I've been home from Mexico for about two weeks now and figured it's time to share a little more about my experience. I wanted to spend time just absorbing everything and trying to get adjusted to being back home.
Transitioning was not as easy as I thougth it would be. When I got to Mexico it was so easy for me to adapt, I didn't get homesick or anything. Yes, there were days where I missed my friends but it still wasn't hard like I thought it would be. Coming home, on the other hand has been quite a transition. Reverse culture shock is something I didn't think that I would experience. I was warned about it but didn't think I'd experience it. But going from living quite a simple life and only having the stuff that fit in my suitcase for two months, and then coming home and having a whole room full of all my belongings was quite overwhelming. It made me realize how much stuff I have and that I don't need a lot of it. It's pretty safe to say that spending two months in Mexico changed my perspective on a lot of things.
I've realized how materialistic I am. I've always wanted the cutest clothes, nicest shoes, best makeup...you get the point. In reality, none of that really matters. Am I saying I hate all of that stuff now? No, I have just come to the realization that all of that isn't important, it shouldn't be a priority and what consumes me. I'd rather be known for living a life that is pleasing and satisfying to the Lord than to be known for having the best outfit.
Something else I realized, was how important it is to spend quality time with the Lord in prayer and His word. Without it we can’t pour in to others. And it really is obvious in the work that we do. We need God to equip us before every battle whether it be small or large.
I felt God stretch me to do things that I would never have imagined myself doing, and that proves that it was HIM doing things through me and not myself.
As I prepared to come home I worried about how my friendships would be, what my role in ministries would be, what I would do for two weeks before starting school and work. But the Lord has worked all that out for me and it's stuff that I don't need to worry about.
Even though my time in Mexico has ended, my mission isn't over. After I finish school this year I want to return to Mexico for a longer period of time and then eventually serve God as a missionary in South or Central America. I really don't know whats next, but I am excited to see where God takes me.
I'll forever be grateful that God chose me to serve Him and be able to witness His greatness. I am so thankful for the wonderful people that I met, thank you all for constantly pouring into me, mentoring me and showing me God's love.
It's so crazy to think that I've been here in Mexico for a month already and only have one month left. I already know that once I get home I'm going to miss being here. Over this last month the Lord has shown me so much and I know there's so much more that He wants to show me. And of course as I sit here to write about my experiences so far, it's difficult to narrow it all down. The reality is no matter how much I write there's not enough words to express everything.
When I first got here I was excited to go out and do the everyday missionary stuff, you know like go and do outreaches everyday. We do have outreaches, but that isn't all there is to missionary work. Being a missionary really isn't any different than being at home. Well I mean it is but let me explain this more. Just like at home theres housekeeping to do, actually I never did any of that at home but now I do ( I hope my parents aren't reading this). Being a missionary is just being a Christian in a foreign land. There's days that are ministry-filled and then there are off days. There are days where we go to church and days that we sit in class learning more about the missions field. Everyday isn't filled with evangelizing but it is filled with serving God.
The fact that I don't speak Spanish is definitely a challenge. But people don't care if you speak their language. Sometimes all someone needs is a smile or a hug. And when it comes to kids they're just happy to have a new friend to play with. Above all of that, God's love is universal.
Over this first month we've really focused on what it means to be a servant of God. It's really convicted me and made me realize how lucky I am to be chosen as a servant. It's so easy to think like "I'm just cleaning the bathroom, this isn't serving God," but that's so wrong, everything we do should be an act of service to Him.
We've been going through a book called "On Being a Servant of God." And this book really illustrates how we are to serve and what I have learned is that we're not always able to fix peoples problems, but we can guide them to Christ who can. And for me that was sort of a wakeup call because I know I am so controlling and strategic so when people come to me with certain situations I like to give them my plan and try to fix the situation for them. But really I need to point them to Christ.
I've also realized the how important it is to start your day in prayer and in the word. It's so easy to get caught up in serving God that you can easily neglect the relationship, I know it sounds strange but it's so true. Recently in my personal devotional time I was reminded that God should be our number one ministry and I have really been trying to remind myself of that daily.
The more I am out here I realize that this is my calling. I mean I guess I have kind of always known that but I've always tried to deny it. Looking back on this past school year and seeing the internships that I didn't get makes me realize that God was closing those doors because He wanted me to be where I now am. At the time, of course I was disappointed but in this moment I am so grateful and I can honestly say that I don't regret spending my summer here.
