Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Why Mexico City?

 I have now been in Mexico City a little over a week, and I am sure many are wondering why.  For anyone who knew me in high school, they knew I was ardently opposed to Spanish.  I took two years, hated it (mainly because of a teacher), and swore I was never going to need it and therefore deleted it from my brain.  That’s why even I have a hard time believing that I am actually here.  I don’t think it even really hit me that I was in Mexico until the other night when I was sitting in my neighbor’s house, eating a meal I can’t pronounce, and listening to a conversation where I understand only 1/500 words. As I looked around it sunk it, I am in a two room house in the middle of the largest city in the world, but I feel at home. 

How did I get here?
After my first international mission trip to Haiti, I felt my heart being pulled towards foreign mission work and then after India last summer I had no doubt.  So while other people were applying for normal jobs, I was searching the internet for organizations that would allow me to serve in an unknown land.

It was mid-December and I was still trying to decide.  Looking back it must have been December 13th, since the day before was the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  I hadn’t heard her story in a while and someone had mentioned it to me the day before and it caught my attention. For those of you who don’t know: After the Spanish had taken over Mexico, they were trying to spread Christianity anhere 
d put to the polytheistic and human sacrificing religion, but in eleven years, only a few hundred had converted.  Well in 1531 a man was walking by Tepeyac Hill and a woman appeared to him claiming to be the Mother of Christ.  She asked him to talk to the Bishop and tell him she would like a church build on this hill so that the Mexican’s could learn the love of her Son and feel her protection.  Well when he went to the Bishop, the Bishop didn’t believe him and asked for a sign.  Our Lady told him to gather roses (in winter) which she rearranged in his tilma (a cloth worn), and as he let them fall in front of the Bishop, there appeared a beautiful image of a woman, otherwise known as Our Lady of Guadalupe.  This image is in the Basilica in Mexico City and has been studied by scientists over the years who have no explanation to many aspects of the image or how it has lasted over 500 years. Within nine years after the appearance, over 9 million Mexicans had converted to Christianity.  To find out more click

Anyways, as I was telling a friend this miracle who didn’t know much about Mary, he just kind of stared at me and asked to see a picture.  As I showed it to him his eyes got big and he said that half an hour before when we were at a thrift store he had seen a few statues of the image.  At first it just seemed to be a coincidence.  Well the next day I was telling a FOCUS missionary about the previous day’s events and she perked up and asked if I had considered Mexico as a place to do mission work.  Mexico was the last place I thought of, it wasn’t even on my radar.  But she started telling me about another missionary who had a friend, Craig, who has lived in Mexico the last 8 years as a missionary and had connections to a home for women and children; an area I have always had an interest in.  Just at that moment the other missionary who knew Craig walked out of his office.  Long story short, I got in contact and from there it was a quick process to finalizing my move.  God even answered prayers and opened the heart of another college student from MO to go down with me for a while, who speaks every good Spanish; easing the nerves of my parents who feared I would be wondering the streets of Mexico alone. 

Whenever I got nervous about leaving, whether in a friend’s house or in a church, there was about a 95% chance that a few seconds later I would see an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe reassuring me that this was where God was calling me.  He continues to impress me as He slowly reveals new plans He has for me while I am here.  A few months before I left I heard of all the FOCUS mission trips that were coming to Mexico that I could help with, causing me to laugh because God was answering another prayer that I had prayed two years ago, but didn’t trust would ever be answered.  He is constantly full of surprises.

This past week has reminded me that as long as my heart is aimed towards Christ, God will make His desires for my life quite clear; and let’s face it, His plans are way better than our own.  We just have to be patient and listen. 

Dios te ama


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