Use Me

"When tragedy is all I see, drowning in anxiety, I'll trust it's in your hands." 

I love Oaxaca! Hello friends! The team and I recently returned from our mission trip to Oaxaca, and I want to share some of my testimony of my time spent serving there with my team.

We were able to spend eight full days in Oaxaca, serving alongside local churches for a large duration of our time. Some of our time was spent doing house visits for local church members in the community. This time consisted of visiting members of varying churches who were seeking prayer or encouragement. We were able to experience the abundant love and hospitality that the people in Oaxaca have cultivated in their community and it was such a blessing! Although the people we were ministering to were seeking encouragement, comfort, and prayer, we were met with open arms, hugs, drinks, and lots of snacks. We spent time praying with our brothers and sisters in Christ and even had opportunities to share scriptures and retell the story of the gospel.

Something that stood out to me every time we did house visits was the relationship each pastor had built with the people in their community. These relationships were built on a firm foundation and we were able to witness and experience the depth and love in each of these relationships. These pastors not only knew their community by name but would share details about their families and situations on the drives in between houses so we could better understand the families and spend time praying before encountering each house. For me, this painted a beautiful picture of a relationship with Christ and, more specifically, the imagery we get from Psalm 23. Just like The Good Shepherd cares for His sheep, each of these pastors cared for everyone in their community. I am so proud to call these men brothers in Christ and beyond encouraged by their hearts to serve.

Another way we were able to serve was by hosting soccer clinics for kids in the community. Now, I am no soccer player, but I tried my best! During this time, we would run soccer drills for a portion and then have breaks to share Bible stories and the gospel. A tool we used for sharing was our Gospel beads! If you are not familiar with gospel beads, they are a super helpful and fun tool, especially for kids. There are five beads that come on a bracelet, and each color helps you progress through the story of the gospel. We were able to give out about a hundred bracelets in Oaxaca. This time allowed me to reflect on my time spent serving in high school and middle school ministries as well as summer camps and I am grateful for all the ways God equipped me to share these fun stories and run random games on the fly to show Jesus' love through these silly games and important stories. Getting to see kids and their families experience joy during this time was a privilege and a memory I will never forget.

On one of our last days, we got to serve in an outreach with a church that served refugees in the community who were seeking to come to the United States. This day, we gathered supplies to hand out, which consisted of water, clothes, and too many sandwiches to count. Our team went to a local park and set up some tables to do outreach. While our team got set up myself, Keyshawn, and a pastor's wife walked around downtown trying to find refugees to point in the direction of the park where we could serve them. Eventually, we had well over fifty people, and I was put on balloon animal duty and got to make lots of dogs, swords, and flowers. Some of our team members got to pray with people, and others handed out supplies. We were able to share testimony, and I pray this time impacted each of these families with whom we crossed paths. While we were doing this, I couldn't help but ask myself if we were really helping these people, and honestly, it is something I struggled with. I know there will be varying opinions on this and mixed feelings, but I believe that our role in this was to love like Christ. And that is exactly what I think we did. Would Jesus feed the hungry and quench those who are thirsty? I don't believe it was our place to tell these people what they should do, but I am grateful for the opportunity to pray and share the gospel with these individuals. Because Jesus loves me, I shared that love with each of them in the best way I could.

As I bring this blog to a close, I am so blessed and thankful for the opportunity this team had to serve in Oaxaca. Words can not express how proud I am of Keyshawn and Emma! God used them so much and I am blessed to have been a witness of that. Thank you so much for reading my blog! I pray it brought you joy and insight into our trip to Oaxaca. Please pray for these people and their families. Specifically Jenny, Pepe, and Cisco. They were essential to this trip, and we could not have done it without each of them.

The song for this post is Use Me by Josiah Queen.


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