Friday, November 19, 2010

Important Lessons

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.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

First Evangelization Night in Mexico

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve updated you guys. Life has gotten busy! I am currently in General Cepeda, Mexico. Last night was our first evangelization opportunity. We would normally go to one of the local villages and invite all of the people to the chapel for a prayer meeting, but because of the violence in other parts of Mexico we are taking special safety precautions by not traveling out of the city at night. We went to a little chapel on a hill and held a prayer meeting. I was given the opportunity to share a testimony of how the Lord increased my faith. It is amazing how God can change your fears, or give you courage when you need it. I used to freak out if I had to stand up in front of people to share. I would actually avoid it at all times!! Now, the more I get up in front of people and share, the more the Lord is healing me of my public speaking fear!

After few other missionaries and I shared my testimony, Mrs. Genie preached. We also sang a few songs and praised the Lord together. If you’ve never had the opportunity to praise the Lord with people who speak a different language then you, you need to come to Mexico!!! It is amazing to know that the Lord can understand the person next to me speaking another language and me at the same time! Okay, back to last night…after Mrs. Genie preached we offered prayer for the people. We stood in the front of the chapel and people would come to be prayed over. I could definitely feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. While I was praying for one of the ladies, I felt the Lord say, “Let go Sarah. Let go of your fears of what I might do through you. Let go and let me work through you.” I know that the Lord provided miracles last night.

Throughout my training, I’ve heard so many stories of the signs and wonders people have seen God do. I’ve thought how awesome that those people experienced God in that way, but surely I cannot do that. Not true! I know that God wants to do signs and wonders through me. I know that he wants to use me to provide miracles for others; I just have to be open for it. Please pray for me. Pray that I can completely abandon myself so that the Lord can work in me and through me. Pray for my fears of the gifts of the Spirit will fade away and that I will receive the gifts of the Spirit. Pray that the Lord will use me for His kingdom building. God Bless you all!!