This week I’ve been sharing with you my journal from my mission trip to Ensenada, Mexico. If you need to catch up, here’s:
Thursday, July 23rd
Tomorrow we head back to the United States. Back to Atlanta. Back to our homes where we’ll have to deal with all the issues we’ve put on pause & left behind. Back to the reality that we’ve grown so comfortable in. Back to the land of abundant opportunities and privileges. Some of us will go back with a new outlook on life, look at things differently, appreciate things a bit more. But that may only last about a week. Some of us will go back feeling like something’s missing because a piece (or few) of our hearts will stay behind in Ensenada. As I reflect on my last night here at the City of Children, I can’t help but be filled with gratitude for the opportunity to be here & be obedient to God’s calling. Yeah, I didn’t want to come here, but there is an unexplainable joy & peace that comes when we obey God.
This trip wasn’t about feeling sorry for orphans, showing pity to the poor, or learning how to be grateful for the many “blessings” that God has given me. This trip was all about being a part of God’s Kingdom. Being a participant rather than a spectator. This trip was about sharing life together with brothers & sisters in Christ whom I would have never met otherwise. This trip was about loving on these precious niños and sharing the love of Christ with them. Yes, during this trip we fed the poor & cared for the orphans as God’s Word calls us to do, but when I sought after God during this trip, He opened my eyes to so much more. My mind can’t comprehend all that emcompasses Kingdom work. But I feel like during this trip, I got a little glimpse of it
—a better understanding.
At times I expected God to blow me away with something big & grand that I could only experience on a mission trip. But to be honest, He didn’t. He showed me little things and in the little things, I was able to find my life because I laid it down & came to Ensenada. In the little things, I feel like I was able to understand so much more. Little things like playing 2 hour tag with a 5 year old, mopping bathroom floors with teens, singing worship songs in Spanish, & giving a hug to an elderly woman.
I probably won’t come back to Atlanta on a big spiritual high. I probably won’t come back with a brand new outlook on life. But I know I will come back with a new peace, a renewed spirit, and a more obedient heart. In the little things…. That is where I found life. And praise be to God, I found my life when I laid it down solely for Him.
The thing about laying down our lives is that it’s not something we do with just one action or one word. It’s something we must intentionally do each and every day. Lay down our lives at the foot of the cross each morning when we rise & that is when we will find our lives.