Participating in most any mission trip has its rewards and challenges. While in Mexico last week we experienced both. The challenges for me included the language barrier, getting enough rest, and of course always being a good representative of Christ. The rewards are more like spiritual blessings. Serving together with friends and family provide so much camaraderie, fun and purpose it’s hard to express in words. Other rewards are new friends, special memories with special people, and a sense of accomplishment like none other.
Traveling because God has called you to a mission brings joy and fulfillment to your life. However, it does not guarantee smooth sailing or success at every turn. We had a very successful time of ministry. Construction on the church went as planned. The gospel message was shared every day in many ways. The sewing class I was involved in was a joy. Every woman completed her project and we even added basic embroidery the last day!
That last day was the day it happened. Our car was involved in a hit and run while parked near the church. Really, it’s just a fender bender. The vehicle is still driveable, with all the doors windows and wheels completely functioning. We are very grateful it happened while no one was in or near the accident, or as we were driving. It could have been so much worse!
Our mission pastor had the good sense to purchase Mexican insurance for all the vehicles that would cross the border. We discovered the accident late in the day so that meant a trip back into Mexico the next day to meet with the insurance adjuster. While most of our group headed north toward home Marshall, myself, our mission pastor and one of our interpreters headed south back to Acuna. This certainly was not part of our original plan.
I believe God had another plan. We made our way to the home of our interpreter’s sister, where we were greeted warmly and with hospitality. The arrangements were made for the adjuster to come. All that was left was to wait. I am really not good at waiting. With our interpreters help I asked her family to sign my quilt. The simple act of asking for a favor caused a chain reaction that happens often. We connect. The signers open up and talk about what’s closest to their hearts. Smiles, tears, and hugs it always amazes me what a scrap of fabric and God can do between strangers.
It became apparent our new friends wanted to fix lunch for us. Once we accepted their invitation they got busy! Homemade tortillas made right in front of us, refried beans, potatoes, chorizo, and eggs. The kitchen became alive with activity and laughter. It was evident these women have worked their magic many times before. Just as the adjuster was leaving the feast was set before us!
As we headed north my stomach and heart were full. The food was fantastic but the new friends we made were such a blessing. For several days Marshall has been suffering with a possible bulging disc in his neck. One of our new friends had a dream the night before that someone broken would need prayer! She instructed Marshall to sit down so she could pray over him and pray she did! (To my knowledge no one told her he was in pain, he had spent much of his time outside with the adjuster.) Although I could not understand her words I knew her prayer was bold and spoken with power. The Holy Spirit was in that place. Our interpreter gave us a general idea about her prayer. She prayed for blessings, peace, and healing for Marshall, and gave thanks for new friends. Wow!
I can say I saw 1 Corinthians 10:31 lived out in that home!
It is inconvenient to have to schedule repairs and all that goes with an insurance claim but the blessing that was bestowed on us that day would not have taken place without the hit and run accident. I marvel at how God orchestrates our lives. How he shows us his great love and concern in ways we cannot explain, like the dreams and powerful prayers of strangers. Marshall’s neck still hurts but he called his doctor as we drove northward and got an appointment for 2 days later!! Unheard of! We both have faith and confidence healing will happen!
Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for God’s glory. 1 Corinthians 10:31 GNB
The car is going to get fixed. Marshall will see the doctor and steps will be taken to solve his neck pain and all these inconveniences will become small memories. But the memory of new friends faithfully following God’s instructions given through a dream will be cherished forever!