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Building in Baja

The sun was rising over the desert as a caravan of vehicles and trailers spewed dirt around corners in the small town of Tecate, Mexico. The cars were stuffed with families who decided to spend their Spring Break in an unusual way. Rather than vacationing poolside in a sunny spot with friends, these 39 people made up of adults, teens, and wiggly children were here to build houses. Equipped with tools for the task, the families were full of excitement and hearts to see two Mexican families find not only a much needed shelter but a forever home as well.

Karen and Erik Tobiason made this same trek across the Mexican border 6 years ago with their family of 8 unsure of what it might look like. With a desire to experience a family mission trip in a foreign country, they also wanted their kids to understand the character of sacrificial giving. The family worked side by side for three days to build a home for a Mexican family that needed shelter. Oldest to youngest, every family member had a role and was engaged in the build. From framing walls to hanging sheet rock, painting the finishing touches and befriending the neighborhood kids, the Tobiasons poured out love. Though building side by side was amazing, the biggest impact came when the keys to the house were handed over to the sweet family. Across cultures and language barriers, the Tobiasons realized that these parents had the same dreams as they did. They dreamed for their kids to be safe, healthy, and happy. This simple house was a brilliant piece of that puzzle.

Over the past few years, the Tobiasons decided that their Spring Break serving adventure should grow. By inviting friends and families to join the team they have built several homes and served in the community as a light to the dark places. Through their trips they have been tremendously blessed to see the impact it has made on the team members as well as the new homeowners. Year after year donations come in to fund the builds and God faithfully takes care of the details. When these families could be relaxing on a luxurious holiday, they have chosen to spend their break reaching out to meet the needs of others. Each year houses are built. Each year hearts are changed while showing that God’s love inspires action. In this case it looks a whole lot like the sweat and hard work of building a house in the Mexican sun. What a beautiful thing that families in Tecate, Mexico nested in their new homes now know a deeper sense of God’s love.


Stirred by a heart to partner with other families, Erik and Karen Tobiason started, Bend2Baja2Build, a non-profit that facilities these building trips each Spring Break. They are passionate about providing homes for those in need, serving together, and instilling a heart of giving in the next generation.

Join the team in 2018!

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