This post is a couple weeks late, but I really want to share about the mission trip I went on over spring break! I went with The Church on Rush Creek (Mira Lagos) to Amarillo to serve the community. Going into the mission trip, I kinda had an idea of what to expect since I have been on previous mission trips and lived in Mexico as a missionary, but what I didn't expect was what God did in my heart.
The first day we were in Amarillo, we went to a lady's house to help her clean out her backyard. As soon as we walked into the backyard, I saw a mess! There were piles of wood, rocks, and metal, trash scattered, random tools, kitchen supplies, decorations, etc. We didn't really know where to begin, but then we started to clean things up, organize, and throw away trash. While working, the lady came outside to talk to us and give us a little bit of guidance. As I started talking to her she opened up a little bit about her life. She told a couple of us that she hadn't been in her backyard in a long time. She then told us that most of the mess came from her son that used to live with her who had bipolar disorder. When he didn't like something in the house, he threw it in the yard. As she told us this story, I could see tears in her eyes. It hurt me to hear what she's had to go through. It reminded me of how fortunate I am. Not only for the material things that God has blessed me with, but also for the family that I have.
One of the other mornings in Amarillo, we went to a different lady's house that had burnt. The house was still standing with all of her belongings inside, but a lot of what she had was ruined by the fire. We cleared everything out of the house and then helped her organize between what was ruined and needed to be thrown away and what she could keep in her storage building that she had next to her house. She helped us the whole time! While she helped us, she told us that she had recently lost her father who lived with her before the fire. Not only did she lose a lot of her belongings, including her house, but she also lost her father. Even though she had lost a lot, she remained joyful and grateful for the things that she did have!
My favorite part of the trip was the afternoons! Everyday after lunch, we went to a low income apartment complex to hang out with the kids that lived there and share a Bible story with them. Everyday when we got there, the kids were already waiting for us. Some of us played basketball, some of us played on the playground, some of us played soccer, and some of us just sat and talked with the kids. Although it was simple, we could see in the kids that they were so happy just to have somebody loving on them. It was so obvious that they do not receive much love at home based on how quickly they became attached to us. It broke my heart to see how broken they were, especially after hearing some of their stories. Some of the students on the mission trip shared that seeing these kids really showed them how fortunate they are for the families that they have and that so often we take our parents for granted.
Not only did I have the opportunity to serve others and spread Christ's love on this trip, but God also humbled me. Towards the beginning of the trip, I sometimes let my selfish desires and mindset get in the way. I thought, "I'm really tired. I just want to do the easiest job," but as the week went on, God showed me that it wasn't about me and what I wanted, but it was about serving Him and doing what He desires for me. God wouldn't ask me to do anything that I couldn't handle. No matter how tired I was, with Christ, He can give me the energy and strength to do His work. This isn't something God showed me just for the mission trip, but I can apply this to my life at home, at school, at church, and everywhere I am. There are so many times that I am selfish and only want to do what I have planned for myself. But God has other plans. He wants me to always put others before myself and serve them. He wants me to use everything I've got for His glory. He wants me to follow Him and trust His will for my life.
I am so thankful that I was able to go serve in Amarillo. God is so good!
"Serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind,
for the Lord searches every heart
and understands the intention of every thought."
1 Chronicles 28:9