My name is Jordan McNulty. I’m from Detroit, MI, and I live in Monterrey, MX. My role with Back2Back is Co-Coordinator of International Relations at our Monterrey site, as well as Captain at El Rancho Del Rey Children’s Home. I’ve been on staff with Back2Back for 10 months, and they’ve absolutely flown by!
1. Why did you join Back2Back?
Four years ago on a mission trip to Monterrey with Back2Back, I went to a children’s home and met a little boy named David. I knew my whole world would never, ever be the same. I was almost 23 at the time, and it was so hard to describe how somehow, this child had so impacted me. He, along with his little brother, left an imprint on my heart and mind I couldn’t forget. I’m their child sponsor now, and I have the joy of literally being their neighbor as they live on the Back2Back campus, enrolled in the Hope Program. I thought, God writes the most amazing stories. He weaved our lives together, and now He’s brought me down here full-time to serve Back2Back and to be involved in their lives!
Unbeknownst to me, God had already planned this story thread to travel further. When I became a captain at a children’s home, He showed me 21 little precious niños at El Rancho Del Rey who desperately needed a positive adult influence in their lives. I used to think that there was no way my heart could expand to love any other children more than the two I already do. How wrong I was! Overnight, my heart enlarged to completely love 23 children simultaneously. God has planted a dream deep within me to see these young men grow up, to cheer for them when they graduate from school, and to help and support them reaching for their dreams. Also, I may be a girly girl, but I’ve become pretty much a master at arm wrestling, frisbee-throwing, soccer battles, and secret handshakes. And the boys do occasionally call me “Michael Jordan.”
2. What have you learned since you’ve lived on the field?
The love of Jesus has become so real and tangible to me. There’s a worship song that says, “There’s no shadow You won’t light up, mountain You won’t climb up, coming after me. There’s no wall You won’t kick down, lie You won’t tear down, coming after me.” One night, our staff was having our weekly worship/prayer gathering, and this song began to play. I was wrecked in the deepest way. It suddenly hit me all at once: this is my Father’s heart towards ME, and toward all the kiddos Back2Back serves. I realized, as I am made in His image, He is shaping my heart to love and help each of the children I’m serving come to understand how deeply they are seen, known, and loved by their God. It put all my daily work into life-altering perspective.
3. Share a funny/embarrassing moment when the culture you’re familiar with was met with new cultural traditions?
There are a thousand ways I’ve embarrassed myself as I’ve adjusted to a new culture and new language. When I first moved to Monterrey and was trying to navigate how to drive (here, drivers are much faster and more aggressive,) I was baffled that people merging from on-ramps did not have the right-of-way, that nobody used their turn signals, and that people seemed to be honking at me everywhere! Was I that bad of a driver, really? Then came the day a coworker laughed at me when I exploded and complained about all the honking (though I thought I was doing just fine.) He said, “Jordan, they’re trying to greet you!” Unfortunately, now, when someone honks at me, I don’t know if they’re just being friendly, or my driving isn’t up to par that day.
4. What’s something from the culture you live in that you’ll keep with you forever?
I’ve learned so much from the invitational, hospitable nature of this culture. So many times, I’ve watched Mexican families share literally anything they have, always saying, “This is your home. Please, come in. You belong here.” What a beautiful picture of the Kingdom! I’ve been on the receiving end of such invitations (even if I’d just met the people giving them,) and something inside me is stirred. Now, I find myself saying to people (both verbally and nonverbally,) “Come in! I have coffee brewing for you, and I just put cookies in the oven for us. Come in, and let’s do life together. My door is always open to you. You matter. I see you. And so does our Father.”