The following post is a guest submission from my brother Mike. He’s a missionary to the university students of Washington DC where he directs the DC Chi Alpha Team and pastors a Chi Alpha chapter @ American University. This post was first uploaded to his personal blog at theGodzwas.com and recounts his experiences with us here in the Yucatan.
I will always take students on short term mission trips. It’s amazing how the simplest truths become profound whe you experience them in a different cultural context. This exactly what happened on our spring break trip to Yucatán, Mexico.
I lead a group of AU Chi Alpha students to work with my brother Dave, who’s just beginning his second term as a missionary there. We partnered with Pastor Eucebio Pech in his outreach to 4 different communities in central Yucatan. It was a full week of ministry! We led or participated in 7 services and dug out the foundation for Pastor Eucebio’s mission in the town of Tunkás.
We were able to experience some amazing moments. On Sunday night, we saw God hold back the rain so we could lead the mission’s first ever open air outreach in Tunkás. On Monday, we participated in an outreach where dozens were fitted with a free pair of glasses–a daily reminder of the love of Jesus every time they put them on. The next day brought a surprise visit to the local cenote and we got a chance to go swimming in crystal clear water 80 feet below ground level. Wednesday gave us a chance to practice our balloon tying and help a share the gospel to all of the kids in San Antonio Chuc. O our last day of ministry, we experienced God’s presence as we prayed for the churches and visited members in 2 small communities. God held back the rain again that night, and we were able to do one last open air service in the town square.
I mentioned simple truths becoming profound on mission trips. For us, it was the power of pushing past discomfort to allow God to work through us. We slept in hammocks and shared one toilet for the entire team. It would have been more comfortable to stay in a hotel, but the location of the house helped us to maximize our work and opened a door for the owner to hear the gospel. It would have been easier to hide behind our limited Spanish and keep the Yucatecos at a distance, but when we pushed aside our embarrassment, relationships were formed and the love of Jesus was expressed. It would have been much more comfortable to use our lack of construction experience as an excuse to give a half-hearted effort, but when we pushed past inefficiency and sore muscles, wer able to see a hole turn into the foundation of a church. It was a lesson learned in Mexico, but it wasn’t left there. Our team prayer is that God would help us to step into the uncomfortable places we avoid on campus so we can depend on His power to do what we can’t. Profound truth, learned on the mission field, but meant to live by.
It’s interesting how God seems to speak more clearly to us as we move from our familiar surroundings and everyday routines. Did this article bring to mind something that God spoke to you when you were pushed past your comfort zone? Share it with us!