Thornton accompanied about 50 teens from her church this spring to Juarez, Mexico, where they built three homes for Casas Por Cristo, a nondenominational program that provides spiritual and physical comfort for people suffering poverty's blight.
That mission enabled the young people to make a difference in the border town that's a bridge away and a world removed from El Paso, Texas. In addition to getting livable homes to replace cardboard shelters, families each were given a Spanish-language Bible and urged to seek a local pastor.
The changed lives weren't just those grateful homeowners. The 50 young people from Tennessee's richest county also were awakened to a world harshly unlike their own.
"I got a feeling for what real poverty is," says Zack Liston, 18. "I also got a feeling for what it feels like to make a lasting difference, giving somebody a house."
The young people came back from Mexico wanting to spread their work, and the word, locally. "They want to give back here," Thornton says. "That's hot on my plate now."
Friday, August 3, 2007
The Tennessean reported here on some of the mission work done by Susan Thornton of Williamson County, including construction projects in Mexico for Casas for Cristo: