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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Reflection From Our Mission Trip to Mexico

I just came back from our mission trip in Mexico. The youth of our church went for seven days to Nogales México and I went along as one of the leaders. My job was to be an interpreter for those who didn't speak the language but for me it was more than that. This is not the first time I go to México on a mission trip. I have been to several of them and they always teach me something new and make me reflect on my own life path. I always learn to be grateful. Seeing how people live, without water, without bathrooms, without paved streets and with out many other luxuries makes me be grateful. I grew up in this same way up until I was about 10 years old. I lived liked them. Just before I came to America, we moved to my grandma's home and experienced for the first time what it was to have a nice home with showers and bathrooms. But after been here in America for most of my life, I have forgotten what it was like. Going to México reminded me that I need to be grateful. And I am. I also connected with many of the people from Mexico and learned about their lives. I went to visit at least two homes. I always ask questions to learn about them. It gives me a a different perspective as I learn from what they have experienced. Eduardo and Leo where the ones I talked to the most. They shared part of their life stories. I tried to encourage them by listening and showing empathy. I went to Eduardo's house and learned more about him and his family while we worked digging and leveling an area in a neighbors home. I spent time talking to Leo and while we went running on one morning, we talked about life and his relationship with God. There were also several conversations with the children. They amazed me. So many of them were able to share things about their simple life. But more than anything, their love for God moved me. When I found out the church we were helping had mostly children, I was somewhat disappointed. I wanted to have a "normal" church with adults. But it didn't take long to show me I was wrong to think this way. After hearing them the first day, everything changed. These children had more faith than I've ever seen in adults. It reminded me of what Jesus said about them. He told his disciples in Matthew 19:14 "“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (ESV) In Matthew 18:3 he also said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (ESV) He also prayed in Matthew 11:25 "“I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children." (ESV) This was so true in Mexico. These children will be the future of the church in Mexico, I can see them going all over the world as missionaries. I believe in them. Jesus believed in them.

I also got a glimpse of the church in community. About forty of us, mostly High School students, ate together, worked together, prayed together, sang together, shared the Lord's Supper together, played together, laughed together. I didn't hear complaints. I didn't see any disagreements. I saw community. It reminded me of what the churched was like in the New Testament. Acts 2:42-44: "And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common." (ESV) High Schoolers showed me a glimpse of what Christian community should be. I miss it!

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