WOW! This trip was wave-walking. It was a God-given chance for me to get to go from the start. When I heard about this mission trip, it was from my cousin, who goes to Faith Promise and was about to embark on his first mission trip. He was inviting me to come along. I was excited, but quickly realized that with a lot going on that year, and the expense of the trip, I would have to pass. My family agreed with the decision, and although I was disappointed, I was glad to be using my money wisely. Then my family planned a big vacation the week I would have been gone. Later that year, I got a call from my cousin only two weeks before the trip was to begin. One of the families had to step out, and there was a spot open for me on the trip at half the price it usually was! The only problem was the vacation we had already planned. It seemed like I was being taunted by opportunities I couldn’t take. Then something happened at my household, an out-of-the-blue change of plans, and our trip got canceled. All of a sudden, the door was wide open. I was going to Mexico!
I didn’t know anyone one the team except my cousin and my Aunt, and so I got to spend the whole week getting to know people with the same passions as me, and with the same God as I follow. They were all amazing, and were always there to help me each step of the way; to steady me, and to pick me up when I fell. God used this time to give me the rest I needed. No, we weren’t physically resting – not even close! – but we were spending every day with Him, doing things for Him, and following Him, which was rejuvenating for my soul. I’d never felt so alive. We got to spend one whole day helping Back2Back fix roofs, power wash, paint, and mix concrete, while the mountains towered around us. Then for the rest of our time, we got to connect with the kids, making crafts and playing endless games of soccer. It was so neat to see God putting smiles on each kids face, and helping us connect with each kid, even though we spoke two different languages. God is so cool in that way that he gave us ways to connect without having to speak; that he gave us expressions and laughter, and creativity. During that week when I was out of contact with my family back home, I was in contact with the Lord every day, and He brought me closer to Himself so that I could see things through His eyes, and appreciate the values He sees that we sometimes miss.
See, in our world, we do in a way speak a different language than those around us who are of the world. We can make small connections with them sometimes by sharing experiences, by laughing with them, or by simply listening even though we may have no clue what they’re saying or how to respond. We can lead by example. But why not go one step further? When we got to Mexico, even if we didn’t know Spanish, we began asking our leaders how to say this or that, or ask if they could tell a child something. We began to try harder to listen and remember how to say certain things. we began to try to learn about who they are, how they speak, and how to know them on a deeper level so that we could connect in a deeper way. It didn’t matter that we only knew how to say “hello”, we were excited about it! Why should we treat every day life any differently? Why should we not try to learn the language of those around us so that we can connect a little deeper, even if they laugh at our efforts? We could put a smile on someone’s face, make a day a little better, help someone take one more step, maybe even change a life. We could be the difference someone needs to come to Christ; if only we take the time, and make the effort. Our language is hard to learn, and difficult for the world to comprehend. So why don’t we reach out to the world instead of making the world come to us? Let’s do what Jesus would do, and learn their language, so that they can understand why we do what we do. Let’s explain ourselves, in their language. Why not? The return home was hard, in a way. There are so many distractions here that make us forget what we’re really here for. There are so many times when I just want to give up, to do what I want to do, to hang out with my friends instead of help someone I don’t really know that well. There are times when I wish I was in Heaven. But hey, no one said learning a language was easy. For most of us, its one of the most frustrating experiences ever. But we can’t give up. This is a call to arms. There’s lives to save out there, guys. Listen to others. Learn how to respond. Live out the faith. Be the difference for one.