“God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.”
During my second trip to the Holy Place, House of Prayer in Matamoros, Mexico, I learned the deep truth of this quote. From the time I started raising support, all the way through the trip, I was impacted by the thought that all it takes is for someone to say yes & have a willing heart– to give, to pray, to support, to go– for God to move in people’s lives and qualify us to do His will! The only reason I was able to go on this trip was because beloved family and friends gave generously. That made it possible for me to say yes and see Jesus’ name exalted in another country! I’m so grateful for this experience and can really say my life has been changed forever!
I thought I loved the people of Mexico before going this year. While worshipping, playing with, ministering to, serving and laughing with them, I realized Jesus has awakened a deeper love and understanding of this country than I thought possible! While teaching a group of our friends about the Bible in Spanish, I realized only the Lord could give me this amazing gift. Feeling revelation from God and then releasing it in another language is such an honor and a way I’ve been able to give that gift back. Oh to see adult and children’s faces alike light up when you tell them that they have been loved by God since before the world was created!
During our days in Mexico, we got to host about 10 services for those in 2 communities by the House of Prayer there in Matamoros: Costa Azul & Ejido de Bartolina. The beach community is a very poor area where people basically live in cardboard boxes by the water in order to make a living as fishermen. Roman and Annalisa are our incredible contacts in Matamoros, who have been on staff at IHOP ATL and felt the Lord calling them to build a House of Prayer in each of these areas. They do prayer meetings and ministry at both locations almost everyday of the week, functioning as the youth, kids and Sunday pastors, and directors of two Houses of Prayer.
If I had to choose one aspect of what impacted me most, I think it would be Roman, Annalisa & Diego. They’ve left the comfort of the US, to take cold showers, eat rice and beans everyday (sometimes yummy tamales), and choose to lay their lives down for the benefit of others so they can know Jesus. Probably the most selfless & loving missionaries I’ve ever worked with, they use all that’s given to them for the glory of Jesus and His Kingdom. Even in dangerous or uncomfortable situations, our friends are always looking for ways to tell people about the Lord, wanting to see the light of Christ shine in the darkness of Matamoros, Mexico.
Personally, during different services, I got to help coordinate kids ministry: songs where they’re declaring God’s nature and love for them, skits of Bible stories, and teaching 20+ kids (plus their parents) how to hear God’s voice. From translating during ministry times, building relationships, playing with the kids, to teaching about prayer and the cross, I was so honored to be able to using their native language to encourage and edify those in the community around the House of Prayer!
One of the exciting testimonies from our trip took place while we were praying for healing at the House of Prayer at the beach. Jesus healed an older gentleman, Valentine, who had extreme back pain, so much so that he couldn’t even tie his shoes. He started weeping when he felt the pain leave and began praising Jesus! He even had his family brought over so they could see him tie & untie his shoes multiple times. Also, a lady with level 7 out of 10 pain in her eyes who had cataracts felt heat on her eyes as we were praying and all of the pain left! Praise God! Others were healed of kidney pain, back pain, and hip pain!
The day before we left, we had a service that included us asking the Lord for words of encouragement for specific people. It was incredible to feel His heart for them: I got to tell an 8 year old of how much of a leader he was and how Jesus called him to great things (you should’ve seen his face), and another older gentleman about how much the Lord loves him. Another person was told about how God has made him a father and to nurture others and take care of them as a father. We later found out that this man, Lupe, was single, with no kids, BUT he was orphaned at a young age along with his siblings. Because he was the oldest, he raised them all as if he was their father, and continues to operate in this way in their lives and the lives of their kids! He and those who knew him were really impacted by this word, how God spoke through people who didn’t know him, and showed how much he loves and knows him well!
That same day we washed the feet of those in the community who came to service, just like Jesus did for His disciples in John 13. Though Jesus was the greatest of all, and God in the flesh, He took the lowest place of the least servant during those days, and showed the disciples, His friends how much He loved them– enough to serve them to the greatest degree. It was an honor to imitate Jesus in these precious people’s lives and serve them in a unique way. While washing their feet, I felt a deeper love for them than before and real understanding of God’s love for them!
This seemed to be a reoccurring theme during our time in Mexico- feeling God’s heart for those in these communities. Though these people really didn’t have much in possessions or what the world values, they were hungry to hear about Jesus. I could feel the depth of love the Lord had for them, as people were healed and their lives changed in such dramatic ways. Each one of them matter to Jesus, He knows each name and face, and we were able to step into that love. I love going to this House of Prayer & visiting Roman & Annalisa because of how they love the Lord and live for Him! It was incredible experience!
P.s. If you want to learn more about our friends at Holy Place House of Prayer, here’s their FB link