For years I had dreamed of going on a mission trip. A chance to be able to express my love for service and kids was fast approaching. I was walking through the airport with this surreal feeling of happiness, excitement, and little bit of nervousness. It was my first time out of the country. Questions were running amuck in my mind: What would Mexico be like? Would the food really be like Taco Bell? Would I really not be able to flush toilet paper down the toilet? What would… I let my mind wander and roam as we did the same through the airport going through security and making last minute bathroom trips. The excitement level rose immensely after we landed in Phoenix. Much to our surprise, God had other plans for our trip. We trekked through the Phoenix airport and grabbed a quick bite to eat and then settled into our oh-so-very-comfortable airplane terminal seats. The team grabbed our journals and started chronicling the trip, thus far. At one point during our delay, we surpassed the sleep deprivation level for a normal day of travel. Moms were doing headstands and cartwheels. Us kids were singing and laughing at everything-funny or not.
We were joining another group of about thirteen people already helping a church plant in Tarecauto. For the next week, our goal, in the Guadalajara suburb of Tlaquepaque, was to support Rey de Reyes church in their Vacation Bible School. Our week was jam-packed with exciting things in store for the kids and we were eager to get to help them out.
Guadalajara is a large city in Mexico that some missionaries from our church help out and English Fellowship with some members from Rey de Reyes. We were going to help support Rey de Reyes by running a VBS and a Sports Camp. I was really excited to be able to go on this trip because I really enjoyed working with kids and I was eager to practice my Spanish. This trip was meaningful to me because I believe it revealed my true calling. Being able to use my love for kids, my broken Spanish, and my eagerness to serve was really a life changing experience. The ability to be able to see how other people live and connect, and immersion into their culture was an experience that made me grateful for the life that I have in America.
For me, the most memorable part of my week-long excursion was the faces of the smiling children. They were so eager to learn the Bible verses, games, and interact with us. They loved all the attention we gave them, and we loved giving it to them. The hardest part was leaving them behind knowing we were going home to a better place, and they were stuck in the conditions they lived in, and we couldn’t take them with us. No matter how much we wanted to. They were the teachers on this trip, the children. They taught us the importance of being grateful. Loving what you have, because it may be all you ever get.
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