Leilani had felt God tugging at her heart about missions for a long time.She recalls the first time her pastor talked about a mission trip and invited people to go.She sat in the pew, very interested, but listing all the reasons why she couldn't go:her job, money, family, etc.So she didn't go.The next year another opportunity presented itself.Again, she was very interested.But she talked herself out of that trip too.Finally, when another year passed and another mission trip was scheduled, she thought, "If I don't say yes pretty soon, I'm never going to do this!"So she signed up.And she's been hooked on missions ever since!In fact, she got so excited that she asked if she could serve on the Mission Board of her church.Wouldn't that knock over a few Nominating Committees—people coming to them and volunteering to serve!
In March, Leilani participated in her first international mission trip.Calvary Baptist of Newark, DE sent a team to La Paz to distribute clothing and food to poor families.They also volunteered with Care for Kids La Paz, an ecumenical breakfast program in a neighborhood named Vista Hermosa (Beautiful View).They also connected with the church family of the Baptist Church Principe de Paz (Prince of Peace) by painting their entire church—inside and out—and their Christian Education building.While painting at the church, Leilani formed a friendship with Cecilia Mendoza.She began to teach this young girl English while Cecilia taught her some Spanish.They painted side by side, and their smiles radiated a joy of a friendship cemented in Christ.
Leilani shares, "I take back to Delaware a new appreciation for the word ‘missionary.' I can't wait to share with others about the work in La Paz.I hope that I can be an inspiration for others so they may some day be led by the Lord to experience the bond between different cultures that worship the same God."
Leilani's passion for missions was an inspiration to us.Her excitement and focus reminded us why we serve as your ambassadors in Mexico.And we hope she may also inspire each one of you to step out of the pew to engage in a mission encounter with Jesus.
Blessings from La Paz,
David and Joyce