It hurts me to hear these things. No matter who I think I am, someone will always see me as the enemy, a horrible person.
I went on my first mission trip in 2005 I believe. First time leaving the country. First time packing for a summer trip with no swim suit or short shorts. Matamoros Mexico was the destination. I "trained" for almost a year to prepare myself. I completely stepped out of my comfort zone, my culture, my habits. I saw poverty first hand. I helped build an added on portion to a church in 110 degree weather. I mixed cement by hand in jeans and a T-shirt that stuck to my body with every move. I put together rebar as a mere 14 year old. I talked to people about God, one of the hardest things for most Christians to do. I played soccer with Mexicans almost 10 years younger than me who kicked my butt. But that summer I changed. I realize my life was comfortable compared to all the people I met in Mexico. How much I took for granted. I'll never forget.
It impacted me so much, I did it again the following year, 2006. I spent a week of my high school summer in Mexico. In 110 degree heat. (Which most Wisconsinites wouldn't understand.) It wasn't easy.
For some reason, helping people and going out of my comfort zone gives me a huge adrenaline rush and I love it.
That's why in the winter of '05 after hurricane Katrina hit, I was willing to do everything in my power to get my parents to let me go to New Orleans to help. I will never forget spending that New Years Eve in a gas station somewhere between Wisconsin and New Orleans. I'll never forget the images of the Mardi Gras city that winter. It was horrible. I'll never forget having to wear a Hazmat suit and swinging a 20 lb sledge hammer. I'll never forget the smell of a house (or worse, refrigerator) that had been sitting in water for 2-3 months. I'll never forget seeing the home owners cry as their belongings were piled up in their front yard as garbage. I slept on a cot and showered in port-o-potty style showers during my Christmas break. I helped, and made a difference, it made me happy.
To visit the topic that I'm spoiled.....
I grew up getting made fun of because I never had a Ferbi or Gigapet. I remember the nights my mom would cry because teaching jobs were becoming as sparse as snow in Texas. I grew up thinking shopping at Goodwill was normal. The newest car my family has owned was 5 years old, but they were mostly 10-20 years old. I might be spoiled, but it's because my parents want to give me what they never had. I don't come from a rich family where money is no problem. I've been working since I was legally allowed to and even before that babysitting and mowing grass. We are blessed with everything we have. Sorry if I come off as spoiled or selfish. I'm not used to having nice things handed to me...
I don't appreciate being judged. I work for what I have. My life is not sugarcoated.
1 Peter 3:15 In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you