6 Mins Read

5 Months As A Missionary

Mazatlan Picture Collage

Introduction

Hey Seeds Family! I am so happy I am able to share with you what the Lord has done in my life these past few months. In the Fall of 2020, I attended a Disciple Training School (DTS) with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) in Lakeside, Montana. This five-month school consists of three months in the lecture phase where you study the Bible, learn foundational discipleship topics, and grow closer in your relationship with God. The second phase of the school is a cross-cultural outreach where you apply everything you learned in the Lecture Phase to a different culture or country.

Mazatlan, Mexico

I, and a team of 11 young adults, had the amazing opportunity to go to Mazatlan, Mexico to serve in missions. We partnered with YWAM Mazatlan and got to serve in the local ministries, including:

  1. Open-air evangelism
  2. Homes of Hope
  3. Kids Ministry
  4. Skate & Surf Ministry
  5. Stone Island Evangelism
  6. Bible Distribution
  7. Prison Ministry
  8. Landfill & Homeless 

Serving in this culture was such a blessing and truly amazing. The leaders and staff at YWAM Mazatlan were intentional and authentic in everything they did. I am so glad I got to connect with that base and can't wait to connect with them again! With my experience in Mexico, I want to share with you some of the impactful things God did in my life during my time in Mazatlan.

The People in Mazatlan

During my time there, I was able to encounter some amazing people and hear their stories. It encouraged me not only to listen to them but to also step out in faith and share the gospel with others, even when I was afraid. Here are some of the stories of the amazing people I got to encounter:

I was able to pray for healing for an impoverished family’s father, who has been battling with illness for over 5 years. Our team's prayers left them with tears and joy; we left them watching a family become reignited for God!

I stopped by to talk to a blind man on a street corner (in very broken Spanish), and he appeared to be lost. To my surprise, he put his hand on my shoulder and ask me to help him get back "home." I had no idea where I was going, but by the grace of God, I was able to lead him through the plaza marketplace and safely return him back to a friend a block away. 

I stopped at a park bench and sat with an elderly man who turned out to be a great English speaker. He said he believed in God, he just didn’t know exactly where to start because there are so many religions. I was able to point him to a Christian church our team had been going to, and we saw him there next Sunday! 

As our team was doing door-to-door evangelism in an impoverished area, our translator Alexis, told me that a great way to connect with people was to ask them about their dreams. So the next house we stopped at, I asked an older man, who was living in a makeshift house all by himself, what was one of his dreams. He said his dream was to have a house that was in the shape of a boat, so his grandkids could come to play there. Our team got to encourage him and pray for his boat-house dream to come true one day! As we left his house, we looked back at a man waving at us, smiling ear-to-ear.

As I was hanging out down in the local park, I got paired to played basketball with a guy named Dan who was from England (I also had to explain the rules of basketball to him in 30 seconds). After that night, I realized he was another YWAMer also and we hit it off. For the next 10 days, while he was visiting Mazatlan, we were able to hang out, encourage each other, pray for each other, and do lots of ministries together! Even in just 10 days, we became close friends and still keep each other updated on each other's lives today!

Every night a few of my team members and I went to play basketball down at the local park near where we were staying. I met a man named Pancho who I connected with and we were able to play basketball together a few times a week. We not only became good friends, but I was able to pray with him, tell him about my Christian faith, and encourage him about what an amazing person and friend he was!

 

What God Taught Me

I had the opportunity to travel around the US and see lots of different cities, places, and cultures because of Seeds. But I wasn’t really faced with true culture shock until I spent an extended period of time in another country, 

Seeing the daily lives of the people and families I got to speak to in Mazatlan, I realized how privileged I am to have the life and opportunity God has given me. It is so common to hear American missionaries say this when visiting back to the States, it almost seems so cliche. But when you put yourself in a kid's shoes, who is looking to just survive today, there comes a weightiness that can only be explained by being immersed in it. 

Another revelation I had in Mazatlan, was that our God is a God of love. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had put God in a box and built an expectation list of who I thought God to be. When God didn’t fit inside this box, or I couldn’t explain the “why” for certain circumstances, I would begin a spiral of doubt which led to hurt. During my time in Mexico, God started the process of breaking down these walls I tried to confine Him in. It was like I started from the beginning again, and the one truth I held on to was that the God who created the universe, was a God of love. 

This process of breaking down and rebuilding was something that I prayed for before I started my DTS, but I didn't realize the magnitude of what I was praying at the moment. God not only broke me down, but he sat with me through some of the rawest moments of my life, and from those moments I am beginning to rebuild a foundation of love and truth.

 

The Great Commission

There is something special about setting aside time to seek after the Lord and dedicate time solely for sharing the gospel. One thing I love about YWAM is how passionate they are about living Matthew 28:19-20. I truly believe that setting aside a time to truly focus on living the great commission, whether with YWAM or not, will not only make heaven more full but strengthen your own faith and trust in Jesus.

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