¡Mexico! Post-trip reflections: Geoff Wallace
I have traveled to a number of different counties on this earth. I have seen many cultures unalike to my own. I have met many people who live very different lives than mine. I have learned from these experiences; each one shaping and reshaping the person I am and will become. There are few places, however, that are as dear to my heart as San Luis Potosi, SLP, Mexico.
This past July was my third trip in as many years to the Casa Hogar de San Juan Children’s Home in San Luis Potosi. Each trip has been uniquely special to me. Each trip has revealed to me a different side of myself. They have given me new insights into my own path, and yielded some unforgettable stories from man-pants to a solo unintended extension to my stay.
The relationships that groups traveling to Casa Hogar have cultured throughout the years could never be quantified nor could their importance be measured to each individual. It is fascinating how folks can become so incredibly intimate with a group of people with whom they can barely communicate. We are all family there as soon as we arrive on the grounds. Those who truly feel that love understand above all others the intoxication it can hold.
The unexpected relationships of these journeys, however absent minded it may seem to overlook them, are the relationships we build amongst ourselves as we travel as a group to “foreign” lands. The past three years have proven to be ones of great change in my life. While these changes could in part be attributed to major milestones in my life, I will never understate the importance of Casa Hogar as an influence on how my life is and will continue to play out.
Three years ago I was in my senior year at the University of Louisville. For over two years, I had been coming to Douglass as a section leader in the choir. In those two years, I could have counted on one hand how many folks I had ever spoken to. Since returning from my first trip to Casa Hogar that autumn, not only have I gained a whole new church family (something I never expected to happen again after leaving my childhood church in Morgantown, KY) but I am now on staff and committed to the task of ensuring that others get to experience all that Douglass Blvd. Christian Church is and could be.
Casa Hogar and the folks who occupy it open up the hearts of those who come to share their home. They create an atmosphere of warmth that relieves us of the barriers we put up around our lives; whether it be physical, economical, social or emotional. They set an example of exactly what the family of God looks like.
Most who venture south to Casa Hogar go expecting to open their hearts to “needy” children. But there is something we are rarely ever prepared for.
When you open your heart for something … anything, you’ll always be surprised what else finds its way inside that you may have been looking for all along.