Last week YWAM Tijuana’s Children At Risk School and their Discipleship Training School spend 5 day’s living and serving at a migrant camp near Ensenada, Mexico. I asked Brittany, one of the CRS students to share her story, this is what she wrote.
Today over lunch I couldn’t help but wonder about the salad on my plate: where was that lettuce grown? Who picked those tomatoes? What wages were paid to the person who harvested that cucumber? Questions such as these fill my mind much more frequently now than they did before last week, when my team and I spent four days in a migrant camp.
Living in that community was such a blessing to me, which always seems to be the case when I set out to be a blessing to someone else. One evening a woman in the camp excitedly invited me into her home to watch a soccer game on TV, and once I was inside she scurried around, gathering a pillow and a crate for me to sit on comfortably. I’m actually not really a soccer fan, but being in that tiny dirt-floored room that is her home, and feeling her love and her joy as she blessed me with her hospitality was so beautiful that it didn’t matter if I had no clue about what was happening on the dis-colored TV screen.
This wasn’t my first encounter with joy in the midst of poverty, nor with poverty itself, but the experience at the migrant camp has weighed heavier on me than I expected, and as I continue to sort my thoughts about the week I think this is because I’ve realized more of how my actions are connected to other people, as distant as they may seem.
As well as the vegetables in my salad, I keep thinking about where everything else I use comes from: was my coffee grown by people who are being paid unjust wages? Is there slavery stitched into the fabric of my made-in-Indonesia blouse? Am I supporting these injustices with my dollars? It’s a harsh reality to encounter, but I’m so grateful to have met the people I met last week, who showed me such love and joy despite the very unjust chasm of poverty between us.