Four weeks. Wow, has it really been three weeks since we returned from Oasis Boys Home? It’s funny how time flies. A little over four weeks ago our mission team was living and working and worshipping together along with our partners in Christ in San Luis, Mexico. In Mexico, we each had cares and concerns about the people and the life we left behind in Pittsburgh but those concerns took a back seat to the mission that God set before us. It was easy to talk about our faith with our team members and with the people of San Luis.
I can’t speak for everyone but I had the song that we sang at every street ministry, “Yo Tango”, running through my thoughts regularly even if I couldn’t remember all the words. I looked forward to getting up each day to work alongside my teammates and Pedro. I couldn’t wait to see Adalberto and share in his ministry to the people. I looked forward to Pastor Francisco’s teaching and preaching. I was excited to go serve the people at the dump, the family on whose house we were working, serving food to the deported at the Immigrant House, and sharing the Gospel in Baja. The daily devotions and the testimonies shared by Carrie, Zack, Joyce, Ryan, Maggie, Patrick, LeAnn and Leslie really lifted my spirits. Interacting with the boys in the yard and the social room and on the job site was a very special treat. Sharing in the lives of the Caring Hearts staff members, even for a short time, was and is very rewarding.
The whole experience of living in the dorms at Oasis Boys Home was absolutely wonderful. The life we lived while in Mexico was so focused on serving and worshipping Jesus Christ that it was easy, at least for me, to shut out some of those cares and concerns I had going into the trip. This trip was very special for me. Our team was the perfect team that God assembled to go on this trip. We laughed and cried, together. We worshipped and prayed, together. We shared parts of our struggles, together. We supported and uplifted each other, together. We shared a part of our journeys through life, together. Boy, do I miss being in Mexico, together, with my friends.
As the days turned into weeks since leaving Mexico, the sounds of “Yo Tango” have grown less and less frequent. The anticipation of talking and working and serving with my brothers and sisters in San Luis has been changed to dreaming of the time that I will see them all again, either in this life or the next. The interaction with my team mates has changed dramatically. While they are in my prayers, I no longer see them daily, with the exception of Maggie and Leslie. I find myself wondering what and how everyone is doing. There is a certain emptiness in my heart caused by the distance that now separates them all from me.
Then the Lord reminds me that He has all of us in His hands. We may be separated by space and time but we are one in Him. The Lord blessed each one of us who travelled to San Luis a few weeks ago. He blessed us with sharing our Christian journeys, together, for a short period of time. He will continue to bless us with fond memories of the trip. He will bless us through the individual way in which He spoke and taught each one of us. My heart is lifted knowing how fiercely Jesus holds on to His people and how He gives each one of us opportunities to share His gospel and to serve in His kingdom.
Since returning home from Mexico, another team from another church has come and gone from Oasis Boys Home to return with their own memories. Pedro is still being a great father figure to the boys. Adalberto is still serving the people and bringing others to faith. Pastor Francisco is preparing lessons and sermons and is serving the members of his congregation and the people of San Luis. The people at the dump, the family we worked for, the deported people from the Immigrant House, and the people we shared the Gospel with in Baja have all moved on with their lives, hopefully, taking with them some small seed of faith shared with them by the members of our team. The staff at Caring Hearts is doing the ministry work to which God has called each one of them. Carrie, Zack, Joyce, Ryan, Maggie, Patrick, LeAnn, Leslie and I have each gone back to our lives with whatever special keepsake or lesson that the Lord intended specifically for each one of us.
My hope and prayer is that each of the team members and each one of you may look forward to waking every day to focus on serving and worshipping the Lord, Jesus Christ. May we each have a tune of praise echoing in our heads all day long. May we each think about and remember our friends in Christ; may we pray for them; may we enjoy the walk with them for whatever amount of time the Lord gives us. May we each find ways to put the mission that God has put before us in front of the cares and concerns of life. May we each find ways to easily talk about our faith and the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those in our lives and with strangers. And may we each find peace and comfort in knowing that God ever holds our hands as He sends us out into the world to share His love.