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Dan's Thoughts on our mission trip to Mexico (first posted August 2005)
"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news." Isaiah 52:7 (NKJV)
"Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me." Mark 9:37 (NIV)It was amazing. It moved me, and I could see it moving the people around me. I'm different now, somehow. What am I talking about? Our trip to Tecate, Mexico, to minister to the kids and staff of the Sparrows' Gate Children's Center. We spent 6 days serving some 20-25 kids, ages one-and-a-half to 12, who come early in the morning from poor, often broken homes, get breakfast and lunch, play, have Christian teaching and activities, and go home about dinner time.
The Sunday after we got back home, there was a computer at church showing a slide show of the trip. A friend saw me and said, "You got a lot done while you were there!" I thought about that, and realized it was God who got a lot done. I could tell, because not everything that got done stayed behind in Mexico. God also worked in the hearts of our group that went and came back, and in the hearts of those who prayed for us.
It's been on my heart for several years to go on a short-term mission trip with our family. We didn't have an opportunity until now, but that seems like God's timing, because the kids are old enough now to participate and understand.
The first example I saw of God's hand in this...when Gaye and I first broached the idea to the kids, they resisted it. Anne, for example, was upset that she would miss the fireworks on the 4th of July.
We took a step back and spent about a month praying about it. We became increasingly convinced it was the right thing to do, so after a month of saying nothing to the kids, we mentioned it again. God had worked on their hearts, because this time the reaction was "O.K., when do we go, I want to help the kids there, can I start packing?"
Some other aspects where God amazed me:
It was a first-ever event for all of us--Dan, Gaye, Anne, & Allen--and we were blessed. Everyone in the family wants to go back, to get involved in missions work again. It changed us.
And, you know, no one ever again mentioned the fireworks...
God got a lot done.
"I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I; send me!"" Isaiah 6:8 (NKJV)