o here’s my mex testimony, if u guys wanna read it. it’s not a “real” post tho…and i think i just put everything together haha
oh and its LONG (1 pg MSWord)
My summer plans this year didn’t leave much breathing room, let alone time to just sit and think about all I had experienced. I began the Mexico trip with my heart still in China with my “students,” and afterwards I left for college orientation with a rather confused mind. Jumbled thoughts of both missions trips were strewn about somewhere in my head even as I tried to figure out where to go, what to say to my advisors, what my schedule would be.
China was my first “missions trip.” But because of governmental constraints, we weren’t allowed to share God with anyone below 18. So my job (and that of the other youths) was to teach English and to love them with God’s love, so that they might see just how great it is. God still worked through us and with us and was all around us; we just couldn’t openly discuss Him without getting the school in trouble, and then possibly all future China missions teams.
Mexico was different. Though, on that first day in the van, I had trouble letting go of China, and I had to tug a little harder to get my heart back in line, I can now say that my two experiences were quite dissimilar. Well, aside from the “no toilet paper in the toilets” and random bugs and bunk beds and… ok so there were some similarities. But in Matamoros, we were encouraged to talk openly with everyone we met; we didn’t have to watch the words that came out of our mouths. We were able to worship God out loud. And the thing I feared after China — team disunity — never came to pass, for which I was really grateful. In fact, we became quite the close-knit team, both forming new friendships and strengthening those we already had.
I was a little nervous at first when meeting the other teams from different cities. Especially when we had to mix around . . . it seemed like we were the only “recognizable” church (though later on I realized Dallas was pretty recognizable too). I was nervous when we had to pray for strangers, when we had to talk to strangers . . . with pretty much everything we had to do. I never knew if I was doing things right or wrong (even during construction and painting) — and I ALWAYS need to know if I’m doing things right or wrong. I guess the thing that I didn’t count on was that there IS no right or wrong; just follow God’s voice, and it’ll always be right.
Watching everyone around me grow in their faiths encouraged me to do the same. No matter what happened, it was all in God’s plan. No matter what happens, it will always be in God’s plan. I think one thing I really took home from this experience is a greater dependence on and trust in God, along with the courage and some techniques to talk to those friends who are more open to hearing about my faith. And if I feel called to talk to those who might not seem open at all, so be it. God will be with me, and that’s all that matters.
I first wanted to go to Matamoros because I used to live on the other side of the border, in Brownsville. Or that was the reason I gave. I think I just wanted to experience God in new ways, in new places — and if I could help others while doing so, even better. The thing about missions trips, though, is that while you think you’re helping or teaching or “whatever”ing, you come to realize that everything comes back to God. He’s the one doing everything, planning everything, saying everything. And He picked you to help Him out. That’s even bigger than. . . the President personally calling for your help . . . or something like that. From what I’ve experienced this summer, I think missions trips are not only times for one’s faith to shine and to grow, but they are HUGE learning experiences as well. But that’s just me.