CORBIN — With more people joining the mission every year, more and more families are receiving homes and a better quality of life.
Ben Childers, who started going on Mexico mission trips when he was just 14 years old, said this year with more people, more work was able to get done.
Childers, of Corbin, began going on the Mexico mission trip with his uncle through a church in Virginia. After doing that for three years, Childers brought the idea back to the Tri-County. Childers and his family have been helping coordinate the trip ever since.
This year, 42 people from multiple states were able to help build three new homes for families in small rural villages in the desert. This is the largest number of people to go on the trip and the largest number of homes to be built in four days.
Although the group traveling to Mexico building homes for the less fortunate is primarily from Steele’s Chapel Christian Church in Corbin, Childers said several other churches are involved.
“People from tons of different churches come,” said Childers. “Immanuel has a big presence and Central Baptist does. We have churches out of Lexington and a family from Virginia. It’s a big group effort.”
The group typically flies into California and spends a day or two there and then drives to Ensenada. Along with a Mexican foreman, the group is broken up into three teams and the teams construct the homes themselves. Homes are constructed within four days.
Several of the teams' members have been on the mission multiple times.
“One of my favorite things is seeing new people going and seeing the group bond together, both with us and the families we build for,” Childers said. “It’s a good thing all around.”
Watching the progression of the week's work, along with getting to know each individual family, is something special for Childers.
George Bates said he and his wife have always been supportive of the mission trip to Mexico but it wasn’t until a few years back that he decided to go and help watch over the youth on the trip.
Bates, who grew up poor, said his first trip to Mexico was wonderful and each trip thereafter has been inspiring.
“What the people we were working with gave me far outweighed anything that they may have thought I provided for them through the building of the house,” said Bates. “The benefits exceeded any and all expectations I had for me personally, as a father, as a member of our church and as a member of our community.”
Bates noted the organization is extremely well run adding the churches are helping the right people at the right time and in the right way.
This year’s experience far exceeded the previous two years experience for Bates because of the family he worked with. Bates said the father of the family inspired him.
Bates told the man who was poor in things but rich in his family, what a good man he thought he was and Bates said the man became emotional.
“I didn’t leave there thinking poor them, I left there thinking I need to up my game, these people got it going on,” said Bates.
“We’re already working on next year,” added Childers. “But it’s fun, it’s not a burden.”