International Ministries

Bursting the Bubble

November 16, 2011 Journal
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Bursting the Bubble

"We sometimes get caught in a bubble and forget to see the connection we have in Christ around the world,” said Crystal Tyree, a member of the mission team that came to La Paz last month from Crossway Community Church in Harrison, OH.

Reaching out to Fire Victims

The team engaged in a variety of projects that allowed them to show the physical love of God.  Several weeks before they arrived we became aware of a family whose three-bedroom home burned making it inhabitable for the 13 people who lived there.  A member of the Baptist Church Principe de Paz made his dump truck available for 400 pesos (about $35) to haul away the debris.  For most of one day, the team removed soot-covered beams, bricks, furniture, and other burned items from the property.  They also resealed the roof to protect against rain until an engineer could determine if some of the house was salvageable for future reconstruction.  Because the Ohio team reached out to this family, neighbors began showing up to help them as well.  Protestants, Catholics, and unbelievers working side-by-side to rebuild hope in a tangible way.  Seventeen-year-old Austin said, “I see missionaries from a different perspective now.  I realize that I’m a missionary and that where I live back home can be a mission, too.”

Reaching out to Hungry Kids

Three mornings the team left at 6am to participate in a breakfast program coordinated by Care for Kids La Paz under the direction of Barbara Spencer, a resident of La Paz.  Out of a passion for the poor, Barbara was led by God to start a charity to feed hungry children.  Sixty to seventy kids come Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings before school to receive a hot breakfast.  Mark said, “What really touched me was to see older siblings feeding younger siblings.  A five-year-old feeding his two-year-old sister was amazing to watch.”  And Mike added, “To see where these kids live, what they come from, and yet they are so happy.  One seven-year-old girl took my hand and led me to a window one day.  She wanted me to see how beautiful the sky was as the sun came up.  Wow!”

Reaching out to Theology Students

A third project the group completed was to repaint the classrooms and outside area of the Theological School of La Paz.  Every Saturday students gather to study theology and to be trained as leaders in the Mexican Baptist Churches.  The group worked hard to make their classrooms more beautiful.  During this project they were able to mingle with the local Baptist pastors, and also to build closer relationships among themselves.  As with many groups, the team members didn’t know each other very well before this trip.  Hannah said, “The intensity of the week allowed us to go deeper faster.  Coming to Mexico let us be vulnerable with each other.  Here you’re not in control like you are at home.  You don’t know the language.  You have to trust and depend on others.  I grew a lot.”

Becoming Jesus

David told them, “If there’s a yes thing going on in your heart, then be there with it.  Let something bigger than you get a hold of your life.”

Perhaps Mike summed it up best of all:  “When I serve, I am Jesus.”

We all get stuck in bubbles of comfort.  Ready to burst that bubble?  Join a mission team and be changed from the inside out!  That’s what happened to Marcos, Christel, Alexis, Cheyenne, Andrea, Austin, Hannah, Mike, Mark & Susan from Crossway.  You could be next!

Grace to you from La Paz,
David and Joyce