If you are planning on building a home through Homes of Hope with your church, school, business, or other organization, don’t let concerns about your children prevent you from coming. We love families here at YWAM Mazatlan, and nothing is more encouraging for us than to see them engage in missions together!
Bringing your children on a home build can be a unique way to strengthen the bonds within your own family while providing support to another. There are many ways your child can benefit from the build, regardless of age, and the lessons they’ve learned and the memories they take away can inspire them to go on future missions trips and nurture a spirit of generosity and compassion in their every day life.
Fundraising Teaches Creativity and Responsibility
If you are fundraising for your trip to Mexico and your children are old enough, don’t shy away from having them help raise money. Children and teenagers can bake for bake sales, choose some of their things to sell at a yard sale, or assist in writing support letters. Encourage them to try and come up with their own fundraising ideas and engage the people in their circles of influence. Activities like these can help children connect with their community and take on a greater sense of responsibility. Furthermore, by having to pitch the build to others, they will be motivated to learn exactly what they will be doing and how it will positively impact someone else.
Traveling Opens Their Eyes To Another Culture
Your children will have a different experience going to Mexico to volunteer as opposed to going on a vacation; they will come away from the experience with more than just photos from the beach. Homes of Hope ensures that you and your family will have a safe and enjoyable time in Mazatlan while also giving a hand-up to those in need. Your child’s eyes will be opened to the hardships Mexico faces as well as its vibrant culture and beautiful landscapes. When your child thinks of Mexico, they will have a larger, more nuanced picture that goes beyond resorts and sombreros.
Teaches Compassion and Empathy
School, sports, video games, movies, internet. These are some of the many physical, first-world blessings that your child has grown up with. A life without these things can be difficult to comprehend, let alone a life without basic needs such a roof and clean water. How can you teach your children to have empathy for those who come from different backgrounds when they are so far removed from each other? Showing them pictures and videos of children in need can desensitize them and instill pity instead of compassion. Taking them to meet and play with these kinds of children is a far more powerful and hands-on approach. Instead of creating a hollow sense of goodwill toward a picture of someone in a magazine, your children will be able to build real, dynamic relationships that will allow them to see people in need as friends, not victims.
Helps Them Practice Safe Risk-Taking
Going to another country and helping on a build will be out of your children’s comfort zone. Homes of Hope is a safe place where your children can practice taking risks without fear of serious consequences. They will have to meet new people, try new things, and work with others as a team in order to accomplish a major task. Regardless of how each of their individual actions turn out, your child will grow from having to step out and participate in a project that goes beyond a school assignment or household chore.
Teaches Lessons in Gratitude
When you and your family return home, take time to reflect on the things that you are grateful for. Gratitude comes from acknowledging the people and things that have come together to make the positive aspects of a person’s life possible. Now that your child has taken part in bestowing a large blessing upon another family, he or she might be more able to recognize the people and things that have participated in blessing his or her own life. After they have given their time and energy to helping another, they are less likely to devalue someone else’s hard work and kindness.
Homes of Hope was created to bless families in need with a physical home, but don’t think the positive effects of the build won’t carry on into your own home, too.
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