By David Garcia
Going to Mexicali for the second time was an experience worth while. I have to say it was better this year than last year. It was a smaller group this year, which was nice. That meant there were only 2 vans instead of 3. Actually something that was a cool experience that I got to try for the first time, was going to a restaurant on the side of the street that served tacos. In all my years, I have never had a taco so delicious. My taste buds were thankful after that, not so much my stomach, though. However, in all seriousness, the biggest highlight of being on the team was seeing each other grow spiritually through fellowshiping and serving on the missions field. I could not be thankful enough for being on this team.
During the first few days of serving in Mexico, my stomach wasn’t feeling well. Everyone would pray for healing over me and other sick people, while we were doing our debrief. My stomach didn’t stop me from doing homeless ministry or construction though, and I persisted through that tough situation. While we were doing street ministry on the first day, I was given the opportunity to share a message to the people there. So I shared a message about God’s love and how that changed my view about God and who He is. After sharing, our team passed out burritos and juice. I got to pray for some folks, although I couldn’t communicate fully with them.
Last year when I was there, I would usually shy away from praying for the homeless or even talk to them. This year was different, because as I looked at each of the homeless I prayed for, I felt God’s compassion and love that I wanted to share with them. God showed me how everyone is a sinner and we are all broken people, but He still loves us truly and we can come to Him with our lives surrendered and ask for forgiveness. Now I want to share about the rest of the week. At times when my team wasn’t doing street ministry, we would be doing construction. This year we covered the walls of the local church we were working for, in black sheets of paper, and nailed them on. We would then put chicken wire over it. My favorite part about construction was writing blessings on the walls of the church.
Oh also Vacation Bible School (VBS) was a very important part of our week. There were fewer kids this time, and we did VBS at Oasis Church, but it felt like a closer community. On stage, I would sing as a part of the worship team. I was scared at first of how I sounded, and what other people might think of my Spanish. But God told me not to be afraid and reminded me that worship is about giving God the glory and none of my worries mattered to Him. Once I understood that, my fear of singing turned into a joyful praise.
Finally, on Thursday night during a church service at Oasis, our entire team had the chance to pray for the congregation. While people started coming to the front of the church, we started praying for them. When I started to pray, I felt the Holy Spirit leading me. It wasn’t me feeling like I had to pray out of obligation, but it was as if God was leading me as I spoke and giving me a heart of love and compassion again towards the people of Mexicali.
At the end of the week when we all said our goodbyes, I could tell God had been working through us to change the lives of others for the good of His Kingdom. Something I have learned through this whole experience is that God calls us to do greater things that we can’t even imagine. He knows that we may sometimes be afraid, but when we trust in Him and know that He is in control, we don’t think much about the situation because we trust that God is faithful in the end. My fear of certain things was holding me back, but God reminded me not to be afraid. In addition, he reminded me that when we focus on our fears, we miss out on the greater things that He is doing in our lives. So today I want to bless you all to trust in God, and ask God to give you His strength for when you may face challenges in your everyday lives.