“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” – Proverbs 19:21
I am thankful for the hope and promise that no matter what we might plan, the Lord’s purpose always comes through. Never has that been more evident than on our Mexico Mission trip last week.
Right off the top, let me apologize for the lack of blog posts and updates, after I had promised them in the days prior to our departure. Monday started off good. On Tuesday afternoon Pastor Gerardo invited me to preach on Wednesday evening, so that evening was spent collecting thoughts to share. On Wednesday a broken-down van extended our evening stay with pastor Gerardo’s church family. And just like that, it was Thursday night and the home builds were complete! I hope that you were still able to follow along with our Facebook and Instagram feeds.
Of course, it should come as no surprise that even without beautifully crafted blog posts detailing step-by-step construction updates, the Lord’s purpose for our church and our missions team was accomplished in Mexico. Two families received new homes. Their lives, and our lives, have been changed forever.
As much as this work is about the homes, we need to realize that its not about the homes. Its about being together, sharing the love of Jesus with one another, and experiencing God in new and profound ways. Let me give you an example of how I experienced God this week through one of the unplanned detours He led us on.
Wednesday morning wasn’t pretty for me. I’m still sad that my stomach wanted nothing to do with the incredible spread of french toast, whip cream, fruits, syrup, and more that was for breakfast. But I managed a little oatmeal, and went off to lay down and contemplate the day of suffering that surely lay ahead.
Thankfully, our translator Lorena took pity on me. Stopping at the local pharmacy on the way to the home build, she brought me some herbal Mexican remedies, and like a doting mom made me take it all before we got to work. It was enough to get me up the ladder and into the rhythm of laying and nailing shingles. But soon enough I needed a time out.
For really the first time in three days, I took the time to walk around and see everyone else hard at work. That’s when I noticed Caleb, just 2 years old, clinging to his mom’s leg as she tried to help the ladies stain the wood for the bunk beds. I came close, knelt down, and tickled his little tummy. To the shock and delight (and maybe a little jealousy) of the ladies, he didn’t run away. Instead, he took ahold of my finger and just looked at me.
Unknown to me, no one had been able to get close to this little angel all week. But after a few minutes of tickling, of playing with my hat, and holding my hand, his mom put him up on my shoulders for a kapoochie (piggyback). And that was that – until lunch Caleb and I just hung out, exploring the world around us. I guess for a two-year old the world looks a lot different from almost seven feet up!
Now, as if this miracle wasn’t enough already, let me tell you how God speaks his wisdom through us to one another. You see, inside I was stressing out about all the work we still had to get done. Just then, it was Robin who said to me, “Maybe God knew that both of you needed this today.”
I think I chuckled out loud, mostly to keep at bay the tears that were on the way. Because she was exactly right. Our Heavenly Father knew exactly what we needed that day.
We needed each other.
We needed a rest.
We needed this.
Of everything I experienced on this trip, it is that morning that I will remember and treasure the most. Just me and Caleb, and our morning of peace and joy together.
My plan had been to help with a home build that would bless David and Jhoana, Luis, Abdias, Darla, Estefany, Jasmin, Caleb, and Isaias with a forever home. I did that, and it was an amazing experience. Yet isn’t it incredible that God had an even greater blessing planned for me, that didn’t even require a hammer or a tool belt? All it required was my presence. Unfortunately it took a nasty sickness to make me stop and actually be present.
That’s my story. There are 32 other team members with stories all their own of how God spoke to them and blessed them on this trip as well. This Sunday January 14 we will be sharing many more stories, pictures, and videos of our time in Mexico. Please join us, and hear how God has used this team, Oak Bluff Bible Church, and our entire community who supported us in this work, to change so many lives both in Mexico and here at home.