every game and small prize was greeted with Gracias!

The carnival attracted lots of people to a very small space.

I was amazed – all those kids – no hostility or pushing and shoving. They were glad for the fun and appreciative of the small tokens given as prizes. I think of kids around home. They have so much and don’t seem to recognize how blessed they are. What a contrast!

As we prepare to head home tomorrow, it is with mixed feelings. Back to the rush of our lives, but deeply impacted by what God has shown us here. You don’t need a lot to have love and happiness. That’s a lesson I really want to remember. Until God gives us the opportunity to return – Dios de bendiga! — David Dean

Another project on the mission was repair of equipment for a home for the elderly. David (left) and Gary (right) renovated some wheelchairs.

David helps at the Vida Abundante carnival.

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