Last fall, AMTS COO Dan Codi, his wife Cindy, three friars, and 30 lay associates traveled to Mexico City for a critical mission trip. The mission was to provide hope, encouragement, and care to a poor community. Yet, while the residents might be considered poor economically, the team discovered they are not poor in spirit!
The mission trip was organized by the Franciscan Friars of The Renewal and hosted by Craig Johring of Hope of the Poor. At the designated location, Dan and the group served alongside residents who live and work in the city dump, sorting through waste to find recyclable material they can sell for income.
Despite living in extreme poverty, this community of men, women, and children have not lost their joy. They are proud, happy, and faithful, especially the former street kids who have been rescued from difficult circumstances and been given a real purpose.
The group helped raise enough money to buy school uniforms and supplies for the 50 or so children living in this community. Now, they can attend school and start building their own future, overcoming the physical conditions they were born into.
Also while in Mexico City, the group had the opportunity to serve food and clothing and care for the spiritual needs of homeless individuals living on the streets. Additionally, the group spent time a women’s shelter caring for approximately 400 women aged 20-90.
A Mission Trip Tied to History
There was an overarching historical context to this mission trip. The city dump is located just a few miles away from the site of the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe in December 1531.
Nearly 500 years later, the location carries a different kind of spiritual weight as the place where spiritual joy exceeds earthly circumstances. The team was reminded of this Bible verse that highlights the importance of bringing the light of Christ to the darkest mission fields:
“Whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.” — Matthew 25:40.
Dan, Cindy, and the team were blessed to play a small part in this mission. They hope to have helped change lives and provide hope, just as the residents provided life-changing encouragement to them.