"I have but one passion - it is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ."
The past two weeks have been an amazing journey. First, eight days on a trip to Mexico. Then three days of preparation for four days at the last speech and debate qualifier of the season. The two weeks were so different in nearly all aspects. But in one, they are exactly the same.
Mexico was absolutely and completely amazing. Our team of 32 home-school Spanish students and parents were all divinely picked by God to make a perfect, complementary, and diverse group of soldiers for Christ. Each of us had something different and new to bring to the table. We spent the week pursuing what we know is our purpose: glorifying God. The method by which we did this involved weeding, painting, weed-wacking, fence-building, ditch-digging, and more. Most importantly, we were able to spend hours with the kids on the Ranch. These kids are all orphans of some kind that have learning disabilities, and our favorite time of the week was getting to just hang out with them. We got to know so many kids, including Obed, Octavio, Lupita, Guadalupe, Rafael, Esperanza, Elsa, Diego, Daniel, Sobeida, Jose, Jesus, Daniela, Monica, Maria, Ignacio, Raymundo, Cassandra, Ernesto, Michelle, Karlita, and so many more. We played basketball, jump rope, water balloons, and more. We put on little carnivals for the 140 kids who attend the school on the Ranch. And we used our ever-growing knowledge of Spanish to communicate with them and talk about school, games, friends, and life. I spent probably three or four hours talking one-on-one with another girl my age, Adilene, and learned so much about her. Overall, our team was able to invest into the lives of each child there. We were completely drained of all energy and fell exhausted to bed every night, but God filled us with such joy and passion for His work that we pressed on through the entire week without looking back.
In the eating area for our team, we put up a long sheet of paper on which we all wrote phrases, words, notes, and verses to help keep our group in perspective while on the trip. A few included, "No regrets," "Don't Waste Your Week," "My grace is sufficient for you," "Ask, Seek, Knock," "Be Bold," and many times, "Love." Through these words and through the constant prayer and fellowship, we all gave of ourselves completely. We abandoned our wants in order to serve. We acted a little radically to love more efficiently. And we learned more deeply about the calling on each of our lives, the commitment we're asked to make, the mission we're designed to accomplish.
Then, I got back.
America plunged me back into a mindset promoted by the one who wants to keep the effects of a missions trip only in the missions trip. The mindset that tells me that the time to pour out my heart, surrender myself, and spend every minute for Jesus is while I am specifically on a "missions trip." After all, didn't I sign up for this so I could get a week in of following the Great Commission? Now that I've spent eight days abandoned to Jesus, don't I go back to normal life?
It didn't take me too long to find the logic flaw. Why is Mexico the place where we live all-out for God, but then we gain some kind of license to take a break until our next missions excursion? It's not. It really started to hit a lot of us that this life is a missions trip. All of it. We worked so hard to not waste a minute in Mexico because we knew we'd only have one week. Now, we need to work to not waste a minute in America because we're only going to have one life. Unsaved people in Mexico's orphanges are just as endangered as the unsaved people in America's grocery stores. And my brothers and sisters in Christ who I see every day need love and encouragement just as much as my brothers and sisters in Baja California.
So, a few of us on the team resolved that we were not ending our week-long missions trip when we got home, but rather beginning a year-long missions trip until our next journey to Mexico.
And with that, I landed in Oregon and the trip began. Within days I was at the Emerald City NCFCA Qualifying Speech and Debate Tournament. What an awesome mission field. Altogether I delivered 33 platform speeches with a direct message about truth, God, love, and ministry. I met new brothers and sisters and witnessed to Christians and non-Christians alike. I invested more in the people around me and worked to pour everything I had into everyone I could. And though I may not have done a fair job at it, just having the mindset in place made such a huge difference. All of a sudden, the awards and placings weren't as important. The amazing successes and good gifts from above were just side blessings in comparison to the rewards to come. I learned to view life for what it is: the one time I'll ever have to do what I was put here to do.
mission (n). a sending or being sent for some duty or purpose.
Don't be deceived into thinking that missions happens when we get off the plane in another country. Missions is even more than the once a week at the soup kitchen. We are on a mission to save souls every second of every minute of every day. We are not only to be surrendered, abandoned, radical, and crazy for Jesus while on a trip specifically designated for this. The missions trip started the moment Jesus gave us the news to share. We are on the mission field already.
Wouldn't it be ridiculous if I sat in my dorm and played board games and watched movies while I was in Mexico? How then can we waste any of our time when there is so much to be done wherever we are? We lived completely for Jesus in Mexico because we knew we only had one week. So now, we need to be living completely for Jesus here because we only have one life. At the grocery store, stop and pray for someone. In the mall, ask someone about their eternal destination. At a baseball game, have a conversation that makes an eternal impact. At work or school, leave no person unreached. Right now, we are on the mission field. Right now, people all around us need the truth that we have in our hearts. Right now, we are called to go.
We are on a mission.