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Trinity University Students Build Homes, Unity During Spring Break 2007
By Bethany Auten ’07
Bethany Auten hammering a nail during a Spring Break mission trip to Reynosa, Mexico.

As Spring Break 2007 was approaching, I knew I needed a different kind of experience – one that would offer spiritual growth. I decided to spend Spring Break with 12 students and two staff members from Trinity University’s chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and several families from CrossBridge Community Church. Our goal was to build two homes in four days with Strategic Alliance under a project called “Homes for the Homeless.” Strategic Alliance has been in Reynosa, a colonia about three miles from the Texas-Mexico border, for 13 years and has built more than 1,000 homes for families who were living in little more than cardboard boxes.

Building a house from foundation to furniture is no small task. Thus, short tempers were all but expected when working hard with people you do not know and doing tasks that aren’t a part of your everyday experience. However, on this trip, I saw God’s patience and encouragement through the people working beside me – even when it took me five minutes to hammer in one nail.

I witnessed true generosity through the families for whom we built the homes. They bought food, found pots and pans to cook with – they had none of their own – and prepared lunch for 40 people despite the fact that they could barely feed themselves. They gave everything they could, which was more than expected. Through these families, we experienced the love of Christ.

Although my Spring Break wasn’t the traditional kind of break for most college students, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I experienced true love. I experienced God’s love for his people in Reynosa, Mexico, and I experienced God’s love for me. 

Two teams of Trinity students and staff build homes during Spring Break.

Bethany Auten of Phoenix is a senior chemistry major at Trinity University. She is a Beckman Scholar and Howard Hughes Medical Institute peer tutor in the chemistry department. She also is a Bible Study leader with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, an avid country western dancer with the Trinity Ropers, and a member of APO, a national service fraternity. 

© 2007 Trinity University

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