Several years ago my oldest daughter and I had the opportunity to travel to Acuña, Mexico with my husband’s aunt and uncle. We were joining up with men, women, and children of all ages from all over America as part of a missionary group with an organization by the name of Casas Por Cristo (Houses for Christ). Their main goal is to share Jesus’ love by blessing and serving a family in need through a house building project in one of their designated building-locations.
When we all arrived in Acuña we had a large group of around 100 volunteers with a gymnasium that served as our gathering hub for sleep, food, cold showers, and devotions. We were split into even groups on the first day so a total of five homes would be built in Acuña over a four day period.Our team of twenty-ish made an immediate connection with the same like-minded purpose — to mesh work and Jesus’ love through building a house for a sweet Hispanic family…and goodness the family was precious.
The father and son worked on what would become their new home right along side our team, while the mother and grandmother made it a priority to fill us up everyday on authentic local dishes and Mexican hot cocoa and donuts. Side note: If you’ve never had Mexican hot cocoa you’re missing out! It’s actually available in Walmart stores so make sure to treat yourself!As we came to the end of our mission trip, with the house nearly completed, there was a moment where we all gathered for a dedication ceremony.
David, our Casas Por Christo team leader, translated what the Hispanic father wanted so desperately for our team to know. He shared that in the time before our arrival he and his wife had been struggling with their son’s emotions and depression. This eleven year old boy had been contemplating thoughts of suicide, which unfortunately in that area is quite common for that age group. But when our team arrived to help build them a home his young son’s happiness had finally returned.
Both the father and son had been given a chance to truly experience self-worth by visually seeing how their hands and a remarkable end-goal could help create something of great value for their family.And then David translated something I’ll never forget—
The dad had noticed something within our group that struck him.
Our group of twenty, meeting for the first time — some from D.C. to California, others from North Dakota and Kansas, and a mama and her little girl from Nebraska — had come together with evidence of unity to spur us along. Even this native man could sense and had witnessed the unity that had formed in our group without at all understanding our language.
It was finally clear to me that while building that house in Mexico, a structure wasn’t the only thing being made…
I share this story with you because we’re living in a time where uncertainty is prevalent.
In our world things are messy right now…things feel unstable to some, meanwhile others are firmly gripping fear.
And I think deep down many of us have this yearning to be understood…to express our feelings, to be heard…to feel unified…whether we are politicians, doctors or nurses, students, working fathers, stay at home moms, elderly, laid-off or working from home people — we desire connection.
Unity can be described as oneness, one in spirit and like-mindedness. It’s not something that just happens, but it’s something that can be learned when we communicate well with one another to know and understand our hopes and expectations.
The unity that took place amongst two by fours, homemade stucco, and a group of Jesus lovers during my time in Acuña is the same type of unity that our nation and world need to strive for in the midst of the current chaos; even if it can only happen emotionally and spiritually right now.
Unity was formed in the book of Nehemiah thousands of years ago with the rebuilding of the walls in Jerusalem, such a motivational and powerful story. This would be a great place to start reading your Bible if you’ve never done so before, or even if you just need a refresher on this story.
We also see unity throughout the book of Acts when the first church is established. In Acts 2 verse 44 we read, “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.”
With Easter among us it’s such an amazing time to remember perfect unity is truly a gift from God. He longs for us to be united with Him, pouring out His love for sinners through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus. Sweet victory proclaimed, when up from the grave Jesus arose giving us prime unity with His Father as we make the choice to believe, trust, and follow while receiving the Holy Spirit. May our example of faith in Him be a true example of unity to those watching in a way that points to God…For His Purpose.
That daughter of mine that I shared a trip to Mexico with still talks about that experience and begs to go back again one day…in due time…when finances and plans make sense…she’s fourteen now and last week with a fire in her soul said, “mom wouldn’t it be awesome if this coronavirus brought about a spiritual revival!?”
“Ya it would Baby Girl…ya it would”…I responded with a longing hope of unity swelling within.
I pray unity through understanding, relationships, and God would bring us to a lasting celebration of that sort sooner than later.