Ayundando A México
March 3, 2017
What happens in Mexico stays in Mexico, a fact entirely true for some of the members of the youth group of Faith Lutheran Church. Each spring break, they take their annual mission trip to go and assist people in need, either by building houses or befriending impoverished families.
“Definitely one of my favorite things to do is to give back to people,” Oliver Tillinghast  said. “I want to make sure [these families] are taken care of, even though they haven’t done anything for me.”
Faith Lutheran joins many different churches from all over Kansas around this time of year, and together, with the sponsorship of Amor Ministries, they travel to Garden City where they prepare for their 22-hour drive down to Puerto Penasco. This year, on March 18th, Tillinghast will be embarking on his second trip to Mexico alongside Carter McCullough , a consistent returner to the cause.
“He had gone before because he goes to the Lutheran church in Ottawa, and he had heard about it,” Tillinghast said.
McCullough first saw the opportunity for the trip on a flyer, and ever since, he has wanted to bring more and more people to obtain the same experience he had during the trip.
“I like to bring people because [the trip] is really fun to do, as many people as possible to share the experience,” McCullough said.
The goal is to build as many houses as possible for homeless families in the area during their 3 days in the city. The dimensions of the houses are typically 11 by 22 made of stucco.
“It doesn’t seem like much,” Tillinghast said, “but it’s more than they have.”
They meet and befriend a new family each trip and get to know them and their struggles. These trips allow them to see into culture that very much contrasts their own.
“It’s basically to get the culture shock of how people can live in terrible conditions,” McCullough said. “They don’t have roads. They barely have healthy water.”
This experience allows them to reap benefits that they can then take back to their lives back home.
“I always try to look for more ways to be charitable,” McCullough said.
They are even able to see the personal changes themselves.
“I’ve become more compassionate and understanding of other people and their lifestyles and views,” Tillinghast said.