On June 4, I returned from taking eleven teenagers on a mission trip to Puerto Rico. Words I would use to describe this trip: exciting, spirit-filled and exhausting. Sometimes I felt those things all at once. As far as mission trips go, I have to admit this trip was the most cushy I have ever been on. We stayed in a resort-like hotel and always had gourmet meals (okay not gourmet but very, very good). I know some people might have questioned whether we were actually on a mission trip or on vacation. But for those who may have questions, I can assure you some incredible things happened for the Kingdom of God. If I told you every time God worked things out perfectly for us we would be here all day. From timing, to our incredible guide, God was in it. Through our Puerto Rico FCA representative we got to go work in a community called La Perla. If you google this place you will find words like DANGER, STAY AWAY, VERY SCARY. Seriously. But we knew from the beginning that God led us there and he kept us safe. In fact, we never felt unsafe at any time. We attended church there on Sunday morning, there were seven of them and seventeen of us. But what a worship experience it was! You could feel the spirit as we joined together in familiar songs in two different languages. A little piece of heaven. After lunch, we had the privilege of painting the church, painting a mural and cleaning up an outside area. We all felt a special connection to that forgotten community afterwards. The next two days, we went to an orphanage where we spent the morning painting and the afternoon with the kids. There were twenty precious children ages six months to twelve years old. All spoke Spanish but it didn’t matter that we didn’t speak the same languages, our students had no problem connecting to these children. It broke my heart seeing tears roll down our students faces as we drove away on the last day. Those kids got into their hearts and will remain there forever. My favorite story about God’s timing happened at the orphanage. There was a 12 year old girl there the first day and she was the only one who spoke English. She was being adopted the next day. One of our girls struck up a friendship quickly with her and by the end of the day had led her to Christ! If we had come one day later she would have been gone and it would have been too late. God’s timing is always perfect! I want to end by praising our kids. We took the most amazing group of kids. Hearts so full of love for the Lord and for others. We had no distractions because there was only one goal: to further God’s kingdom. We didn’t force them to feel that way, that is their desire. I have never been around a more spiritual group of students and that is the truth. The last night I told them they inspired me and I have so much love for them there are no words to describe it. I pray that I will always let my light shine with the abandon that those eleven kids do.
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