Those moments that rip your heart apart when you least expect it are the ones that change your course forever. I never imagined a three-day faith journey in Mexico would impact me this way.
Dropped off in Rosarito, Mexico with four others, no plans, few objectives, little money and no place to stay. We set out on a quest to see what would happen if we trusted the Lord completely. Faith is not always what you expect it to be, I think that may be the point of faith. From the moment we stepped out of the YWAM van at the bus stop until the moment our leaders pulled up to the curb at Wal-Mart three days later as we sipped our last Mexican cokes God showed up and answered our faith in surprising ways.
Once again my story begins with an obscure story of a squirrel. Several days before we set out on this excursion I was asking the Lord what I should write about and I felt as if He was leading me to write about the time I got bit by a squirrel in Canada, the squirrels name was Esteban, this will be significant. Moments after this conversation with the Lord a man came to talk to us about faith journeys before we embarked on ours completely directionless. He told many stories, but ended with a story of him and his friend showing up in San Francisco with no money, no food and no place to stay. As they arrive a man walks up to them, which hadn’t happened much in their sixth month faith journey and offers them all three things food, housing and essentials. Turns out the man’s friend, who is a pastor for the homeless community there had a dream the night before that two squirrels had come to help him. Basically these two guys were the squirrels God had told him about. I chuckled at the fact that the Lord was talking to me about Squirrels.
It didn’t seem too significant until Mariah, Payton, Meaghan, Zachariah and I miraculously made it onto a bus headed to Ensenada due to our little knowledge of Spanish. We had been praying for days that the Lord would send someone who was bilingual and would want to hang out with us. Our charades with people just wouldn’t quite cut it. Although charades managed to come in handy as we prayed for our first injury, a man with crutches. We managed to pray and understand him as he said he was a Christian that believed in miracles. This exchange was quick as we were jumping into the cab that took us to the bus station. Anyway, we needed God to come through or else we were going to look like fools. As we enter the bus a guy behind us responds in English to our question in attempted Spanish. His name… Esteban. DING DING DING. My forewarned about squirrel had just showed up. Not only did he speak English and Spanish he also had nothing to do the rest of the day. So Esteban joined us on our adventures. Within hours of arriving in Ensenada with little plans we managed to get free nonalcoholic margaritas, pray for several amazing people, touch a horse, adopt Jorge the dog, get asked for a kiss by a drunk man, a situation Esteban helped us out of, and finally make it all the way to the YWAM base on the ocean across town. When the time that evening arrived that we had to part with Esteban tears were shed. Our stories now forever intertwined changed our courses.
Even upon entering Mexico my heart felt at home. The dirty chaos makes sense to me. They were not planning to let us stay at the YWAM base but once again through a divine series of events some girls had switched their rooms around the day prior and had space for all of us. It almost seemed too natural the way that God provided food and housing within hours.
I fell in love. I fell in love with the people at the base. Their stories moved me. How God had brought them from all over the world to Ensenada, Mexico was the most beautiful story. I also fell in love with a world much different than my own. We had the opportunity to spend some hours at an orphanage way out of town in a dirty shack filled area in the mountains. To see joy in the smiles of kids living in a hopeless place makes you forget cell phones and social circles exist. There is also this beauty in not understanding each other that counteracts awkwardness amongst friends. Because we are already aware that we do not understand each other the attempt at conversation is so awkward that we can find comfort and understanding in both not understanding the other.
It is a bit ironic, but it actually makes sense. We also don’t have cell phones to hide behind like we often do in America. Poke. This awkwardness amongst one another in our American society is something we have created ourselves and encouraged by playing into it. I love that you have five thousand friends that want to talk to you right now, but what happened to being present where you are? What has happened to loving those in your path? I wish I lived in a time that when you ran into a friend and it was the best moment because you missed them not awkward because you know you haven’t returned their text all week. Technology has seemed to enhance our friendships, but often times in reality it is just lessening the depth of them. This rant is rant for another time. Being in Mexico reminded me that I am not okay with just acting like society in America because it is what society calls for. I do not need to fit in. My heart found home amongst poverty because to have little is to have faith. To have faith in a place that seems hopeless is a true belief in God. I say I believe in God, but what if my friends didn’t have a way to call me would I still trust him if I felt alone. We are not alone. God is closer than anything. We can trust him with everything. He will provide. These are just a few of the moments we had in Mexico and the reality is I am mind blown that I didn’t sleep on the streets because God managed to work things out. Sure, I could say it is coincidence, but I know where I am putting my faith. It is not in human reason or intuition. These things which are given to us by God, intuition and reason, without him can not stand. God’s revelation is where I now draw from. He is my well. He is in my heart. As He binds our hearts together more and more each day my heart breaks for the world that yearns for more. You know you’re not satisfied without Him.
Leaving Mexico tears were prevalent, first because I was frustrated that I was on a two-month mission trip in America, then because I now know my life will never be the same that it once was. He has moved me in a way that I couldn’t turn from. He revealed to me that although it would have been the quenching of my thirst to help people if I had been in India, it wouldn’t have given him time to move my heart for my friends, family, fellow college students, Hollywood and now the nations.
Mexico proved to me that it is in the dirt I belong. My need for little and my desire for faith has shown me that my life is better in His hands.
As we bused back to Roserito in an end to our trip we had lots of toys left that we had not given away yet. I kept praying that the Lord would somehow bring us kids before we had to meet our team. With an hour left we arrive at Wal-Mart to see a bunch of blow up toys. We asked for kids and God sent us to a bounce house for less than we had thanks to the generosity of the vendors. We played our little hearts out as we befriended some great kids to give our toys to.
I can’t always expect how the Lord is going to show up, but now I see that I can always have faith that He will when I ask. I ask for my life to be one giant faith journey. For this I am ready.