Let me back up. You need a bit of backstory to fully understand and appreciate this leap of faith. *PS, this is a LONGer story so it will be broken up in a few different posts coming out over the course of the next few weeks (promise).
As I wrote a few months ago (if you haven’t read that post, go do so here, I’ll wait ....), in the Spring of 2006 I really had to press in to the Lord to hear what HE wanted me to do for the summer. I was used to going on every missions & youth trip the student ministry at my home church, Metro Church of God in Birmingham, offered plus several camps and local ministry opportunities like VBS and kids camp. But that year, I was roughly 6 months into a new, “real” job with vacation days, sick days, clock-in hours, etc. I, for the first time pretty much since birth, had to really contemplate what my summer was going to look like.
So I pressed in & prayed and felt the Lord telling me Mexico. Our youth group was headed to Ensenada, Mexico the last weeks of June and I knew that God was leading me in that direction. So I signed up and helped lead that trip. The dates lined up perfectly for me to even have a few days of recovery time before heading back to work thanks to a conveniently place long weekend for July 4.
As I sit here thinking about it, my first international trip & my second missions trip altogether was also to Mexico, back when I was 15, when we went to Mexico City. Fast-forward 13 years of trips every single summer and my last short-term trip was going to be Mexico again!! Seems fitting!
The time came for our group to head on back down the mountain and I was tasked with rounding up the troops. As I was looking for one of our “strays” I noticed that she was talking with someone. I patiently waited for a break in the conversation (I’m southern and warm-cultured afterall) and while I waited I overheard a bit of what this stranger was sharing. She, a young German woman, told us that it was her last night in Ensenada and was headed back home after spending the last 9 months in Mexico learning and serving with a local organization. She was out hitting up all her favorite spots when she got sick and decided to leave early but wanted to look out over the city one last time. As they approached the area, they noticed singing and she recognized the songs as Christian songs in English. She was intrigued so she approached the first person she came to, which was one of my students.
After the conversation, I quickly told our student it was time to go & thanked the girl for her time and sharing her story and we headed back down the mountain for lots of rest as we had a busy time ahead of us. We spent next 10 days doing God’s work, facilitating kid’s ministry, VBS, door-to-door evangelism, prayer over the city, etc. It was incredible and I was shocked at all the Spanish I retained from my 4 years in high school (about 10 years before).
We had partnered with an organization out of Washington State and every morning before heading out for ministry our larger group got together for worship and a devotional. One of those days, someone shared an image they had been given about a boat. They said that it was easier to redirect a boat that is already in motion, even if it’s facing the completely opposite direction, than if it is sitting at the dock. The idea was that if anyone was restless with their life that if they just moved, took that step of faith, even if it was in the wrong direction, that God could redirect them. This really resonated with me as before I left I was restless and had even started looking for a new place to live (although that ended up falling through last minute) but I was moving.
... to be continued (here).