This past week I was blessed with the opportunity to serve on a mission trip to Chiapas, Mexico. Within three days, our service team conducted Mexico’s first ever Youth Camp, Junior/Senior Kids Camps, and SFC CLP. In total, we welcomed about 400-500 youth and adults into our community! Although the numbers were great, the best part about this trip was what the community of Salto De Agua taught us.
The community here is one that is extremely welcoming, loving, and compassionate. At the start of the youth camp, we were afraid about what would happen. Would they be able to understand us with our broken Spanish? Would they accept the love that God was trying to show them through us? How would they sustain themselves after we left? With these questions in our hearts we went into the camp with complete faith in God and that His Holy Spirit would guide us: and He did. They were completely open to the message we were trying to spread and they told us over and over again that they were grateful for the effort we put into the retreat.
While I can make my way around most conversations, I am personally not fluent in Spanish., and sometimes I have a lot of difficulty in translating my thoughts. At one point, I was especially struggling and I opened up about how I was frustrated that there was so much I wanted to share with them but I couldn’t because of our language barrier. To this, the youth responded with “We may not be able to understand your words, but we can understand your heart. Just try to say what you want to say as best as you can and I promise you we will understand”. I don’t have words that can describe how I felt in that moment. This was only the first day we were there, so I knew God had more in store for us.
On the second day, we had two kids’ camps to take care of. During this portion of the trip, God truly showed me just how much of His joy and blessings that I was missing out on simply because of how privileged I am. The kids at the camp radiated happiness and shared a contagious energy. As we played games and danced with them, our tiredness from the days before was blown away. For an activity, I had the kids write down ten blessings in their lives on a piece of paper. What happened next was one of the most powerful moments in my life. One of the kids was super proud of his list and he was dying to share it with me, so I let him come to the front and show me his paper. Soon, every single kid was running up to me and showing me their blessings. One by one, God showed me just how many blessings I was missing out on because I live a much easier life than most of them. A few of them said going to work with their parents was a blessing and that inspired me to do more in my own personal life and to see work as a blessing from God.
One thing God made very clear to me through this entire trip was that there is always more of His love to see and experience. There is always an opportunity to be blessed by God, and He is always willing to allow us to serve Him and be used as His hands and feet to bring Him glory. At first, I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to translate properly or deliver the right messages with the talk or even lead teens in worship that spoke a different language but God has the ability to take our weaknesses and do miraculous deeds with them. He can work in any condition. When you personally experience God through the eyes of someone who is living in conditions very different from your own, you start to truly understand exactly who God is.
Let us pray for the community of Jovenes Para Christo in Salto De Agua. They have an amazing group of leaders that were trained to keep the community there strong and I trust that God will provide them with the strength to keep evangelizing His word, just as we were blessed enough to do this past week.
Written by Alex Huerta
CFC-Youth Southern California