Love — even when you’re not loved back

Working with an unreached people group in Creel
by Emily B, DTS student
Creel, Mexico
January 20-February 3, 2013

Emily makes crafts with a Creel girl

So many thoughts and images came to mind as soon as I learned that we would work with a boarding school for two weeks! We were with the Tarahumara people who live on the cold yet beautiful mountain side deep in Mexico. In many of the villages, schools are too far away for the children to attend, so this boarding school offers them the chance of a better future!

As we spent time with the kids, we taught them more about who God is. We made crafts and even planned two parties–a Carnival and a Friendship party–to celebrate the friendship of Jesus!

Although I knew that culturally the children, especially the girls, would be very reserved, I wasn’t prepared for how it felt. They barely acknowledged us that first week. At first, I felt frustrated that nothing we were saying or doing would make a difference. I wanted to play with them! I wanted to hear them giggle and respond to me! Why wouldn’t they?

I read a book called The White Umbrella: Walking with Survivors of Sex Trafficking (Little Libraries) which helped me understand God’s heart in this situation. I saw how important it was to love when there’s no sign it’s making a difference. I learned I should choose to be kind even when the choice isn’t mutual. To choose to make sacrifices even when they’re not acknowledged. To step out and keep putting your heart on the line because that’s what love is: loving others when it hurts.

That’s the heart of Jesus! That’s the love my Savior shows to his people everyday. And that’s exactly the kind of love these kids need to be modeled to them, but one of the hardest things to do. Even though I don’t understand the deep roots of their culture, I know that Jesus does. His love can break through barriers to reach the heart.

The Carnival party at the end of the first week was one of the first times we saw the kids laughing and playing. While I was with these kids, I saw even more how God loves all the individuals in this people group. He wants more than anything to bring His kingdom to them. He was so faithful in showing me how to patiently love them right where they were. I am so honored to serve a God of all peoples.