On July 9-16, 2016, our Short-Term Mission Team had the opportunity to travel to Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. A majority of the team were family, making this a unique team of only 14 people. We left on July 9 and met Mr. Harold, Mrs. Sandra, and Ms. Tammy with the vans in San Antonio, Texas. After lunch at Luby’s, we continued on our journey to Mexico. We met Lalo, the Field Director, near the border in Texas. We soon crossed the border, headed to Sabinas. Despite a few delays, we finally reached our destination. We spent the night in Sabinas and left that following day headed to a church in Monclova. Where we met Rev. Juan Montoya and his wife Hna. Ricarda; and many more people who prepared a delicious lunch for us all. After lunch, we travelled on to another church in Saltillo, where we attended their evening worship service. The worship service was filled with a powerful message and uplifting music. Although we could not understand each other, the presence of the Holy Spirit was there and we were all able to join together and worship God. Beginning Monday, the women hosted a Women’s Bible Study and a Bible School. Each morning we got up and had a devotion before heading to the church. First, we had the Bible Study; the women would sing and have a different speaker each day. After the speaker, we would help with the craft and play with the children that were there. Towards the end of the week we watched the children in the nursery so their moms could listen to the speaker. When the Bible Study ended, we walked down the street to eat lunch. In the afternoon, we had Bible School. They had music and games, and then we taught the lessons focusing on Jesus’ miracles. The last day, Thursday, was very sad; we had all become attached to the children and women throughout the week. Though we knew we would never see them again… we hoped we had made a difference in their lives, as they had in ours. During this time, the men in our team built a roof on the parsonage beside Cristo Viene church. They squared the roof, put up rafters, pearlings, and finished it off with tin. After many days of hard work, they met their goal. Even though there was lots of work to do, it was enjoyable for them to spend time with their Christian brothers. We really enjoyed this opportunity to witness in Mexico. This trip not only helped us grow in our faith; we have gained a different perspective on appreciating all that we have and worshipping God. In America, we have many luxuries that they did not have. Conversely, the people down there were completely content with and grateful for all that they have. The people in Mexico and Mr. Harold and Mrs. Sandra really inspired us with their faith and passion about serving God and others. The people we met were very open about their relationship with God. They did not worry about what anyone else thought; instead, they put their focus on God. We hope to be able to go on another missions trip and look forward to the opportunities God has in store for us.
Going on a mission trip has been something that I have felt lead to do for the past couple of years. So I prayed and I knew that if it was in God’s plan for me then I would be able to go one day. When the opportunity arose for me to join the short term team in Mexico this past summer I was so excited. I have never been out of the United States and so I was excited to see a whole new country, and the fact that I was going to another country to spread God’s Word made me even more excited. The day finally arrived to head to Mexico. After a long day of flying and driving we stopped to stay the night in Sabinas, Mexico and we joined the Upper Room Church the next morning before headed to Saltillo. Once we arrived in Saltillo we settled in and went to Cristo Viene church for their worship service on Sunday night. Something amazing happened as soon as we stepped out of the van. Before I even walked in the church I heard the congregation singing the song Hosanna, and then they sang the Revelation Song. Both of these songs are two of my favorite worship songs. It was amazing that even though we couldn’t understand each other we were able to worship our God as one. Each day us women would get up and have devotion before heading to the church, Cristo Viene, to have Bible school for the kids. All week we followed the story of Joseph and we would have a craft to go along with the story. Someone new from our team would tell the story each day. Raquel did an amazing job at translating the story to the kids for us. After the week progressed we all got into the routine of things. A lot of the songs that the kids would sing were songs that I remembered singing at our Bible school at my church. The ladies in our group even learned some new songs that we would sing on the van rides back to the hotel. It made my heart happy when each day more and more kids would come to Bible school, because that meant more kids would hear about God. Each day after Bible school was over the women would cook for all of us. Then after lunch we would have the women’s Bible study, and the men would continue to work at the house they were working on. God really blessed the men with their project. At the beginning of the week they thought that they wouldn’t be able to finish the roof, but they worked hard all week and were able to finish it. On our last day in Saltillo we were invited to go eat breakfast at Mrs. Ramona’s house. She was one of the ladies who had been coming to the women’s Bible study. After we ate our delicious breakfast she had prepared for us, we had our morning devotion. Before we left, Mrs. Ramona said something that really put things into perspective for me. She said “I hope to see you all again. If not here in Mexico, then up in heaven.” It made me realize that I may never see some of these people here on earth ever again, but because of our faith and love for God we will all be reunited in heaven. I am so thankful that God has a plan for me and that plan involved me going on this mission trip. Every person I met was filled with as much spirit as Mrs. Ramona. The people on my team and the people I encountered while in Mexico have inspired me with their faith. Mr. Harold and Mrs. Sandra amazed me with their love for God and the foreign missions. I am blessed to have been able to go on a short term mission trip with them. I’m excited to see how God will use this experience in my life. This mission trip has allowed me to grow stronger in my faith and not take for granted the things God has blessed me with. If it’s in his will for me, I look forward to the next mission trip I get to go on. I pray that God continues to bless the Foreign Missions program.