Yes, there are moments when I miss my best friends but they know that I am doing what the Lord has called me to do. And in the grand scheme of life, two months is really nothing. On the plus side the Lord has brought new friends into my life that I would've never met had I not came.
In just a month I will be entering my senior year of college and I know that after I graduate I will be serving on the missionary field. Some might think "What a waste of an education," but it's been my prayer to be able to use what I learn in school to glorify God. And already I have been able to do so. It's honestly been such a blessing to me to be able to do that.
I honestly don't know exactly where I'll be this time next year but I am excited to see where God takes me. Until then I will just continue seeking Him and enjoying every moment.
If you made it this far I love you so much, bless your heart!!!
On Monday morning I arrived at the Calvary Chapel Training Center in La Gloria, TJ where I will be spending two months as a missionary intern.
It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be to leave. I think the hardest part for me is not being able to get in my car and go an adventures with my best friends. But it has been really neat to spend more time with the Lord and draw closer to Him.
The first week has been pretty smooth, a lot of it has just been learning how everything works here at the training center.
During the week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday there is an after school program called Niños del Rey (kids of the King), the kids walk to the training center and are given a homemade meal and then there is a Bible study and time to work on homework and play with their friends.
On Thursday we went to El Ejido where many kids go and hangout once they're done with school. During this time we were able to do worship, have a devo and simply just play games with the kids.
On Monday we will begin our missions class and have a busy week prepared for us. I am really excited to see what else the Lord has in story for these next two months.
Please continue to not only pray for me but the other two missionary interns as well as the staff here at the training center.
On June 11th I will be leaving to spend the summer in Tijuana, Mexico.
Over the past few years I have gone on weekend-long missions trips with my church.
In the summer of 2012 I went on my very first missions trip which was in Panama. Reflecting back I had just turned 17 and was entering my senior year of high school. I can't really recall what prompted me to go, but now I know the Lord had a plan all along. Before going on this first trip I was nervous because I don't speak Spanish, I questioned how God can use me. But that was me doubting Him,in Luke 18:27 it says
“What is impossible for people is possible with God.”
But at the time that's not I was thinking, I was thinking about myself and what I can and cannot do, not the things that God can do.
After spending 10 days there I realized how much I loved serving in the missions field. I saw how universal God's love is and that although I wasn't able to communicate the way I wanted to that I was still able to share God's love.
Following that trip I began going to Mexico, November of 2013. By this time I was out of high school. Still unable to speak the language, I am able to dance along to the children's worship songs in Spanish. It can be tricky because the kids think I speak Spanish because I know the songs!
Throughout the years I began to really grow a love for Mexico. There are so many opportunities to serve, we often visit orphanages and just love on the kids that are there.
Last summer I went to Panama again. I was so excited to back to the place that sparked my interest in the first place. So much had changed since the last time I had went. I recognized a lot of the people from our church there. I remember thinking to myself "I really want to stay here for more than just 10 days."
Coming back from that trip I knew that there was more for me to do. As I continued to pray about it and continue going to Mexico I spoke to some of the missionaries in Mexico. It's incredible to hear their stories and see how God has worked in their lives during their time at the training center.
In November I finally decided that I'd apply to be an intern at the training center. It took me a while to actually fill out my application because I was having second thoughts. It's something that has been so heavy on my heart for years now but I've always put it on the back burner.
During my last trip in February I finally turned it in! So this summer I will be staying in Mexico learning what it really is to be a missionary. My church has been going out there for 7 years and this is the first time anyone is actually going to stay out for longer than the weekend. Me and two other girls will be going.
During these last few months I have been saving my money so that I can go. It's been incredible to see how the Lord has provided over these last few months. At work I've been getting some very generous tippers and can't help but to thank God. I am also thankful to have a flexible job that will let me return to work when I come back in August.
Counting the cost is something that I've been learning. And I'm not just talking financially. Serving God comes with sacrifices and being human I have had selfish thoughts wondering "God do I really want to miss on this event to serve you?" And then I am so humbly reminded of the sacrifice Christ made on the cross.
With that being said, I ask that you keep me in your prayers as I prepare for this trip and to continue praying for me this summer. Pray that I am open to what the Lord has in store for me and that I have an obedient heart.
Thank you so much for reading this, be blessed.