¡hablamos en español!

I had the true honor and privilege of going to Mexico with Mexico Outreach last week. We went to Ensenada and I translated for a team of incoming freshmen (the MO office is affiliated with Azusa Pacific University). I had never translated before, but the leader ended up being a really close friend of mine who is originally from Argentina- her first language is Spanish! It was fabulous to work with her, to support her throughout the week, and to encourage the team of freshmen. We had crazy and life-changing experiences (ones I won’t write about on here, but would love to tell you in person). Needless to say, it was phenomenal, God totally worked in and through us, gave me the gift of tongues as I was able to understand Spanish and speak it better than ever before 🙂 It was encouraging, humbling, and amazing- by far my favorite trip to Mexico, ever.

I decided I would just attach comments and quotes from emails I sent to some friends in order to describe some of my time there- I hope you are able to enjoy the experience I had and would love to tell you more if you want!

“Our first stop this morning was to the prison. Oh my word- let me just tell you it was incredible. We walked in as bare as possible, absolutely no jewelry, belts, purses- nothing other than our ID. They then take each person into a room and feel for other things you might e trying to take into the prisons. We walked through the mens prison first. They were all locked up as we walked through the outdoor hallway, but it was a pretty intense feeling. Something about being guided into a Mexican prison with guards carrying rifles is not quite as safe of a feeling as hoped 🙂 but we made it safely and when we reached the womens prison area, a completely different location than the mens, the feeling completely changed. These women were all sitting under a tent in chairs and waiting for chapel to begin. Yes, chapel. 80% of these women are reading their bibles daily as a result of the ministry going on there. A majority of the women there are also innocent because the govt is so corrupt.
Let me tell you- these women were beautiful. They started worshipping with a few mini instruments as they shouted out to God. Tears started running down my face. Something about the picture I was seeing seemed so ironic. As you look above these women there are bars and barbed wire, which scream of these women’s pasts. But then as you listen To them share their testimonies, as we prayed with them, and as they shout praises to God, you know their future will look different.
Watching them worship and talking to them and then playing lots of volleyball today really gave me a glimpse into the Kingdom of God that the bible always talks about. It’s the backwards view of how things should go. These women were encouraging us, they were screaming praises to God in the midst of such unfair suffering, and they had a trust in God unlike anything you could imagine.
Such an amazing blessing to witness the beauty in these women. Two girls from our team told their testimonies and then Erica shared about the love of God and I tied that in with our worth in Christ and the battle it’s been for me to come to understand it. I then read Psalm 139 out loud. I love that they love the word of God. It really has become their daily bread and source of joy and hope.”



“Today was a great day. Being with 17 and 18 year olds is interesting- but they are a great group of kids and our drive went really well. After you cross the border you get to drive along the coast all the way to camp. It’s amazing 🙂 There are a ton of amazinggg photo opportunities here: graffiti, old buildings, ocean, amazing sunsets out at the ranch because it’s literally out in the middle of nowhere- in the midst of farmland. It’s beautiful. The stars tonight are the biggest and brightest I have ever seen. The sunset was absolutely breathtaking- and they have a huge deck off of the ranch where I sat today.”
“Then the sun started to set. Oh my word- I was blown away. Literally. It was one of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen. The best part is that it kept getting better and then the stars came out. Worshipping in the pitch black tonight allowed us to see the stars and let me tell you – they are so clear you can see part of the cloudy milky way galaxy. ah!! It is amazing.
And now I’m sitting in my tent, without the rain cover- And I’m staring up at the stars. Gods glory and power is so undeniable. So so so good. So good. So God :)”

  This is my friend Ruben at a Special Needs house in Ensenada. He and I were jumping on the trampoline- he was literally cracking up SO loud, it was hilarious! He had the best smile, the best attitude and the sweetest heart.

“We got to interact with kids, play lots of games, pray for women and men who run these VBS weeks every year. Our goal today was to encourage these churches to keep up the great work. We heard countless stories, and the overall theme from these amazing Mexican people? That i have so much to learn from them. They trust God in a beautiful way and they understand servanthood and family in such a humbling way.
One man was sharing his story today to a couple of us leaders (in Spanish) and through all the trials, stories, etc. He just kept saying “aqui estoy”. Here I am God. Use me, send me, meet my basic needs and let me be a blessing to you in this life. It was beautiful.”


 

“Today was absolutely amazing. Day three is done and it was truly phenomenal, challenging, and life changing for people in our group.
This group of incoming freshmen started off the week trying to prove themselves to one another, seeming a little insecure and unsure of themselves. By tonight during our candlelight service, these students have found a more confident identity in God and have caught glimpses of what their future can look like with APU, Mexico Outreach and mission work in general. It’s like so many walls have been torn down from their lives and they seem so much more free. It’s been so great to witness this.
I got to speak lots of Spanish today and I’ve now turned to Spanglish to get my point across to the Americans haha. They’d rather I just speak in English, but slowly blending the languages is helping their speaking skills- or so i tell myself :)”
Erica and I before chapel one morning. This is an amazing woman who I am SO blessed to call a close friend. We will be friends for a long time, and after this amazing week in Mexico- I am excited to see what other stories we will share together! 
 This is my little man, Miguel, or Miguelito as I called him 🙂 He and I played this puzzle or “rompecabeza” over and over again. I am serious- I think we played it like 12 times, at least. Mexico teaches me over and over again that the little things matter the most to these kids. They want consistency, a patient person to sit with, and someone to laugh with. 
 
 
Mexico was once again an amazing experience. I am more confident in my Spanish and in the fact that I have more to learn from these amazing Mexican people than they do from me. I am once again humbled and grateful. So grateful. 
 
Here are some Spanish phrases I thought I would add in just for kicks- if you want you can look them up 🙂
 
-Te entrego mi vida
-Reposo
-Basta es mi gracia
-Darnos vida!
-Inmovible
-Estoy contigo
-Estamos parados firmado en Cristo
-Mi papa es el piloto
 
 

“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

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