In 2010, I went on my first mission trip with Peace Lutheran Church and Casas por Cristo to Juárez, Mexico. I was attending church with my dad on a weekend I was in town, and I heard Pastor James talking about the upcoming mission trip they had planned. It was like the Holy Spirit was speaking directly to me through James saying that I absolutely had to be part of this! That experience in Juárez forever changed my heart towards the need to do more in my life and to support this amazing organization and the people they serve.

I have been able to go on three mission trips with the amazing people at Peace and Casas por Cristo. In 2011, I had the tremendous pleasure of bringing my two older sisters, Aimee and Alicia, in addition to my incredible father who has been with me on all of these experiences, back to Juárez to experience it with me. On the third mission trip, my heart exploded with joy when my wonderful husband, Dave, decided to join my dad and me in Guatemala. Every single one of these experiences was beyond incredible and I can’t wait to do it again!

I am turning 40 in April. Dave and I have been brainstorming for several months about what amazing thing we were going to do to celebrate. On his 40th, we brought 30 of our friends and family to California to celebrate, so he was on board with doing something equally incredible for mine. We talked about Jamaica and New Orleans but hadn’t really felt settled on either of those options. This year, at the beginning of June, we had the pleasure of spending two weeks in Peru together. During our time there, our interactions with the incredible Peruvian people inspired us to want to do more than just take a trip- we needed to give back to the people of the world. That is when we decided that we wanted to go to the Dominican Republic and build a house with Casas por Cristo for my 40th birthday. We chose to serve in the DR because we support Josh and Allie Crabbs monthly, and Josh has been part of every build that I have done.

What better way to give back?!

 

-Alison O’Brien