By Sarah Nace, Back2Back Cancun, Mexico
I love people. I love their stories and I feel beyond blessed every time someone chooses to share their story with me. By doing so, they’re inviting me into their life, a gesture that feels sacred to me. One of my favorite things about Back2Back is the opportunity to help the children we serve write down their life stories.
I’ve been working on this project to help the children we serve create a narrative as a keepsake. Many of the children live in an underdeveloped area with parents who are struggling to meet day-to-day needs. They have few resources and very little, if any, photos, scrapbooks or keepsakes from their childhood. I’ve made it my mission to work with the children to help capture a bit of their childhood.
I love watching their eyes sparkle as they share their happiest memory or their dreams of what they want to be when they grow up. I giggle every time someone tells me about their latest favorite band. But, most of all, I’m always struck by how deeply and purely children understand the world. Children are truly remarkable.
I usually try to sit down one-on-one to listen to their story, so they don’t feel pressured by siblings or parents. This allows them to think and share freely. However, when I went to Luis’s house to hear his story, his mom asked to be a part of the conversation, too. I said yes, although somewhat hesitantly, knowing that Luis wouldn’t tell me certain things because his mom was there. But God knew what He had planned for that day. Luis was nervous at first, but after a few questions I saw his face visibly change. He was glowing–soaking up every moment as he talked about his life with his mom. I couldn’t help but smile as they shared about Luis’ talents, fun things their family has done together and their story of moving to Cancun. It was obvious Luis was loving the one-on-one attention from his mom.
In that moment, I was reminded of why I am working with Back2Back Ministries in Cancun, Mexico. God brought me here to reach His children by being a part of His heart’s work: to restore families, to redeem broken hearts and to reach those who are earnestly seeking Him. I think that starts with one person feeling loved. Eventually as those moments of feeling special add up, children begin to understand what God says is real. Then, healing takes place and God is glorified. As I help children write their stories, teach classes and plan events, it’s beautiful to know I’m not the one making the change, God is. It’s equally as lovely that God has decided to include me in that work, so I get to see with my own eyes special moments that add up to big change. We serve a very good God.
Sarah Nace is a site social worker with Back2Back Ministries. She is a dreamer and lover of stories who spends most of her time giggling with children in Cancun, Mexico.