On Monday, I talked about my experience working at a camp last summer. How I was afraid and anxious that I had gotten myself in over my head. And yesterday, I told you about how fear and anxiety have made their way back into my life. But between last summer and now, there was a chance for God to work through the uncertainty in my mind.
I went on a mission trip to New Mexico over Spring Break.
Hoe could God work through that uncertainty? What uncertainty was there? You were still in the United States.
You see, I had to fundraise in order to cover the cost of me going on this mission trip. And fundraising make me uncomfortable. Not only that, but teaching isn’t necessarily my forte: getting up in front of people I don’t know and trying to get a message across. And as we spent the first two or three days preparing, I was wondering what I had gotten into.
Not only that, but I’d be working with people I had either never met or wasn’t the closest with.
So? I’m the type of person that feels comfortable with people that I’m close to. I’m incredibly awkward when it comes to interacting with people who I don’t know well, or people that I don’t know at all.
But like I said on Monday, God didn’t let that get in His way.
When we went to the school that Monday morning, the kids in the class I was helping teach cheered when I told them I would be working with them. Their response warmed my heart. I was bullied pretty much until late high school/high school graduation. So receiving such a warm welcome by the kids touched me. And it was only Monday morning.
By the end of the week, God had touched my heart even more.
The kids welcomed us with open hearts. They wanted the three of us teaching them to play with them at recess. And sit with them at lunch. Over the course of the week, we were able to go to lunch and recess with them. The first day we went to recess with them, a group of kids wanted me to play tag with them. One or two of the days, there would be a girl saving a swing for me. And I remember one day, one of the girls hugged my arm all the way out to recess. When we went to PE with them, they wanted me to stand next to them in line to kick the ball in a kickball game.
When they were getting ready to leave on Thursday (our last day with them since they didn’t have school Friday), they were sad for us to go. We took a picture with most of them. Some of them were taking care of their science fair, so they were unable to be in the picture. But I value the picture nonetheless. I distinctly remember one of the girls wanted to stand by me in the picture. This same girl game me a tight hug. And came back later to give me another tight hug. And one of the boys gave me a small wooden cross to keep with me. He even wrote “to victoria” on it. I take that cross with me everywhere.
One thing I need to tell you is that this school is located in the poorest Catholic diocese in the United States. Yet these people, especially these kids, opened their hearts to us. And by the time the week was over, it was as if we were family.
These kids wanted me there. They loved me. They wanted to share their life with me. And they wanted me to remember them after I had gone.
God isn’t much different.
He wants me. He loves me. He wants to share life with me. And He wants me to remember Him and His presence in my life.
The main thing I learned while working on this reservation was how much God loves each and every one of us.
He loves each and every one of us with His entire being. He love us so much that we cannot humanly understand. But we can know of His love. And we can know that His love will never disappear, no matter what we do.
No matter where I go, the reservation, the kids, and the people will always be in my heart. And I ask God to watch over them and keep them safe.