14 Oct BEYOND / Generosity on the Borderlands
A Story from the Enstad Family
I learned what it means to be generous in the cardboard home of a family in Juarez, Mexico. I spent a week of one college summer with a team leading a day camp at a little Lutheran mission church in El Paso, Texas. We played and prayed with the little children of the immigrant workers who came over the border each day to work as housekeepers, construction workers, and jobs like that. One hot afternoon the pastor’s husband came and woke us from our siesta to drive us over the border into Juarez to see where the families of the children we worked with every day were from.
I was immediately overwhelmed by the poverty, the dust and the noise of this city of several million people jammed up against the U.S. border. We came to one of the city dumps. Families had built homes on top of the garbage and made their living picking through the trash for recyclables and other useful items that could be sold for a few pesos.
We stopped at the home of one of the families to check in on them, and I saw a home, made of cardboard, wood pallets and dirt floors. I made a polite comment about a Mexican rug that was being used as a wall decoration. Before I knew it the woman who lived there was taking it down from the wall, folding it up, and offering it to me in open arms. I had no idea what to do or say. I politely declined the gift, but the moment has seared itself into my heart forever. Here was a woman, with seemingly nothing by any worldly standards, offering me a gift from her meager home. That kind of generosity can only come from a deep and abiding faith in God. Is my faith even one-tenth that strong? I pray every day that it would be.
Chris has been lead pastor and he and his wife Carrie have two daughters: Liv and Berit. They have been members at Good Shepherd since 2016.