Oh sweet La Paz – I already miss you so.
It has only been five days since returning home from our youth missions trip to Mexico and I already miss it. After our group consumed over 700 tacos, I’m craving more tacos still today (Claro’s Crunchy Shrimp !!!)
My husband and I accompanied a trip of 19 teens, alongside four other leaders for eight days down the Baja. We partnered with an amazing church in the heart of the city, Destino Cristiano. Our team hosted three different outreach events to surrounding communities – two carnivals and a pool party. We also were a part of three church services. I personally met three young girls who decided to follow Jesus at our first service alone.
The best part of the trip was getting to do life and ministry alongside the members of Destino Cristiano. They put on the outreaches with us, ate and prepared meals with us, played with us on our fun days, and just spent the week loving us. And we fell in love with them in return.
We ate, we laughed, we cried. We swam in the ocean, walked along beaches, and made lifelong friends.
As it goes with most missions trips – I feel like I gained more than I gave. I guess that’s why the principle remains – “you’ll get what you put into it.” Here is a residing thought that I can’t seem to shake since returning from La Paz.
Every conversation included Jesus
Even in the conversations I had outside of the church – everyone was talking about Jesus. It was made evident by our translators that the reasons for our outreaches were because of Jesus and His love. When I talked with members of Destino, it always circled back to Jesus and His grace. They loved talking about Jesus, and it really created this ache in me – because it doesn’t seem like I do…
I LOVE Jesus, but do I talk about Him? I more often than not find myself inviting people to an event rather than to a relationship with our Savior – because that seems easier. When asked I say “we’re doing this event because we love the community and want to serve it,” rather than “because I love Jesus and want to serve Him.” Even if my motives ARE because of Jesus, I tend to not easily declare that for fear of being “awkward.”
One of the missionaries who went with us said this: “We are so willing to ‘smile for Jesus,’ but the Holy Spirit didn’t empower you to smile for Jesus, but to declare who He is.”
So, I’m putting that into action. I’ll smile for Jesus, sure, but I’ll be doing so while declaring His goodness, love, and grace in my life. I want to be a person who can’t stop talking about Jesus, because He’s more than worth talking about.
Hope to see you soon, friends.