Teen Mission Trip to Mexico – August 2008

I am writing this after one of the most life-changing summers of my life. Even though I am now in the comforts of an air-conditioned home in Indiana, the memories of Mexico are still vivid. These memories include extreme heat and perpetual sweating, building a wall out of stone and mortar, clearing land with machetes, taking showers military style from buckets or just out in a rain storm, sharing the good news in parks and on soccer fields, sleeping in hammocks, pouring my life into the participants, eating authentic Mexican cuisine for a month, stumbling through Spanish, and learning a little bit more about Jesus with each breath.

I saw God move in unmistakable ways and I almost audibly heard His voice. One instance of this was the first night of open air ministry, when one of the staff members and I were praying about who should share their testimony that night in an open air service. Both of us, without sharing with each other, felt it was right for one of the participants named Paul John to share. We decided to go with it and asked him if he would share. The teenager, although extremely nervous about public speaking, agreed to share his testimony about seeking God’s help during a biking accident. At the end of his story, Paul John invited people to ask God for help if they had marriage problems or were in pain like he was. Even though in my mind mentioning marriage problems seemed out of place and somewhat random, God had something else planned. Several people that night in the park asked for prayer for family issues, moved by the 17-year-old’s testimony. It still amazes me how God had all of the details mapped out – from choosing the teen that was to share to the way he ended his story.

Among other such happenings, God took me on a trek. This went right along with the theme of the summer which was ‘Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly while on a trek with Jesus.’ He took me on a journey which will continue for eternity. It wasn’t always easy, but it was always good. Jesus showed me areas that needed some major spring cleaning and going through the heart dirt was a messy job at times. He showed me first hand that prayer works, that the battle talked about in Ephesians is real and raging, and that He always, yes always, has my best in mind. He showed me through hand building a foundation for a building, making balloon animals, and scrubbing floors that every simple action can act as a testimony of His love for the world that speaks louder than our words.

I learned countless lessons this summer that will last for a lifetime and beyond. I know that due to the prayers of many, God moved mountains.