Every year Chicago Hope seniors spend their spring break in Mexico and San Diego. This trip is generously funded by donation as well as Christmas tree sales that the senior students run as part of their business class. The vision of the trip is to leave Hope like Christ left this world, giving himself for the life of the world.
Seniors and faculty fly in to San Diego and then drive across the border to Ensenada, Mexico. For the next three days they work with YWAM (Youth with a Mission) building houses for the poor. The students build a house for several families. One family was living in a one room house with two children. The families worked alongside the students and were able to enter into and understand a little portion of their lives. One room homes that are little more than shacks are replaced by spacious two room homes with amenities.
The students do a wonderful job taking initiative on the job site and making the construction of the house their own. On the final day we hand over the keys and a Bible to the family. The students are full of both empathy and joy for the thankful Mexican families. The families overflowed thanks to the students amidst tears of joy and great food!
After leaving Ensenada, the seniors and faculty make their way back to San Diego and spend two days in the antique and elegant Hotel del Coronado. The days in San Diego are spent enjoying the beach and dining at great restaurants in the evenings. The whole week is a powerful time of insight, reflection, friendship, and fun.
Without question, the trip is often the highlight of many of the students’ tenure at Hope. The trip uniquely provides time and space for service to God and his people and fellowship with the brothers and sisters with whom they have labored for the past four years. One senior captured the experience in just a few words, “We’re doing something beautiful.”