Ever since I became a Christian in 1995, I’ve dreamed of missions, but the timing was never right. On my Tres Dias weekend (Fall 2015) I was convicted to seek mission opportunities. After a few calls, I was invited to join a Belize youth team and asked to create a women’s Bible study in Belize. This was way out of my comfort zone, but I heeded the call and let God lead me.
The group was small, and I was nervous. The second night, a category 2 hurricane tore through Belize. When it ended, we were eager to help rebuild the community, and as we worked, the community saw Christ’s love through us. On our last day, the Bible study group doubled in size with both men and women attending. The Spirit prompted me to share the Bridge Diagram. The diagram shows Man on one side of a river, separated from God. Jesus creates the bridge to God, restoring the relationship.
Many souls accepted Christ that afternoon. I had never led anyone to Christ before. I know the words were not my own, and I stood humble and amazed at the change in the women of Belize. I had no idea at the time how that relationship would change me.
When I returned to Belize the following year, I learned that my sister in Christ, Elsa, had continued the study group. With the help of translation software and social media, I keep in contact with my new sisters between trips. We share struggles and achievements. Each time I return, it feels as if I had never left. More friendships grow as does our dependence on God.
My interpreter, Gloria, was struggling in her marriage. On one of my trips, I took a Spanish version of a study called Love and Respect for Couples and presented it to her. She and her husband are continuing to work on their marriage, and they share what they have learned with other couples. Our goal is to introduce Jesus, then let Him do His work through others.
This past April, a personal event exposed a long-buried trauma. I heard the Spirit tell me to share this in Belize. I did. God used the Women’s group as a can opener, allowing me to let past hurts and repressed emotions spill out. It was the first time I ever admitted to anyone besides a pastor about my childhood abuse. While God used the men and women of Belize to encourage me to speak openly, He spoke to
them through me, allowing them to expose their pain. Over the next few days, both men and women shared their past and their pain. We cried together and prayed together, and most of all we started to heal together.
By allowing myself to be vulnerable, they saw not only my heart, but also the heart of Christ. Heart- to-heart connections open the door for Jesus to walk in, helping us share the message of forgiveness, and forgive ourselves for a past that wasn’t our fault.
Missions is about allowing ourselves to be open to God’s will in whatever way He wants to use us.
Caption for the picture: Angela Peraza, Loretta J. Igo, Jahaira Ruiz and Claudia Burgos.