A Life Changing Experience
By Keara Aughney
Among all the poverty, underdevelopment, and hardships faced, the minute you cross the border into Tijuana, the overall beauty of Mexico is exceptionally remarkable as a whole. Over Spring break, I attended my second mission trip to Mexico with the program Be2Live. The Be2Live program was established in 2010, and has done nothing but continue to grow each year. This idea of such a program was started by Phil and Mindy Steiner, who have both left everything they had in Marin County to move to Mexico and serve others regularly. They chose to share their experiences with high school students so they could be put face-to-face with the harsh reality of how others live outside of the United States.
Now the thought of going on a mission trip and spending money to serve others usually doesn’t seem right for many. So, what does a typical trip to Mexico look like with Be2Live?
5 am. Saturday, April 8, I was woken up by the sound of my alarm to finish packing and head off to the SFO airport. On the way to the airport, my stomach was filled with nothing but excitement. When I arrived at the airport, I met up with the other kids going on the trip, as well as some of the adult leaders that would be traveling with us. We boarded the plane and flew to San Diego to be greeted by Phil and Mindy. We then waited for our 15 passenger vans where we would then cross the border into Tijuana and drive toward Baja, Mexico. This was the start of another week of life-changing experiences.
As for myself, this was my second time going on this specific mission trip; this time with well over a dozen other kids from Novato High.
Be2Live trips are full of learning about the importance of serving others. Students spend the week staying at the Door of Faith Orphanage and working hands-on with children who most likely have unhealthy family situations. You will go out and do helpful things in the community, such as build houses, visit places such as the border, and observe how people live in run-down areas such as the dump.
Novato High senior Emilee Gendel described what this trip meant to her.
“Be2Live opened my eyes to the real problems in the world, and made me realize that my purpose in life is to help other people,” said Gendel.
Gendel’s statement is very true. These trips are where I find myself the happiest, by far. I have also learned that my heart is meant for serving others and that helping others must be a part of my future career path.
Senior Mondy Kermani states what she believes Be2Live has taught her.
“Be2Live has taught me what community means. I’ve learned that serving others is so important in life and feels so amazing in the end,” stated Kermani.
Not only do students gather a sense of what real community is like, but they build a unique relationship with every other student and adult on the trip as well.
Senior Marissa Raras felt strong bonds with everyone she got to spend time with on the trip.
“I love Be2Live because of the amazing relationships I have built through the trip. The bonds that you build through helping others truly does last a lifetime. The kids, the volunteers, and mentors that you meet are unforgettable, and I always find inspiration in learning their stories,” said Raras.
If you have the chance to go on one of these trips, I guarantee you will leave with an entirely different perspective and find yourself wanting to go back every day. No words can explain how eye-opening this trip is. For more information, you can go to be2live.org.