“The fields are white, they’re all around us. We live life like they’re not. So consumed in our ambitions, so distant from Your heart”-Caleb Andrews
This fall I had the chance to go to Mexico for a week-long mission trip with the House of Prayer in Atlanta. I found out about the trip because of a last-minute opening THREE WEEKS before they planned to leave–and the opening was for someone who spoke Spanish… This was a chance to fulfill my life-long dream of ministering to others in a foreign country using the gift the Lord gave me of speaking Spanish. I was unsure if it was what I was supposed to do, so I threw it out there on media to see if the money would come in that quickly--then I would know if it was God’s will. Long story short, after a mere 3 days of fundraising, because of a huge amount of support, I was able to go! Even with my plane ticket doubling in price! So, at the end of October, with absolutely no clue what the schedule was for the week or what we’d do specifically to minister, I was off!!
It was a life-changing trip for me in multiple ways. Not only did my heart for the people of Mexico grow, I also saw firsthand the culture, people, food, beliefs and traditions in a way I’d never seen before. Being able to talk to those who didn’t speak English was a huge plus for me. You should’ve seen people’s faces as a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed young girl began speaking to them in their own language! The people were incredibly hospitable & friendly, so they just responded to me in Spanish as if I was one of them. I love this culture and people more than I thought I could!
I got to share my testimony in Spanish to the House of Prayer community, and I was one of the main translators for the team: during one-on-one ministry, prayer, services, outreaches and groups we ministered to! I got to use this gift often! From our outreaches that included sharing the Gospel in a poor fisherman community, to a crowd outside the hospital where we handed out food and Bibles, a crowd at a political rally in the city, and other outreaches, our team saw over 25 people give their lives to Christ! We believe many more lives were changed from messages preached, prayer meetings and hundreds of Gospel tracks we passed out!
One of my favorite stories from my time in Mexico involves a poor fisherman community we ministered at on a rainy day. We had just eaten lunch, and found out when we got to our contacts in the area’s house, that they had just cooked a huge meal for us. We tried to eat as much fish & ceviche (raw fish coleslaw stuff) as we could before heading out to the neighboring community to pass out tracks and invite everyone to the “blue van” in 15 minutes for a gathering. When we arrived back, we found the area swarmed with children; possibly because we were also handing out candy as we gave out Gospel tracks to people in their homes. Regardless, one of our teammates, Caleb asked me to translate as he told the kids about Samuel & how he heard God’s voice & answered Him at a young age, and how he served and loved God all of his life, and then about Jesus dying for them on the cross. They don’t know anything about iPads, wealth & technology and payed attention to the whole lesson, answering questions and repeating after us during the story, “Here I am God, speak to me!” Then, all the kids got in a line at the end for us to hand out more candy and Gospel tracks. The hunger in the kids faces for love and Jesus was so sobering & encouraging at the same time. They might never have access to go to a church until they’re older; no Sunday school or Vacation Bible School. Our hosts at the House of Prayer in Matamoros said that the area they lived in isn’t being evangelized so we might’ve been one of the only times they heard about Jesus. While we told stories to the children, there was a crowd gathering of adults on the other side of our group, and a few of our team got to share the Gospel with them, passing out rice and beans, too. When we passed out the candy and tracks to the kids at the end, Caleb made them wait as he specifically asked for their name, made sure to look into their eyes and told them Jesus loved them. What melted my heart were a few of the little girls who came up to me and asked for Bibles. When I found some I was swarmed with grabbing hands, too. I couldn’t pass them out fast enough because the other kids saw them & wanted them so badly. I had to turn away a few sad eyes & it broke my heart. While Caleb was still talking to the little ones in the line, I noticed one precious girl, ignoring the crowd and candy, and all her friends and she began to devour the Word–written in Spanish– almost immediately after I gave it to her. She was one of the ones who was paying attention during the lesson. She was hungry & was pursuing God, even at that young age. People in poorer areas are hungry for the Gospel. People outside the US need Jesus & love, and don’t have access to knowledge about God like we do or a church on every corner. To give that girl a Bible, if that was all we did on the trip, it would be worth it!
In the community surrounding the House of Prayer we saw the Lord move in healings, encouraging families, and being set on fire for the vision of night and day worship, prayer and the worth of Jesus! Because not a lot of men in the community are serving Christ, our hosts from the House of Prayer had been praying for the salvation of a specific group of men for years, and during one service when we put on a BBQ for the community & preached the Gospel, three key men in that neighborhood made decisions for Christ! That week, after we left, they continued in their faith in a way they hadn’t before and came to the prayer meeting/Bible study on their own. This was a huge deal because they normally would only come to the House of Prayer with their families, and now will by God’s grace be the spiritual leaders of their houses! Practically, our team delivered materials to a family who needed a new roof and one member bought and installed windows for a family with a newborn! Every time we did an outreach in an area, we handed out food and served the community a few meals during our time, playing with the kids a ton & building relationship with the families.
There are definitely many stories I could tell, from our amazing week, but overall, I’m honored to have been a part of what Jesus is doing there & look forward to going back one day! Please keep the House of Prayer & community of Matamoros in your prayers! The Lord did a deep work in my heart in terms of how I love others, spend my time and money, and live a missional lifestyle. He taught me that others with less access to the Gospel in other nations do need to hear about Jesus, but none of us should wait for a mission trip to share the love of God, especially because there’s people all around us who need to hear the Gospel! We saw firsthand that what Jesus said is true in the nations:
“Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for the harvest! The harvest is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”