mexico-1440x822On the 29th January, a team of nine from Putaruru Gospel Chapel (PGC) left for the distant shores
of Mexico. The team was made up of seven young adults and two leaders. Their mission was to join
forces with YWAM at Tijuana where Mark and Korrin Jacobsen serve.

Mark and Korrin are commissioned by the PGC. There were three parts to this trip. The main part was to build a house with Homes of Hope, the second to participate in a program called ‘Mission Adventures’, the third to encourage Mark and Korrin by spending time there with them. Mission Adventures is a program YWAM runs that offers groups the chance to experience missions. The group participated in feeding the homeless, visiting an old people’s home to encourage them and various outreaches with local churches. At one of the churches they helped with two ministries. The first was a service for refugees and the other was visiting the church’s drug rehabilitation centre. Before leaving they were encouraged by the leaders of PGC to take every opportunity to get involved, to be willing to do things that would stretch them physically and spiritually. This was an experience where they were going to be a part of YWAM’s work but it was also a place where they learnt to rely on God.

 

This is what they had to say about their experiences. ‘My favourite part was seeing a new culture and meeting lots of new people. Trying to communicate with people that spoke very little if any English was difficult. I also found it challenging seeing people that have very little and being so happy with life when
we have so much but always seem to think we need more. God has taught me, or rather He is still teaching me, that there are a lot of people out there that need help and encouragement and even though something as little as having a conversation with someone may seem insignificant to you, to them it may mean the world. For me I’m trying to spend more time helping others and doing stuff for others rather than myself.’

‘Meeting and getting to know the people. Knowing their stories and understanding their view of life, having them share their hearts through their stories. And also the location. So beautiful! I found it challenging to see how broken some people were in their hearts; in need of a Saviour. Having their livelihood taken away with nothing left. I found it challenging because I have so much right in front of me, yet they have nothing. So much
hopelessness. It challenged me in a way to want to serve to share everything I have, to want to nurture hearts, help people grow to be what God’s made them to be and to encourage and share my hope I have in Jesus. God taught me that defeated hearts equals defeated lives.’

‘The Ranch was my favourite part because I was able to get alongside young people my age and enjoy sport, a feed and getting to know them. Seeing needs at the different places we went and not being able to go back and continue working with them was challenging. God taught me that we live in a privileged environment in NZ, so I have committed to going back to help in these programs for a month this year.’

‘Being a delivery person for plates of food at Padre Chava and being a part of feeding 700+ people in one morning was my favourite part. Talking to people in Mexico was challenging. I don’t find talking to unfamiliar people easy and struggle to think of things to say in conversations. God taught me to be prepared to go outside my comfort zone in order to serve. I ended up painting two old ladies nails...’

‘Building the house was a highlight for me. I enjoyed trying new things and working with our team, YWAM staff and the family on a life changing-project. I especially enjoyed raising the walls, to see the house come together and furnishing it to turn it into a home. It was awesome to see that we were making a tangible difference in the lives of a family. The part I found most challenging was walking through the red-light district, feeling objectified as though I have no value as a person. I felt weighed down by the heaviness of the sin going on around me. I couldn’t speak for fear of crying as I felt for the people trapped in a way of life that degrades them of their God-given value. I hope I never forget these feelings but let them remind me of a world I have seen that countless people are a part of everyday. It challenged me to see beyond my own world and to have compassion on people I have never met and situations I may never fully comprehend. In Mexico I saw God
working through many ministries, heard about His faithfulness through testimonies and saw His love reflected in the lives of the staff and students at YWAM. I was encouraged by the way that God works in the lives of people in Mexico and all around the world and yet He is still interested in my life, and works in me.’

As a Chapel we have been greatly encouraged as we have seen these team members return with an awareness of what crosscultural mission looks like and enthusiasm for what they have= seen and done. We have seen a growth in their confidence and willingness to be more involved in the life of the church.

All in all this short term mission has been a blessing to those that went, to those that they went to and to our chapel family as a whole.

The team from Putaruru Gospel Chapel

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