Drew Baldridge hadn't planned on taking a mission trip to Juarez, Mexico, when he started charting his summer vacation. He had a more relaxing, traditional five days off in mind, but then God intervened.

The “Dance With Ya” singer explains how one Sunday morning at his home church in Patoka, Ill., he heard others in the congregation discussing a mission trip, which started the very same day he was to begin his vacation.

“I figured God was telling me I had to be a part of it too,” Baldridge says.

The singer and 14 others flew to El Paso, Texas, and bussed to Juarez, where they got to work building more rooms on the back of a family’s house. “When we first walked in, they had two beds on the right side, a sink and stove on the left side and the bathroom in the back corner,” he shares. “Six people lived there. So we added two more rooms, with insulation, dry wall, electricity — things they’d never had.”

Baldridge says he was struck by the difference of lifestyles between residents of this town and his hometown or Nashville. The father in the home worked 11-hour days and earned $61 a week. The 16-year-old son didn’t go to school because his parents couldn’t afford it. But the household and community was full of love.

“These kids don’t worry about wearing Abercrombie clothes or fitting in with the crowd,” Baldridge says. “They don’t think about swimming pools; the little babies, they just swim in buckets. There’s a lot of love among them that I think we sometimes miss out on in the United States.”

“One day the dad came up with tears in his eyes, shook my hand and hugged me because we were helping them get ready for a whole new life," he explains. "They’d have space. They could invite friends over. They wouldn’t have to sleep on top of each other. Now, I can’t speak a lick of Spanish and he couldn’t speak a lick of English, but we understood each other because Jesus' love is universal. It doesn’t need a language. It speaks for itself.”

Baldridge just released a horn-driven country record called Dirt on Us. His touring schedule is full through this summer and fall, meaning it will be some time before he gets to take that vacation he still really needs.

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