Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mexico Trip Summary

Below is the letter that I sent out to all those who supported me in my mission trip to Mexico.  Enjoy!

Hello All!

What an exciting trip!  My time in Mexico was one of the best experiences of my life!  God, as always, far exceeded my expectations.  I thank Him for sending me with such a great group of people (my church youth group), and introducing me to some awesome missionaries in Mexico. He did mighty works through us all.

First off, to any supporters who read my blog, I want to thank you once again for your generous giving both in prayer and in finances.  Because you decided to give, I was able to take advantage of this opportunity to impact the people of Mexico with the Gospel.  Lives were most definitely transformed and impacted (including my own), which should be of no surprise to us since our God is always making old things new and restoring that which is broken.

Restoration and transformation were definitely the main themes of our ministry times.  And it began the very first night we were there.  After settling in to the houses of the missionaries we were staying with and spending half an hour in prayer, we drove in an 18 passenger van and a couple of suburbans (which were our modes of transportation for the rest of the week) to a local church.  The worship was full of energy and power (even though I could only understand a few words :) and we saw people healed of pain in the neck and other areas. Then after a timely message by my youth pastor, we were able to lay hands on the local members of the church and see them impacted by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Afterwards we spent another forty-five minutes or so praising the Lord in song and dance as the Spirit was preparing us for an awesome week.

Every day of the week in Mexico was filled with rich times of fellowship with each other and with the Holy Spirit.  And one day that sticks out in my mind as one I won’t ever forget is the workday.  The workday was an entire day dedicated to doing practical jobs on a church building located in one of the poorest areas of Guadalajara, Mexico.  These jobs included everything from taking parts of the roof off to painting large interior sections of the building to mixing and laying by hand 450 square feet of cement 3 inches deep on the second floor.  After all the work was done, I was completely worn, but extremely satisfied with everyone’s efforts to get everything done.  There’s something about physical labor that gives you a unique sense of satisfaction, especially when you’ve completely drained yourself in the process.

Now it’s critical you understand that when I say that every single day of my week in Mexico was awesome, I’m being completely serious.  But there are those moments amidst those days that stand out among the rest as personal favorites, the workday being one of those moments for me.  Another favorite moment of mine was the opportunity I had to preach at one of our meetings.  I won’t deny that there was a sense of nervousness beforehand as I prepared speak, but I also acknowledge the peace and the rest the Lord gave me in it, and the confidence that I had in Him to bring forth what He wanted to say through me.  A lot of times our fear of something (which could be speaking in front of people) is an outflow of our lack of trust in the Lord’s goodness and our ignorance of His unstoppable desire to glorify Himself through us.  And He did just that.  The message went smoothly overall (with the exception of a few misspoken phrases and a couple of translating problems which we all laughed at afterwards :), but most importantly, God moved mightily in the time of worship afterwards, and the Holy Spirit ministered to people in some awesome ways.

The final special moment about which I want to write to you occurred on our final night of ministry.  On that night, after hitting the streets and inviting people from the local villages to the service, the team gathered near the front to pray.  We really felt like we achieved some breakthrough in prayer and were encouraged to see God move during the rest of the service; and He did.  After worship we laid hands on people with arthritis, back pain, and hearing deficiencies and saw them healed.  We saw a girl’s leg grow to its right length and we saw arches grow on feet that had none.  Talk about an increase of faith!  I was far beyond excited, I was overflowing with joy and thankfulness.  My heart cried, “There is no word I will honor above Yours, Jesus.  You commanded us to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils, and cleanse lepers (Matthew 10:1), and now I’m seeing these things happen before my eyes.  I’ve always professed healing to be true but now my theory has become a reality.  How can I ever not believe again?”

I hope these stories have moved and encouraged you.  I’m excited about the work of the Holy Spirit continuing in my life and in yours.  And I thank you once again, for your support.  I pray that God would bless you, keep you, and cause His face to shine down upon you.  That He would reveal Himself to you from day to day and that you would be conscious of His presence at all times.

Grace and Peace,