March 18, 2016
I apologize for the confusion this post may have caused those of you who signed up for my email. I accidentally published it before it was ready, so I “un-published” it and got it ready again. So here it is – again!
In my Bible Study Fellowship this week, the opening hymn was Praise to the Lord the Almighty. As I sang it, I realized that it outlined my trip to Mexico perfectly and in almost exact chronological order so that I could use it in sharing my testimony of what the Lord has done in my life recently.
(For those of you who don’t know, I recently went on a mission trip to Mexico for ten days.)
“Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation!”
When we arrived at the leader’s house on Friday morning, it was suggested that the group from my church (we joined others from different churches and groups) pray before starting. We primarily praised God for us all being able to go, how we were able to come despite adverse circumstances, and for all He would do in and through us.
Our leader has always put an emphasis on the Lord being the Almighty Creator, and he was planning on teaching a VBS (vacation Bible school) all about the Creator in Mexico.
“…O my soul praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!”
We all began the bus trip with prayer for our travels – prayers for safety and for health as we traveled for thirty hours to a foreign country. We had many thoughts about our health, and the salvation of souls in Mexico and beyond.
“All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near; join me in glad adoration.”
On Sunday morning we made sure to wake up in time to go to a Mexican church service at 10:30 A.M. We ‘drew near to God’s temple’ in Juarez, Mexico, and were hosted by gracious Christians who chose songs that were familiar to us Americanos, so that we could join them in glad adoration of our God and Creator. We joined with our brothers and sisters in the most meaningful, life-changing praise of God I have ever experienced before in my life! It was amazing and wonderful.
“Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigning bears thee on eagle’s wings, e’er in His keeping maintaining.”
As we, the very different-from-the-Mexicans, Americans walked through the city market in the afternoon, we were approached by two ladies from the newspaper who asked to take a picture of some of us for the morning news. Later we found out that this made our visit slightly less low-profile than usual. We walked through a rather dangerous street and were shown a poster/display for a young girl who was kidnapped from her Christian family. Our guide told us that five girls are kidnapped each week in Mexico.
God protected us all that day and through the whole week as we served Him. He maintained us and bore us up on eagle’s wings.
“God’s care enfolds all whose true good He upholds. Hast thou not known His sustaining?”
I experienced this in a very personal way on Sunday night just after I went to bed. I laid down in the top bunk, and immediately, with no warning, I felt like I was going to be sick. I quietly rushed to the bathroom, where I stopped, no longer sick, but now overcome by a wave of emotion. I couldn’t stop crying and thinking of my family, and stayed in there for about ten minutes, crying out to God for comfort. And He did! He gave me the strength, calm and distractions to not be lonely all the rest of the week.
“Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;”
The Lord surely prospered our work! We got many things done even on just the first day. He protected us from all the hidden dangers – car accidents, unfriendly people, major illness, etc.
“Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.”
He also gave us mercy in that no one got any kind of injury beyond a few slivers, or two, cuts, or a big bruise (on yours truly :)). His goodness overwhelms me.
“Ponder anew what the Almighty can do, who with His love doth befriend thee.”
One of the girls wore a shirt that said “God’s Work, Our Hands.” So true. God worked through the wonderful Christians in Mexico to show me personally His love. They were so friendly and accepting, and my new American friends were so concerned for my (and other’s) health/dietary needs, that I felt God’s love enfold me like a hug, sometimes literally through the people around me. He crossed over language barriers and knit our spirits together with the love of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.
“Praise to the Lord, who doth nourish thy life and restore thee, fitting thee well for the tasks that are ever before thee.”
Again, so many times He works through our hands. The kitchen crew nourished us with food for each breakfast and lunch and then the Mexican ladies took over to prepare us spectacular meals each night. The English speaking people provided us with sweet fellowship and conversation, especially the Mexican Pastor and the hard working grounds keeper. God gave us restoration through sleep each night, fitting us for the next day of hard work.
“Then to thy need, God as a mother doth speed, spreading the wings of grace o’er thee.”
This happened with a few of the others on the trip. A young man became ill for a night and morning and God through His grace revealed pride in his heart. A young woman got a few headaches and was given grace to rest, and received many kind words from those who took her place.
He does comfort thee in thy need!
“Praise to the Lord! O, let all that is in me adore Him! All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him!”
My heart is overflowing with praise for my Lord and Creator! Won’t you join me in praising Him?
“Let the amen sound from His people again; gladly forever adore Him.”
We closed our bus trip on the way home in prayer and praise for a safe, wondrous journey. It was life-changing for many, if not all. May we all, forever, adore Him!
Note: Thank you to all who supported me financially and with prayers. I truly appreciate your part in this trip, and I couldn’t have done it without you. I thank God for you. You had a part in this, and I do not take it for granted. God bless you.
*I didn’t share any names or locations to protect the privacy of any who may desire it.