Drinking Deeply

Sunday, April 17, 2005 at 6:07 PM


The reflection letter sent out by me to the dorm (and inside it is the letter sent out to the supporters of the TJ trip)

For some of those who have heard (or are curious), over spring break me and a group of people from my fellowship (Fellowship in Christ at Stanford) and surrounding areas were able to go down to Tijuana to build a house for a low income family. What some of you may or may not know as well is that toyon graciously supported this through a generous donation from dorm funds. I just wanted to send out a thank you for the support and attach the thank you letter we sent out as well as some pictures we took of the family and the house.

Once again, thanks to the generousity of you guys at toyon a family of four down in Tijuana now have a house that is comparible to the size of the quad that I live in (really makes me rethink how crowded it feels!). Thanks once again!

If you would like to see the rest of the pictures I'd love to send you a link (once the people in charge allow me to put them online and make them public =p )

The pictures I'm allowed to show for now: http://www.stanford.edu/~mcsheu/TJ/

(Here's the attached letter sent to prayer buddies)

Dear friends,

Thank you for all your support, your prayers, your thoughts, and for partnering with us on this trip. I apologize for not writing you sooner - I wanted to share with you some of our thoughts, reflections, and insights from the Tijuana trip, and those needed time to form and solidify. Thank you for being patient. One of the most amazing things I witnessed during that week was the fellowship, the oneness that we became with each other. (That is a huge prayer request that God answered!) Though we each were different people with different strengths and weaknesses, we came together as one body to pour the cement, raise the walls, put on the roof, and finish the house. Like a true and functioning body, we each had our individual parts and roles; whether it was preparing food, or digging trenches, or sifting sand for the cement and stucco, we each filled our niche, did our part, and came together like we have never done before.

Likewise, we come together after the trip is over with different insights: the same series of events has left unique marks on each and every one of us, and this is what I hope to share with you today. - Jessica Luo

"Thanks to each of you who helped support us. I was incredibly blessed to labor for God in this unique opportunity. We were brought out of numerous difficult moments during this trip when they were just too coincidental to be by chance; surely it was the hand of God that carried us through. Thank you for your prayers. " - Ryan Hsi

"For many this trip is the first time that they have spent an extended amount of time with people in close quarters while working very hard physically. It helps to remember that tempers fray and people may rub you raw, but it is a great time to really learn what somewhat is like under some sort of pressure. Serving the church with your hands is very rewarding and tangible, the results are immediate and the impact is significant for the family that you serve. This was a great time to just work and decompress from the hectic pace of life at Stanford and all the trappings of the 'modern' world we cannot live without. Spending time without email, phones, showers, flush toilets, etc. is refreshing in its own way." - John Kang

" Tijuana was that peace-amongst-craziness experience that I've come to expect on Christian service trips. God provided people and skills to fill every need, from transportation to food to car fixing to hair-washing service. While things were crazy, I was never afraid that we'd be stuck somewhere, or lost, or hungry. I knew that God would provide a way. Now that we're back, I hope to keep that same trusting faith in divine providence." - Ted Liao

" Having reflected on this trip a bit more, I believe that the most important thing I have gained through this trip is that deeper assurance of God's work in and through people and of life being more profound than the superficial worries that can overwhelm me at times. As one of my VBS kids told me, we are but all children of God, and this God just wants us to be "happy and sincere of heart." - Victoria Kim

"I'm still sorting out the reasons why I went to TJ, as they seem a little less clear now that I'm back. I originally said that I wanted to go there to think about things, but it didn't end up that way; there was a whole different set of concerns in TJ. The concentration was on getting a house built, serving the family. There wasn't much time to think about "me". As objectively as I can tell, I haven't changed, fundamentally, but the experience has added something valuable that I'm still trying to define. After coming back from TJ, the dominant feeling was one of peacefulness. I didn't especially want to talk, but not because I wanted to introspect either. I wouldn't say it was exactly spacing out, but it was just a chance to stop thinking, to appreciate
where I was and the people around me in a way that I never seem to have the time to do. In all the whirlwind of normal Stanford life dominated by things that might not matter in the long run, this quiet time gave me one of the very few chances I've had to feel genuinely lucky to be here, to be given the opportunity to experience and serve in TJ." -Jerry Yu

"Psalm 127: Unless the LORD builds the house,those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city,the watchman stays awake in vain.

Wow. I'll even say it again backwards. Wow.
Being able to be part of God's plan in putting up a house (which as a whole was about the size of my two-room quad in Toyon, still without water or electricity) was a great blessing. I got to watch as the walls went up, the roof was covered, and the cement was plastered upon the walls that sheltered us from the rain and the wind and just sit there and praise God for putting it all together. Wow. There were so many times when I was tempted to give up, when my chief desire was to just sit in the van and mope … but then be incredibly encouraged because everyone else around me was encouraging one another, cheering them on, and reminding me that it was ultimately God who was building the house and not us. Each time I would somehow be infused with hope, joy, something I could not credit to myself but only to God, that would give me the energy to continue to hammer away, to lift buckets, to sift sand. It was truly an incredible experience. "-Mickey Sheu

If you could continue to pray for the Guzman-Medina family that we built for (father: Jose, mother: Juana, sons: Eduardo and Hugo), that they will continue to be seeking God out in their daily lives, and for the people of Tijuana as a whole: may God comfort and provide for the poor and bring repentance to the wicked. Pray that God will be glorified in Tijuana.

Thank you again.

In Him,
The 2005 Tijuana Housebuilding and Outreach Team

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