I am having a really hard time writing this right now because I am having a beyond difficult time putting to words what this experience has been for me. Prior to coming on this trip, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I basically just prayed to God that I would be open to whatever He wanted to me see and learn on this trip. I was not at all prepared for the impact that this trip has had on my heart. On Monday, we visited Homeboy Industries and heard a story from a former active gang member. The best word I could use to describe this guy was “authentic”. He was so open about where he has been and the mistakes he has made, and that was truly a witness of courage. As I was standing there listening to his story, I was in awe of what this person had been through and had to overcome. Instead of trying to hide his past, he is using to help other people in need. He has so much wisdom and I am having a hard time fathoming the fact that he is only twenty years old (the same age as I am!).
Last night we heard stories from two immigrant women from Mexico. Immigration is something that I have heard about in the news and been somewhat educated about, but not something that I have ever really experienced first-hand. Both of these women had their unique stories but what they had in common was their unrelenting desire to give the best possible lives for their children. I don’t know personally from a mother’s perspective but I think that is something that all mothers have in common. However, it was heart breaking to hear what these women had to endure in order to do that for their children. What a witness of love and sacrifice.
A common theme that I have seen is the reality that even though most of these people have so little, they are so willing to give all that they do have. I feel so blessed for the opportunity to experience a glimpse of these people’s lives. They have been such a light to me, and I cannot wait for what else God has in store for us on this trip!
Darbi Brady ☺
P.S. This has been an awesome opportunity to work on my Spanish (Yo hablo pokita Espanol!).