While finishing up putting things away from unpacking, gathering pictures to put in one place to be available to everyone, and doing some of the day-to-day things around the house, I’ve been reflecting on our time in Mexico. Before the trip, I wasn’t sure what all God was going to have me do, or what my “specific” purpose on the team was—I just knew God wanted me to go.
As we traveled to the guesthouse in Texas, and as I was talking with Jesus, I told Him I wanted to come back changed. This being my third missions trip, I’ve learned not only to expect God to do amazing things on the trip, but to allow Him to do something in me, as well. That was my expectation for Mexico—and I was not disappointed.
Yes, we did various forms of ministry such as door-to-door visitation in the neighborhoods around the ministry compound; VBS using various skits, songs, and crafts; feeding people and ministering to families at the hospital; praying for people; etc. Interestingly enough, though, none of these have been at the top of my list of highlights of the trip. Nor are they considered catalysts for the “changes” that are beginning/continuing to take place.
What stands out to me are some things that may get overlooked on a missions trip and one thing that caught me by surprise.
First of all, I was amazed and thankful the entire trip—who gets to do stuff like this?! Who gets to ride ten hours in a 15-passenger van through the countryside and mountains of Mexico? Who gets to ride a horse up and down one of the mountains in an old silver mining town in Mexico? Who gets to meet and work with brothers and sisters from New York, Seattle, Virginia, Missouri, Kansas, and Mexico all at the same time while in Mexico? Who gets to go scorpion hunting at night in Mexico and critter hunting in the middle of the night in Texas? And all in the midst of a missions trip. Seriously, who gets to do this stuff?!
The entire time I was blown away by the opportunities King Jesus gave me during the trip. And it’s just like how I’m amazed every time I set foot on our mission...I mean, softball...field.
Secondly, I enjoyed all the joy and laughter that was part of this trip. I roomed with Sophia and three girls from New York (Victoria, Makayla, and Jen [Makayla’s mom, associate pastor’s wife]) while in Mexico, and one night, while trying to go to sleep, we all started laughing and could not stop for at least a half an hour. I had tears streaming down my face while trying to hold back the laughter that was preventing me from falling asleep. Then, another night our Mikalah, Sophie, and I had another laughing fit on the roof of the ministry compound in Mexico.
The guys also had a few of these fits of laughter. Once back at the ministry guesthouse in Texas, many were swimming in the pool and Zech, Sam W., Sam K., and Jacob were laughing hysterically. I don’t know how it began, but I know it continued with those four trying to remember some goofy stuff Jacob had said during the day. I have seen those guys laugh a lot before, but I had never seen or heard them laugh that hard. It was great.
Thirdly, I loved how there were three different teams—New York, the Dayspring team, and ours—yet we all worked together as one team; we were one team.
It reminds me of how the Godhead has three personalities, so to speak: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Yet, they are One God. Each of our teams had different personalities and callings; yet we were one team with one calling. I’m not even sure if one could tell we were three different teams if they didn’t know it. And that’s what happens when all involved have been praying and seeking God’s will.
Now for what caught me off guard. During the week I watched everyone, and my attention was drawn to Pastor Jeff, Les, Zech, Roger (Dayspring), Tavo (Dayspring), Dennis (Dayspring), Travis (New York pastor), and Joe (New York youth leader)—the married guys. Some were able to experience the week with their wives, while a few were not able to do so. In any case, I was like, “Lord, I want to do this kind of stuff with my husband. When do I get to get married?”
I wasn’t (and still am not) whining or complaining; simply asking. The desire has always been there, but I didn’t expect the longing to surface during this trip. And yet, it makes total sense. What comes to mind are lyrics to the song, “Spirit and the Bride” by Tom Dickson, Mercy/Vineyard publishing.
Deep within, there’s a fire that can’t be quenched
A love for You as strong as death
Hear us Lord,
the longing of our hearts
is to be where You are, not apart
We feel You near, Your presence all around us
Oh, Lord we want to see Your face
So take us away
The Spirit and the bride
cry out to You
Lord, we cry out to You
We long for the day when we will see Your face
We long to be with You
And breathe on us until You come
Breathe on us until You come
I long to always be with Christ, my One True Love, my Bridegroom; and He patterned earthly marriage after our relationship with Him. So, why wouldn’t I long to be with that man of God that is going to be my husband when the Holy Spirit has placed that desire in my heart? Why wouldn’t I want to experience all God has for me with my future husband? And what do I do in the mean time?
What do I do? I keep seeking Christ—His Word, His plan, Him. I keep talking with Him about everything, and praying for that guy who will one day be my husband.
Okay, so by now you may be wondering, “What about how God changed your life? You’ve mentioned everything but that.” I haven’t told you about everything, but as for what God is doing in me, well, let’s put it this way:
¨ I want to always be healthy, fit, strong, and ready to go wherever God wants me to go and do what He wants me to do—even if it’s just walking out my own front door.
¨ I want to be able to pack everything I need for travel in a carry-on bag—it’s easier to be ready that way, and easier to travel.
¨ I want to always be willing to go wherever, yet “content” to stay and serve, as well.
¨ I want to learn to serve better and more, and actually put it into action.
¨ I want to always be hungry for Christ and His Word—because, as we know, we can never get enough of Him; yet He is enough.
¨ I want to continue to always have my passport up-to-date, and always know where it is. My Spiritual one, as well—I am an ambassador of the King, after all.
(Oh, and one more thing. I did make a few animal friends, too. I found a katydid, Les found a huge moth for me, and Sophia found cave cricket for me—all of which I held. I also held Ralf, a puppy friend. He’s more of Joe’s buddy, though.)
[There will be more explanations, stories, and pictures in the near future. The above is an article I wrote for our church newspaper.]