Okay, maybe that statement is hyperbole. This is actually the short version of the story of my trip to Mexico and having my heart stolen by people in a far away land. That’s a really fancy way of saying I’m going to talk a little bit about my missions trip and how much I miss being there. I don’t believe I’ve ever felt more at home than when I was in Mexico (sorry U.S.A), and the itch to get back to that beautiful country refuses to leave me alone.
Setting Myself Up For Robbery
It was a long time coming. I had the privilege of being involved in the planning and logistical side of things prior to the trip, so my own excitement grew quickly. I definitely found a love for planning fun and special ways to leave a lasting impression of Love. Of course, much credit goes to the leaders that dedicated so much time to helping in that planning, but for the sake of time we’ll leave my gushing over them for another day. The months that it took to plan simultaneously felt like a decade and a few weeks. It paid off, though! We made it safely, got settled, and were up bright and early the next morning prepping for the coming days.
Each day brought a new excitement and new challenges. Leaky roofs, rejected invitations, the hottest nights, interrupted plans, rainy days, sickness, my brother’s face getting beaten up by a loose support beam… the list goes on. All these things offered us the opportunity to become discouraged, worried, or angry; but joy, energy, and love followed us wherever we went. My personal challenge as someone who loves getting a good night’s sleep was constantly waking up throughout the night because of the heat, quinceañeras, or the donkey yelling at us through our open bedroom doors (or tent flaps depending on the night). Thanks to answered prayers, I was still able to come forth each day with high expectations and the energy to work towards accomplishing them.
I want to start this off by saying I am a huge advocate of long-term missions and desperately want opportunities to build long-lasting relationship and community with the people I work with. However, short-term missions can be incredibly impactful and don’t get quite enough credit. There’s something about giving up days or weeks of your time to simply serve and share Love that puts both teams and the people they’re going to in a position of vulnerability, open mindedness, trust, and gets them excited to learn and see new things.
God showed us over and over his goodness and readiness to answer our prayers when we are willing to put some faith in Him. He gave us energy when we were exhausted and comfort when we were sick. We saw a nearly blind boy’s sight restored through His power. Two boys from the village we were in got saved (one being the one who was healed!), and multiple people were baptized. I don’t list these things to make our group seem so incredibly great, but because I can’t talk about this trip without these miraculous things that God did coming out with the rest of the stories. All glory is His, but someone has to share about it, and I’m more than happy to take on the responsibility.
On a more personal note (and where we get to my heart being unashamedly stolen by these people), I found a home in this country. I believe that another value in short term missions trips is the spark it can ignite in people and the guidance that God can give through them. If you read my first post on this blog, you know that I’ve always felt called to the mission field, but I never really had any certainty on where it was I would go, what I’d be doing, or when I would leave. A lot of this is still unclear, but a certain ache in my heart every time I think of Mexico has lead me to believe that me going on this trip could have been a way for God to show me a place that I could so easily see myself calling home. Never in my life have I missed a people so much or had my heart away from me for so long. Maybe someday I can go get it back. I’m still searching for answers on what that might look like, and if this really is what I’m being called to, but I know God is faithful to provide wisdom and understanding. I’m also learning patience and trust that when I’m supposed to know, He’ll make sure I don’t miss the memo.
All For the Best
In a way, this trip was like a new beginning. As cliché as that sounds, it’s true. Recently I have been so focused on my own strength and logic that I wasn’t putting my efforts into seeking the things that God has for me or the people around me! Those things may not always be pretty and glamorous (I dare say that they rarely are), they may be scary and challenging, but it will always be perfect.
Long story short, this trip filled me with a renewed faith and trust that God’s way is perfect and will always take me where I’m supposed to go. Into a deeper love for Him and His people.
Hello Beautiful People, thank you for reading! Please keep me in your prayers as I continue to do research on various options and seek guidance from God on what I’m meant to do. I love those people, but above all want my way and God’s way to be aligned with each other! Also head over to my Instagram account @gabrielle____r and give it a follow for more content!