You Don’t Need A Purpose

Several hundred smiling Mexican children line the pathway. They shake pink and blue balloons with the same kind of a vigor you’d expect from too much caffeine. As we hike up the path, the children greet us, one by one, with handshakes and hugs. We trek along the cheerful pathway of bouncing balloons and happy children toward a huge arching banner with the words “Bienvenidos” (welcome).

Our greeting feels like heaven.

This is how I expect heaven will be ~ a jubilant greeting of happiness and joy full of children and colorful balloons.  Perhaps heaven will be a little warmer, as my three sweatshirts did not keep me warm.

I’m in the beautiful, forested community of San Sebastian Rio Hondo, south of Oaxaca, Mexico.

I’m embarking on my second Mexico Sponsor Tour, where our group of nineteen sponsors has just arrived at the Monte de Dios community development center, one of the 185 Compassion child development centers in Mexico. Sponsorship helps children living in poverty by providing education, medical check-ups, nutritious lunches, Bible classes, sports, games, tutoring, music, and for many, a personal sponsor. As sponsors, we commit to their well-being with financial support as well as friendship and encouragement. Only 4% of sponsors actually visit their child, and so as visiting sponsors we represent “all” sponsors as none of us on the tour actually have a sponsored child at the Monte de Dios Center.

We are treated like royalty as we enter the Compassion center.

In two days we will visit our own sponsored children at a different location. Today, we come as representative sponsors for all.

We listen to the children sing and help them with crafts and enjoy an authentic Mexican lunch of soup with vegetables and chicken.

Before leaving, we’re invited to attend a craft fair to see the handicrafts created as part of an income-generating strategy for the youth. Right away I purchase handmade wool gloves and hat because I’m shivering and need them. I also notice an intricately handwoven basket and decide I could use it as well for jewelry. I buy it also.

As I continue browsing the handicrafts, I begin to think about the small basket and realize I probably won’t use it. I have a jewelry box after all. I really don’t need the basket. Because I had to spend much of my souvenir money on purchasing warm clothing for the cold environment, I regret buying the basket.

When I see another sponsor in our group (a fun lady named Pat who often inspired me during the trip) holding one of the handwoven baskets, a larger version of the one I had purchased, I ask, “What do you use it for?”

Pat says, “You don’t need a purpose.”

It came to me right then. The purpose is not the basket. I’m so in tune with me; how will this benefit me? I forget the purpose is to help others struggling to earn money for their family.

Most adults in San Sebastian Rio Hondo work as day laborers or masons and earn about $146 per month. They live in homes constructed of cement floors, mud walls, and tile roofs. In other parts of Mexico, the homes consist of plywood walls, dirt floors, and corrugated metal roofs. Many don’t have heat or electricity. Their bathroom is a hole with wooden slats.

The mother of my own sponsored child, José Manuel, told me she takes a shower by dumping a bucket of water over her head. That’s her shower.

What occurs to me every time I visit the people living in poverty in Mexico is their joy and their appreciation for what they have. You can have nothing materially, but remain rich in love for others and for God (who they call El Señor).

…I’m back at home in warm Arizona. (I finally removed the sweatshirts. Well, two anyway.) The handwoven basket now sits on my bookshelf where I can see it. It reminds me that there is no lasting purpose in material things, but there is a lasting purpose in God’s love. ♥βω

Me with my sponsored boy, Manuel, age 13 Feb. 3rd of this year. We met at a mountain-type lodge for lunch several days after the sponsors visited Monte de Dios. I have sponsored Manuel since he was 4 years old.

The handwoven basket now sits on my bookshelf with other treasures from Mexico.

9 thoughts on “You Don’t Need A Purpose

    1. Bronwyn Wilson Post author

      Kristi, I’m actually not that warm here in Arizona. It is still cold here, but not as cold as it was in Oaxaca. I miss you and Jacob too. Please stay in touch and I will also.

      Reply
  1. Krista Lynn Campbell

    Love this, Bronwyn! You captured the day perfectly. I, too, recalled Pat’s wise words as I unpacked my treasures from Mexico. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Bronwyn Wilson Post author

      I loved your blog, Krista. I had not thought of roasting marshmallows in the context you put them. It was a different perspective that I hadn’t considered. I subscribed to your blog, so I look forward to reading more of your insights.

      Reply
  2. Patricia Marron

    You all are way to kind! What God does with a rag tag group from around the country for His kids! You inspired me, I am blessed to have met you all. Please pray for me as I share a few moments at church. I pray I encourage those who sponsor and pray the zlord moves the hearts of His people. May the Lord bless each of us as we aclimate back into our lives. May we glorify His name and never forget!

    Reply
    1. Bronwyn Wilson Post author

      Pat, I’ve prayed for your peace, wisdom, and insight as you share moments with your church. You made our trip to Oaxaca fun and I will never forget you. Tell Joe thank you for his kindness to me.

      Reply
    1. Bronwyn Wilson Post author

      He is older and more mature and has the teenager persona of “I’m trying to be a man and I’m not a kid anymore.” I didn’t care, I hugged and kissed him anyway. I don’t think he minded since none of his “cool” guy friends were there. His mother was very sweet to me, insisting on carrying my backpack, helping me up the stairs, walking arm in arm with me. She and I are friends now.

      Reply

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