Giving back is important to our company and team members. In April, members of the Renewal Remodels and Additions team and their families headed down to Tijuana, Mexico. There they had the opportunity to partner with Homes of Hope to build a home in 2 days for the Silva-Sosa family. Like many of the members of the Renewal team, Bek was deeply moved by the experience and the people she met on this trip. She felt the Lord calling her to return to Mexico and with the support of the Renewal team, her church, family and friends, she returned a few weeks later. We sat down to interview Bek about her experience and how it has impacted her.
First, tell us a little bit about your first trip in April, building for the Silva-Sosa family.
This was my first time building for a family. It was fulfilling to be able to serve, love, and build a home in 2 days. I was captured by the people, the culture, and the need for these homes to be built. It required a lot of physical work and was an emotional experience.
How did this trip impact you? What about the trip touched you and made you want to return?
It opened my eyes to see that in only 2 days you could change the future for a family. It made me realize how happy they were with what little they had. I went home and asked myself ‘why do I need all of these things? What can I live without to be able to give more?’
When you decided to return, did Renewal support you?
Yes. While on our trip (with Renewal) I had so many conversations with the team. They were asking me when I would return because they could see how much life it brought to me. It was as if I had been doing it all my life. The fulfillment of serving the people of Mexico just showed. Half joking, I would ask George if he would sponsor me to move to Mexico. He said he did not want to lose me. On the bus journey home, I asked again, and he said he would give me 2 weeks. I took the opportunity and applied to go back and serve on the YWAM base.
Bek set up a GoFundMe account and with the support of Renewal, her friends, family and her church she was able to return to Mexico and serve on the YWAM base. On her return trip, she was able to work on 2 more homes, visit a homeless shelter for men, visit a rehab center for men, work on a community center, and help in the base kitchen food prepping and cleaning.
Tell us about the Sanchez Ramirez family you worked with on your second trip.
The Sanchez Ramirez family was my first 20’x 20’ home; a single Mom, Constantina, and her seven kids. The two boys are twins, Abraham and David. The girls are Rebecca, Ruth, Margarita, Yolanda, and Maria. They lived in a very small home put together with wood and a tarp, and one mattress for all of them to sleep on. The mom worked down the street at the gas station on night shifts. The oldest daughter worked at a sewing factory. The conditions were heart breaking, but the family had so much joy. Sometimes I would take a step back and watch as the family built and interacted with the team – we had made a special connection. It was a very emotional time for everyone when we dedicated the home and passed the keys to the family.
How about the Vargas Rodriguez family?
They were my second build. Their son Joel suffers from Asthma. Being able to have a clean house with a concrete foundation instead of a dirt floor will make a huge difference for his health. The whole family helped build and paint their home. The dad was such a joy to watch. He had the biggest smile on his face from the moment we arrived. Before we had even begun to build he was thanking us, through tears of happiness, for sacrificing our time to come and bless his family.
How was your experience at the different men’s shelters?
I met so many men who had heartbreaking stories. I was able to pray and encourage them and bring some joy into their lives. Most of the men at the homeless shelter were deported from the USA and had been separated from their wives and children. I talked with one guy, who came over and asked for prayer, because his son lives in a different country and lost his job, and there was nothing he could do for him. As I prayed for him, he sat there in tears thanking me for praying. I also went to The Ranch, a rehab center for men with alcohol and drug addictions. We would go spend time with them talking, playing games, and sharing hot mugs of oatmeal.
That sounds like an amazing opportunity to love on the people there. Where does your desire to serve come from?
I love to serve. Being able to help and love on people with no expectation of receiving anything in return is humbling and fulfilling. It comes from being around my dad. He has the biggest heart to serve and love people. Growing up, that is what I saw, and it became a part of me.
How have these trips impacted your life?
The people touched my heart the most, I have such a love for them. I would love to go back for 2-3 months and build on the relationships I made. The kids in the community were so full of life and wanted to talk to me even though I didn’t know much Spanish. It was so heartwarming to know even though there was a barrier it didn’t stop them from trying to connect and communicate.
What information would you give to anyone who would like to get involved or serve on a trip like you did?
I would say that it is worth your time to go, experience, serve, and build a home. You can take your own team and YWAM helps through the whole process, so it’s easy to plan!
Bek had such an amazing experience. If you or someone you know is interested in helping build a home for a family in need, you can apply with YWAM to help with Homes of Hope by visiting their website at https://ywamsandiegobaja.org/hoh-general-info#homesofhope.