Tuesday, March 25, 2008
A Report from Mexico
I'm sending this letter out today for those who supported me on the trip. Be blessed!
Dear Family and Friends,
It has only been one week since I’ve returned from Mexico, but I wanted to send this to you as quickly as possible. I just started my last 5 weeks of college and I have no doubt that they will fly by, leaving me with the amazing memories of the last four years. Its hard to believe that life goes this fast sometimes, and I was never more aware of that than when I was standing next to a towering 18-year-old young Mexican man who once was small enough to cry in my stomach.
First, let me share the logistical information. This trip by far was the most action-packed of my trips. Twenty minutes after we set foot in Chiquilá, we were at the church, putting on a service for the congregation. That night, we sat down with Pastor Reyes and planned out the week, and I realized just how busy we were going to be. Here’s a bullet-point summary of our activities.
• Services- Each night we put on a service involving music, drama, personal testimonies, and a sermon. Two nights, we were able to do open-air services in the center of town. The first night, over 15 children accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior! The dramas (one of which a team member wrote) were both extremely powerful, representing the choices we make that drive us away from God. I was able to lead worship each night, teaching the town three English songs- “The Victory Chant”, “He Reigns”, and “Days of Elijah”.
• Discussions- Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, we offered a discussion panel for the church youth group. Topics centered on relationships, education, the church, struggles, and what it means to be a man or woman of God. I was extremely blessed by the vulnerability of the kids. It was so clear that the young people of the town need to know Jesus. Their struggles include: drugs, alcohol, young marriage, complacency and church involvement. We noticed also that while they understand that opportunity exists, there exists no concept of how to get there. The money just is not available.
• English Classes- Originally, this was going to be the focus of our trip, but we soon saw that changed, as our focus turned to the older youth. Nonetheless, we offered two English workshops to the church, and an optional English class for the high school. Over 25 students showed up for this. It was interesting to try to explain English. Many of them have had English classes, but conversations are hard to have and comprehension of the language is difficult.
• Monetary Donation- With your generosity and God’s blessing, we brought down $1500 extra to use as the Lord led. After much prayer and discussion, we gave $900 to Youth With A Mission for a specific outreach effort to Chiquilá. They’ll be using the funds to facilitate recruitment to their Discipleship Training School, as well as discipleship of the young people of this town. $500 went to our translator, Tina, for a trip back to the States to be with her family on a “non-work-oriented” trip. It has been a while since she has seen her family and this will be a deep encouragement for her. The remainder of the funds went toward materials and costs.
This town has served an incredible purpose in my life. It is where the Lord planted my heart for ministry, it was the first place where I learned to lead a group of people through the unexpected, and this time, it was where the Lord convicted me to pray about short-term ministry and this place.
The last night, I watched a grown young man “pull himself together” before going home. He was so sad that I was leaving again. I pray I never forget this picture: a lone figure standing in the road, tall and strong in stature, but soft and young in heart. It was then that I became aware that I couldn’t pursue short-term ministry with this place any longer. If the Lord wants me to return there with His purpose as the goal, it will be for an extended period of time. So, I ask that you would pray for me as I continue to seek the Lord’s will.
I am deeply excited about what the Lord has for Mexico and know without a doubt that He is moving through this small village.
Thank you so much for your continued support. I can only pray that the Lord reveals to you the impact you are having on these people and in the lives of so many others.
With all the love possible,
“And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, ‘Be gone!’”~Isaiah 30:20-22
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