By Benjamin Shih
The Mexicali short term missions trip was great! We did a lot of work and I learned a lot. We were once again partnered with the Oasis Church, so much of our work was with them. The first morning, my group did construction at the church. We plastered inside the same room we helped frame last year, so we were lucky, due to the fact that we plastered an air conditioned room, as opposed to working outside in the heat, like we did last year. At night, we led a summer camp at a local park. Many of the kids from the church came, along with some other kids who were hanging out at the park. We had worship, games, skits, crafts, and a Bible lesson. We ran one of these 4 out of the 5 nights we were there…Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday (Thursday, we lead a worship service at the church). I was on the worship team playing the cajon, which I really enjoyed. The next day, our group did street ministry, cleaning up a park and handing food and drink out to those living there. My Dad did a short teaching before we handed out the food. The next 2 mornings, I did construction again, this time working outside, building trusses for a roof the first morning, and installing them on the second morning. The final morning, we did chores at the church. That night, after the camp, we went to a night market. My experience in Mexicali has taught me 2 things: that prayer is powerful and to trust fully in God.
First, I learned that prayer is powerful. Our group experienced a lot of sickness, yet through it, we also experienced much healing. The first night, one of our members lost her voice. However, after a few rounds of Jericho prayer (everyone praying at once), she was healed. Another man David Kao met at the park during the camp, Cornelias, was also healed. He had a terrible pain in his neck and leg…so bad that he cried himself to sleep. However, after David Kao prayed for him, his leg was healed. The next day, Cornelias came back to say that it was the first night he hadn’t cried in a long time. Pastor Carlos visited Cornelias’ house later on and his neck was healed after Pastor Carlos prayed for him. Another member of our team had exacerbated a pre-existing injury in her leg attempting to do a cartwheel. Then, the 2 youngest members on our team prayed for her, and her leg was healed. I was also able to experience healing. During the drive back, my stomach started hurting really badly, I could barely even stand. However after my Dad and a few others prayed for me, including myself, I was also healed (and the Imodium and Tylenol couldn’t have hurt either). Through all of these healings, we see one common factor: PRAYER. Through prayer, all these people were healed, so therefore, prayer is powerful.
Secondly, I learned to have a complete trust in God. Before the trip and even during the car ride down, I was very worried. I was worried that I would mess up on the drums, worried that my lack of Spanish speaking skills would hinder me with connecting with the kids at the summer camp, and worried that we wouldn’t be let through the border (because 3 big unmarked vans with a bunch of kids in the back tends to raise some suspicion). However, the kids at the camp didn’t mind that the majority of us were unable to speak Spanish, and by the second day, they were running up to our vans and hugging us. One of the more energetic kids, Julio, just randomly hugged me one day, which was cool. I considered myself lucky, because another person in our group was shown affection from him a different way, by getting grape juice splashed in his face. I learned to trust in God through this because he was able to make everything work out well, despite all of my worries that everything would fail.
This will change me, because now I will pray to God more consistently, and I will just let God control me, instead of trying to do things my way.