Tomorrow night, I am travelling to Mexico with a group from my church. We are going to an orphanage just across the border to spend a week with the children there. I am so honored to be a part of this mission trip. The last mission trip I took out of the country was to Ecuador when I was in high school. That trip made a lasting impression on me. I will always remember the people I met there. You have not seen JOY until you've watched someone in desperate poverty lift up praises to the King, because He truly is their only hope. We do not know this kind of faith in America. We take for granted that our needs will be supplied in one way or another and we rarely have to cry out to God for the basics, such as food, water, and shelter. People who have to rely daily (sometimes, minute-by-minute) on His provision and find Him faithful in every need seem to have a much stronger faith than those of us here who don't lean on Him nearly enough. God used that trip to grow in me a compassion for others that will not go away. At that time, I thought that I would go on many mission trips and possibly become a missionary. Well, God used (and continues to use) me in many ways to be "on mission" for Him throughout the years, and He has shown me that as Christians, we are ALL called to be missionaries, regardless of where He places us. I am so thankful that He has now chosen to send me on the trip I will take tomorrow, so that once again, my heart can be pricked and filled with compassion!
In some ways, it will be very difficult for me. As I have shared with you, God has placed adoption on my heart and it will be hard for me to go to this orphanage and not want to bring a child (or all of them, lol!) home. This particular orphanage houses children who are not adoptable. Mexican law mandates that every living relative of a child must sign away their rights to the child before he/she can be adopted. Sometimes that means a 12th cousin living half-way across the country that can't or won't sign the papers! This just breaks my heart and I ask you to pray that God would protect me from getting too attached.
There are 105 children (from infant to age 24) at the orphanage, which is run by one woman! The older "children" help out where they can and become surrogate parents to the youngest ones. Our goal this week will be to share Bible stories, crafts and games with the kids - but mainly just to love on them. The men going with us will work on some of the building maintenance needs as well. Please pray for our safety in travel and while we are there, as border towns can be dangerous. Pray that we will be able to meet the needs of the kids, physically and spiritually. I will definitely give you all a report with pictures when I return!