I hope you have enjoyed learning more about Vida Impact Missions and the Circle of Silence through the eyes of Mark and his time spent serving in Central Mexico. In this third and final installment Mark shares his heart about how God not only used him as a short term missionary to help others but how God opened his eyes and heart and gave him a new perspective.
As the second week of my trip began I was really finding my feet, making friends with the team and enjoying the routine AND unpredictability of being a very short term missionary. At the middle of the week it began to cross my mind that it would not be long before my adventure was coming to an end and as the last 36 hours or so began, I was aware that I wasn’t sure how to feel about returning home.
We take the good AND the bad about us wherever we go, right? And we can ‘step up our game’ for periods of time too!! Things were going well for me. I was feeling the gifts and abilities, along with the personality God gave me, strongly coming to the fore. There were a number of times when I really felt God specifically use me in encouraging folk and witnessing. A few people had told me before I left for Mexico that it would be a ‘life changing experience’, that I ‘would be a different person’ when I returned. As I went to bed on the last night of the trip I felt kinda anxious, knowing I was bringing ME back with me, worts and all. I felt my period of ‘stepping up’ was just about done. But I wanted to come home a less fearful Christian, a more consistent, faithful servant of God….Indeed, a ‘different person’!!!!
Donald had told me that part of my last day would be spent climbing a ‘mountain’. We would be walking with a guy that Donald has befriended and is witnessing to and I would be sharing my testimony. So straight after devotions, about 7:00am, the 3 of us set off up the mountain. We didn’t need crampons and ropes, but it was a steep long walk up very rocky terrain to get to the top. It was at the top that God spoke specifically to me.
As I looked down at San Luis Del La Paz, he said, “You need to get away with me more!!!” He pointed out that the perspective I had now of the town, as small and dominated by God’s creation, was his permanent perspective. His face is never pressed so tight against the picture that he cannot ‘see it for looking’. He can ALWAYS see the big picture. Coming away with him gives me ‘space’; physically, emotionally and spiritually. I can breathe in the fresh air and ‘see’ him in the things he has made (the sun, mountains, birds, flowers). He pointed out that I will have to ‘go back down the mountain’, back into Del La Paz, then back to Eastbourne and my usual life, and yes, it is kind of understandable that I’m anxious. Because I’m going back down to what is man made; buildings that kind of close in on you, cars and pollution and road rage, business, stress, pressure, anger, broken relationships, violence, addictions, fear etc, etc, etc. BUT he said,”I love you, I’ve adopted you into my family, I’ve saved you from the kingdom of darkness, which is life without me wherever you live, and brought you into the kingdom of light, which is freedom from man made life and fear”.
He knows that my face often gets too close to the bigger picture when I’m back in the town and I cannot ‘see the wood for the trees’ BUT he reminded me HE STILL CAN!!!!! And because he can, if I listen to his Holy Spirit, I’ll hear his voice guiding me through the town and around the obstacles that otherwise I’d crash into or that would overwhelm me!!!!