My time in General Cepeda has been a time of growth and learning. I’ve learned new things about my self and things that break my heart. Our first week here we had a seminar called “Life in the Spirit”. During our seminar we learned more about the holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. On our last day of the seminar, we were prayed over for the holy Spirit to pour down on us and to give us the gifts of tongues, healing, prophesy, wisdom and other things. While I was prayed over, two people had visions. It’s amazing that God can speak to someone in a vision to tell someone else something. Sorry if that sentence was slightly vague! While the praying went on, I could feel the presence of the Spirit in the room and emotions were definitely high. Just about everyone was crying. It was truly a moving and amazing experience.
We didn’t really start going to the ranchos (small villages on the outskirts of General) or on home visits until the second week. For my first home visit, we visited a lady named Maria. She has a little more money and a nicer home than most of the people we visit, but she is very sick. When we got there and she was lying in a bed all covered up. She actually spends all her time in bed these days. When we got there, she had a bandage on her big toe, so during conversation Brianne (the missionary leading my group on home visits) asked her what happened to her toe. Maria’s daughter had to answer for her because Maria didn’t’ know what was wrong with her toe. Maria’s daughter took the bandage off to show us. Maria has gangrene. It has caused her to lose her right leg and the flesh on her big toe. She will probably also lose her left leg.
To make a long story shorter, before we left we asked if there was anything that she would like us to pray for. She asked, “Can you pray for this world that we live in, for peace in the world?” Wow! Was I shocked at her prayer request. Here is this lady who is confined to her bed, probably in so much pain everyday and instead of asking us to pray for healing from gangrene or healing from her suffering, she asked for us to pray for world peace. Brianne brought to mind when we left, that she asked us to pray for a world that has already forgotten that she exists; a world that doesn’t care about her at all. This experience was definitely an important lesson. It reminded me that I need humility and that I also need to think others more important than myself. Life doesn’t revolve around me, nor is it about me; it’s about what the Lord can use me for to better His kingdom.
We’ve visited several ranchos the second week, but one sticks out in my mind. This rancho was really far away. It took about forty-five minutes to get there. Odilio, Sidney, and I gave testimonies without really being prepared to share. Come holy Spirit!! After we gave testimonies one of the men that lives in the rancho stood up to share a testimony. He shared how his parents raised him to have great faith in the Lord. He also shared that the Lord takes care of them. When he was talking he said how some days they go with out food, but the Lord always provides. This statement broke my heart. Here I am, an American that considers myself to be living in Gospel poverty, but I eat at least three meals a day. Through this man’s testimony, I realized that having three meals a day isn’t a necessity, but rather, a luxury. I also realized that in missions so many of the people I come in contact with are going to have physical needs like medication, money and food. I know that I am not always going to be able to provide for their physical needs, but I can always provide for their spiritual needs. If they know the Lord, they have everything.
I know that life in missions is going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I also know that it is going to stretch and grow me more than anything else I could do. I am looking forward to my first year in missions and the wonderful ways the Lord is going to bless me through the people He leads me to.