Warm Heart – Mexico
The day after the earthquake is still a blur. We ended up having a house full of guests with over 30 of us sleeping on the first floor in the case of aftershocks. We led a 12-hour prayer meeting that next day, still trying to process the fallen buildings 10 blocks from our house and the chaos of a 28 million person city post-disaster. Yet, in the middle of the chaos and our numbed emotions, we had a 3 AM visit that was totally unexpected.
That night, Carlos, Leo and I were the last to get to bed in our little patio, still checking that everyone had a place to lay their head, and that things were in order. We tried to get some sleep despite the cringing imaginations of trapped people in neighbouring buildings, the constant sirens and little phantom earthquakes in my head.
The doorbell rang. A bit scared (thinking that if it was a normal night we would definitely not open the door) but with a helping attitude and the returning realization that nothing since this day was normal, we went out to see who it was.
We opened the door to see a dear friend who had been a volunteer with us for about 2.5 months earlier in the year. He grew up in a Christian home, but had a terrible experience and has been living a different lifestyle since leaving his home more than 10 years ago. He came to us, suspicious but hopeful, after having a good experience as a cleaner at the Shelter hostels in Amsterdam. During his time here we grew to love him and the almost everyday conversations about faith, the church, and his seemingly more profound understanding of the gospel than many of us could articulate. Sadly, we had to say goodbye, and hope to someday see more fruit from his time spent in our community.
He was the last person I expected to see there. He smiled with a huge grin and said “I had other places I could have gone, but I wanted to come here to my family, my safe place. How is everything? Everyone? This is still a safe place, right?” Turns out he was flying back from the funeral of his best friend and had a layover in Mexico City. He got stuck in the airport all day and chose to come here, travelling in the dark in the craziest night ever, with all his stuff, to spend the night with us.
I am so thankful I got to give him a hug and tell him in person that I was sorry about his friend. I wish we had more time to keep talking about God, even in spite of such terrible tragedies, but it made me think “at least we are doing something right!” It´s these little pieces of people´s stories that we get to share that makes us keep going…
The presence of Jesus was so tangible that night that most of us were even able to get a few hours of sleep. I am so grateful.