I was all nerves as I boarded a bus with about sixty other people headed for Mexico. Until this point my life had been boring. I had lived in a sheltered world where everything was happy and pulled together, but now I was getting the chance I had always wanted…needed. I was going to see the other side of life. I was going to get to see what it’s like to live in a world where a blue, plastic tarp is the roof over your head, and you have to run around barefoot, because you can’t afford shoes. I was going to get to know what it feels like to not know whether you’ll wake up in the morning, because you could be the 12th murder victim on your block. In fact, I wasn’t just going to get to see, I was going to get to help, and to serve, and maybe even leave things a little better than I found them. I was ready to go, to see, and to serve, but nothing could have prepared me for what really happened.
The greatest thing about Mexico was a lesson that I learned. We were attending a service at the church we had been helping. A lady was there who was lying at the altar. You could hear her cries above any other noise in the church. I knew she needed someone to pray for her, so I began to pray. I began to pray that one of the ladies in the church would go down and pray with her. No one went. I kept on praying.Then the strangest thing happened. I knew I was supposed to pray for her, but I couldn’t. Our translators had warned us that churches in Mexico are extremely conservative. However, I knew what she needed, and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to be used by God. So I said a quick prayer for myself and slowly made my way down to the altar.As I laid my hand on her shoulder I felt something I dare say I’ll never feel again. I could feel everything, all the pain, hurt, and rage she was feeling. It just flowed through me, and I cried for her. In that moment I knew that I was sent to Mexico for one purpose: I was sent to cry for her. I stayed and prayed with her until she was finished, and when it was all through she looked into my eyes and just seemed to have a wonderful peace. That’s when I learned the most important thing I would learn all summer. We may all look different, we may have different customs, and even speak a different language, but we all worship the same God, and that’s what pulls us together.
When I went to Mexico I expected to see a lot of poverty, and a lot of things that needed to be fixed, but I never expected to leave feeling more blessed by them then they probably did by me. I didn’t want to come home, and I cried the whole way back, because even though I was there for only a short time I spoke in another language and people understood me, I built relationships the sweetest people on earth, I laughed until I cried, and I found the family that I never knew I had. Going to Mexico not only opened my eyes to whole other way of life, but to whole other side of God and his love.
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