DOXA and SPC in Tijuana
This year SPC sent the largest house building group to Tijuana that it ever has, 132 students and adults who helped build 10 houses! I am continually amazed at how God has taken a simple idea, like building houses for others, and managed to derive and squeeze out so much benefit for all involved.
It all starts with trip preparations. Just as SPC students, volunteers, and staff start preparing months in advance, so does each family that will receive a house. First, families come to DOXA’s community center and go through the application process. This includes written forms, documents, ownership of their land, site visits, and an interview. This is the starting point of a relationship that each family enters into with DOXA. After the application process is complete and it is determined that a house is the right course of action, then the family completes 100 hours of community service. This could be to Hogar de los Niños Orphanage (just down the street from DOXA’s community center and where groups stay), a local hospital, community center, or church. We work to match up the gifts of that family to where they are needed most. Once all volunteer hours are complete, then they go on the waiting list for a house.
A family’s excitement continues to build as they are notified of when their assigned group will come. They are responsible for meeting the group, making their piece of land accessible for a 12’x24’ house, providing a rudimentary bathroom, and being present as much as possible during the build process. As both the family and group meet, their months of preparation kick in and they get to work! It’s by God’s beautiful design that over the next few days the stage is set for cross-cultural interaction, hard and sweaty work, growth in faith, and new relationships. The tangible result may be a brightly-colored house, but there were many other things built throughout the process that are even more valuable.
Another point of impact that DOXA has with the community during a housebuilding trip is with Hogar de los Niños Orphanage. For every group that stays with them, DOXA donates a portion of the overall trip cost. This provides partner orphanages with a source of earned income to help sustain and grow their operations. Relationships are further formed at orphanage dinners, where they cook delicious carne asada tacos, and groups have ample opportunity to play and interact with the children and staff throughout the week.
Even after the house is built and SPC returns home, the relationship between DOXA and the family continues. Many families use this as a springboard to become active participants in DOXA’s other mission areas, which include Education and Community programs.
Not only does this experience facilitate SPC youth to immerse and grow in their faith relationship while in Tijuana, it is DOXA’s prayer that this same tone and energy can be taken back home and applied to daily life. Thereby, growing SPC’s youth program, bringing more people into church, and deepening relationships with Christ.
DOXA has the privilege of being the “glue” that takes all of these seemingly disjointed actors and sets the stage for truly amazing results. It has been absolutely humbling to see God at work through everyone connecting, serving, and growing in the same ecosystem. Anexperience that leaves everyone gaining new life by giving it away.