When you consider that a procrastinator, like myself, is packed and virtually ready to walk out the door for a week in Mexico- TWO WHOLE DAYS- before we are slated to leave, well, you could call that a miracle. But not one that has been easily won.
This spring, our church offered a missions trip that was affordable and offered a great variety for those who were “beginners”. An orphanage in Mexico that additionally provides childcare, school, and even bible college to the children in their community for a very affordable rate. It ensures that children receive two meals per day, education and an opportunity to know their Lord & Savior. I knew immediately that I would be a part of the team that would go. This was not a trip that I wanted to miss, even though missions have never even sparked an ounce of interest in my life before now.
Fast forward to today, two days before we take off. On Saturday, we will drive into a community where third world conditions and poverty exist. We will get a small water ration for a shower each day. I’m not sure if it is heated. Stay tuned. Our meals will consist primarily of rice, with some type of protein to accompany it. There will be not air conditioning, no wireless internet or cell service. No electricity between the hours of 10:30pm and 5:00am. We will be working on construction type projects in the morning and outreach in the afternoon. Sharing our stories in hopes of winning another life to Christ. So far out of my comfort zone that I will admit to a small case of nerves. But, I’m excited. As excited as going on any other trip or vacation away from home. I have learned so much about God, just in the preparation time, I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us while we are away. Here are just a few of the things I have discovered as I prepare myself to leave.
1. I am really looking forward to being unplugged. Allowing myself to get to a place when I can hear from God in the quiet. A place where I am not going to have a device competing for my attention. A place where human interaction comes first. A time to build relationship with God and the team that he is sending me with. A chance to hear from him in an environment free of the electronic distraction that I have come to be addicted to here at home.
2. My essentials aren’t so essential anymore. When we started thinking about packing our number one goal became how we could get maximum impact with the least amount of stuff to take. When you’re heading out with a missions team, you carry what you pack. It’s a rule I have raised my kids with, but we still have a pretty incredible man that bails us out sometimes. There was some issue between Chloe and I on not having enough pants to take. I don’t know if you have experienced this, but my recreational clothing is extremely limited. I can dress professionally for about two weeks without doing a load of laundry, but my evening and weekend wear is limited. Then, add the rule that your shorts have to reach your knees and you just took out a huge portion of my wardrobe and all of hers. After searching through our Goodwill giveaway bags, we found enough clothing to sustain us through the week. It isn’t two changes of clothes for each and everyday- there will be some repeat action happening for both of us, but I have to wonder, will the kids we are serving have a brand new and fresh outfit to wear each and every day? Or is this simply another matter we take for granted in the land of plenty?
3. I am not alone on this journey. It is said that there are two types of people involved in missions. The go’ers and the senders. And the senders are pretty darn cool. I posted a mom stress moment on Facebook while I was attempting to help my daughter pack. She was freaking out about her lack of supplies, including a suitcase. Within ten minutes of posting, we had several suitcase offers and an opportunity for her to go and shop in Grandma Melissa’s closet for the remaining clothing items she needed. The words of encouragement that we have received from our family, friends and church family have been overwhelming. Their excitement for our journey just feeds the fire that is already hot in me to do something for God. I can’t wait until it is my turn to be a sender. Senders are proof of God’s limitless ability to supply our every need. Even if the need includes a suitcase “large enough to carry a body.” (Jon, you always make me laugh).
I’m heading off to my last day of work before taking off. The anticipation is building. I ask for your prayers in our journey. I ask that you would appeal to God to meet each of us there, right where we are at. That he would appeal to us in a very personal way. That we would be open and willing to do the work that he has appointed for us. That we would have the heart of a servant ready to work on his behalf. That he would use us in a way that brings a supernatural harvest to these children in Mexico. That, in preparation, we would not be overcome by the details, but that we would lean on him to work all things together for good.