Normally the title of this post would be Mission Report: Mexico. However, it seemed fitting that the theme for the week act as the title. On the Tuesday after Easter, Jim ‘Butch’ Murphy and I took a group of 14 high school students from Father Gabriel Richard High School to Mexico City. The mission team was rounded out by 5 additional parents and teachers. The overall purpose of the trip involved serving the poor people living in the garbage dumps outside the city, ministering to a parish outside the city, visiting an orphanage, and providing a first time mission experience for the students. Additionally, the action of spending their spring break on mission allowed God to work in their lives without the distractions of our normal daily lives. Even while writing this I recognize that it will fall woefully short of communicating the amazing good work the Lord accomplished through the team and our friends in Mexico. Additionally, this post inadequately describes the intense sense of God’s presence and the dramatic revelation of Jesus in all that we did. With that in mind, I would like to share two short stories that encapsulate my experience of the serving Christ in Mexico.
1) We Have Seen the Lord!
At the beginning of the week, in our first morning prayer, I challenged the students to eagerly look for Jesus and be open to the different ways that He would reveal Himself to us. We discussed that we could see Jesus in the faces of the people, in the smiles of the children, or the eyes of the sick. We left the prayer time with a challenge to anticipate an encounter with Christ and a genuine desire to see Jesus. After spending the day with the people of the Neza garbage dump, distributing food, providing medical care, and playing with the kids, we returned to the hotel and spent some time debriefing about the day. As I listened to the students excitedly report on their real and unique experiences with Jesus, I was reminded of the Apostles when they encountered the risen Christ. The Apostles were surprised, confused, excited, and overwhelmed when Jesus revealed Himself and these very same emotions were verbalized by the students. They couldn’t believe how profoundly real the face of Christ appeared behind the dirty faces of the children. They couldn’t fully understand their deep love for these people whom they had just met and by our worldly standards offered nothing of value to us. Overall, each student confidently proclaimed that Jesus was with them and He had shown Himself to them throughout the day. There was no doubt that we had seen the Lord!
2) The Multiplication of Vitamins!
After a few days of operating the medical clinic, it became clear to our medical team that we were running out of some of our essential medicines. After a thorough inventory, we realized we were out of adult vitamins and almost out of children’s vitamins. Vitamins are severely lacking in many of the people’s diet and both our nurse Kimm Sarosi, and Dr. Kirsten Kreiger were upset that our supply was depleted. The next day we traveled to a parish 3 hours outside the city to spend the day with the people there. When we arrived we were pleasantly surprised to the see the number of people who had come both to participate in a parish-wide retreat day and to receive the food, medicine, and clothing that we had brought. The medical clinic opened and Kimm began distributing the medicine and the remainder of the vitamins. Very quickly, she determined that the vitamins were gone but she decided to reach into one more drawer to check. As she felt inside the drawer she encountered a plastic bag with more vitamins! However, this bag quickly disappeared and she repeated her faithful search in the drawer. Once again, to her utter surprise, another bag of vitamins materialized. This process repeated itself for the rest of the day until the medical clinic was closed. Everyone who needed vitamins received them! In the Gospels, Jesus multiplied bread and fish and now we believe that He has multiplied vitamins!
Overall, the week was grace-filled, crazy, fun, stressful, peaceful, tiring, enlivening, and really awesome. It’s a trip we will take again and if it’s something you would like to participate in, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s continue to pray for our families in Mexico. I look forward to the day when I can see them again.
¡Dios te bendiga!