Those were the last words out of my mouth this morning as I ended my talk in front of my Bible fellowship class at Sevier Heights on my trip to Mexico. I’m a horrible “presenter” or “speech giver.” It’s a proven fact, many times over. I wing it much too often and end up saying the completely wrong things and really making a fool of myself. Case in point-this morning. You’d think after Thursday’s radio interview I would have prepared better for speaking to my class, but no I came home from our Singles End of Summer BBQ and fretted over it all night. Woke up, got in the Word and thought on what was the most important thing I came away from the trip with….cut to class, and me rambling about the toilet situation in Mexico. “Great job Sara!” is what my brain was yelling…”You just talked about toilets and brokenness in God in the same sentence.” I appreciate the sweet words from everyone who said how great a job I did, but I felt like I crashed and burned. I’d prayed over what I would say and that didn’t come close to it this morning. I let my nerves get the best of me. Alot of people find this hilarious as outspoken and outgoing as I am most of the time within the ministry. However, talking about Mexico and my experiences with God there are still hard. So I thought I should write them out as a better way to put down all I felt and how the Holy Spirit moved.
From the word go this mission trip was God getting me out of my comfort zone. It involved camping in tents all week. I don’t camp. Now while I’m a sporty girl who enjoys playing basketball and goofing off, I do not camp. Ever. God thought this was the perfect time to get that off His list of things I needed to move past in order to be obedient to Him. I camped in a tent all week, with two other girls. I have this bathroom issue. I don’t use them unless they are clean. It’s a hygiene thing. Ask my sister-I’m pretty particular and I’m a germophobe (which is actually a recent thing). I used a port-o-john all week that was an outhouse with a fancier name. (and I’m talking about toilets again….sheesh) God’s To-Do List…check. I was in a foreign country where I didn’t speak the language nor did I know anyone else on the trip. Awkward and uncomfortable party of one…check. The first night there, God ripped at my heart. I had to let go of some things, which I’ve already written about. He got my heart open to all He needed to show me and do in me in Mexico.
The week was laid out for us to be on the home site in the morning with our team and in the afternoon we’d lead vacation Bible school in the afternoons. The reverse happened with another full team who was on our work site-they’d lead VBS in the morning and work on the house in the afternoon. There were 12 total teams with six homes to build. My team, Bangkok!, was then split up into ministry groups of four people who were responsible for different aspects of VBS. But the ministry groups would also take turns in the mornings on the home site going out and doing street ministry. While two or three ministry groups stayed to work on the house, the other groups would go out door-to-door in the area talking with people, assisting with any needs they may have around their house, and praying over them if so needed. This aspect terrified me immensely. Because I had the thoughts of an American, going “cold calling” to homes and having the door shut in your face. This wasn’t the case in Mexico. The people are unbelievably welcoming and friendly. Most of the time they appreciated just a friendly word or a prayer for them and their families. However one morning we assisted a family in cleaning out underneath the back part of their home. The daughter had come the day before to VBS-she had a very bad skin disease and her family was just broken over her. My ministry team (los perros de caliente) and another group went and ministered to them. The mother and father were so appreciative that we’d take time to crawl back in under there and clean out all the built up storage from years of procrastination so they could begin to rebuild for their daughter. My service minded self really enjoyed this…but then we headed out for door to door ministry.
Comfort zone sufficiently rocked on the street ministry. During our team time on Friday, Sarah or “Stu” as we lovingly called her spoke on how gung-ho and pumped I was for street ministry and how that attitude was contagious. That meant alot to me as deep down, I was thoroughly terrified. I fed off of her energy and excitement alot during the week. She has a heart for serving God in missions work and it was such an awesome time to work alongside her. She’s a true inspiration. And her enthusiasm is certainly contagious. I’m thankful that she was a part of my ministry group. We met a woman on our last day on street ministry who gave us both these beautiful roses from her garden. I was again rocked at how welcoming and loving the Mexican people can be when we come to them open and willing to share Christ’s image of love and grace.