My Mission Trip to Baja Mexico with Ten Days
July 25, 2017
I can say with concrete certainty that the Ten Days Mission trip to Baja changed my life. My dad and I joined the trip last-minute, and we planned to only stay for two days. Yet after the second night, when we were crossing the border back into the United States, God planted a feeling deep inside my stomach that I needed to turn around. I needed to stay in Mexico. I knew I wasn’t supposed to be going back home, and that my job was not yet finished. I wanted to say something right then- that I had to go back, that I could walk back if need be. Instead, I laid down in the backseat and prayed that if I was supposed to return to Mexico, under God’s power, I would.
Sure enough, one day later, my dad and I crossed the border back into Mexico. By 8:00am, we boarded the buses to the build site with the rest of the crew, almost as if we had never left. It was a surreal feeling to be back, and I knew God had plans for the remainder of our week. When I returned to Mexico, I had even more energy and excitement than the first time I had arrived. “I didn’t wake up at the crack of dawn and cross the border for the third time this week to just sit around in Mexico,” I thought to myself. “I came back to be part of God’s work and change lives!” And with that mindset, I went with a team into the local neighborhoods to invite people to join us at our fiesta, a small street fair we had put together. I wanted everyone to have fun and hear about God’s love and salvation.
We were given a time limit for how long we were to invite people to the Fiesta. When we reached it, I looked around at all the houses that we didn’t get to. I could not forget about the uninvited people who lived there. I asked a leader if she would go back with me to invite more people, and I am so glad we did! At one point, we went down a street where children lived at every house, and not one person had heard of the fiesta we were planning. Everyone said they would come to it. With that simple gesture, we got seventeen more people to come hear what we had to say and celebrate in the glory of God. Over half of them were children.
At the fiesta, I saw dozens of smiling kids dancing and laughing with the activities we brought them. They played games, won prizes, and got their hair done and faces painted. I could feel joy radiating from their smiling faces. Then, when some people from our missions team gave their testimonies, every child, adult, adolescent, and elder went completely silent. They listened with attentive eyes and open hearts. I saw some of them cry when the speakers cried, and their sweet and caring souls touched me deeply.
The next day was the first church service in the brand new church we had built. Right before it began, I was asked to gather a group and invite more local people who lived in the area to come to the service. Within fifteen minutes, we visited every house we could and almost everyone we talked to was already going. But there was one man in particular who was walking alongside the road that we stopped and asked to come. Around two hours later, the pastor asked those who wanted to commit their life to Christ to come forward, and the same man stood up and accepted Jesus into his life as Lord and Savior. I got goosebumps as I felt God working through me, and I knew that this indeed was one of the reasons why God had me come back.
My perspective changed that day as I looked over the endless dirt roads and shacks that people call home. “How crazy that I live just 2 hours north; yet, what a world of a difference between my life and theirs.” I thanked God continuously and asked Him to help me help communities that need him. This is a prayer that will take a lifetime, but it started with that day.
As I went to bed, God spoke into my heart that I am to commit my life to mission trips- to travel and help others, and to touch the world with His grace, love, and guidance. I always wanted to be a traveling journalist, but now I plan to go on missions trips and document them. I’ll keep a blog of the next one, so that not one testimony, one salvation, or one story is forgotten. And oh is God good! He works amazingly and instantaneously, because the very next day, he gifted me with my first opportunity. The leader of the trip asked if I would write up my story so that it could be submitted to the website, and here I sit, pen and paper, my life journey just beginning.
Thanks to Ten Days and everyone who made that week possible. I got to experience joy and gratitude in forms I’ve never seen, while in places I would have never expected, and through the experience I was able to get a glimpse of what God has planned for my life.