Due to the kind generosity of the Youth Division of the United Pentecostal Church International, I was recently privileged to go on a ten-day mission trip to Chile! Words cannot adequately describe the long-term impact that I am certain this trip will have on my life, but I’ll give it a try.
I have always loved the idea of going on a mission trip. But, that is just what it was…an idea. I never could have imagined that I would one day have the opportunity to actually get a passport and visit a faraway land. The country of Chile was beautiful, with breathtaking mountains, such as the Andes. I was in awe of much of the beauty; however, those things pale in comparison to the needs that I saw.
It was heartbreaking to see people with so little, and I found a deep compassion in my heart that I wasn’t even aware I had. When I think back, I wish I would have filled my suitcase with things that I could have left them. They needed so much and, though I am only a teenager, I now realize just how much I have to give.
The people we met spoke little English, but did all that they could to adequately communicate with us. I did know how to ask some questions, which served as a big help. I loved meeting the teenagers and was moved by their deep love for the things of God. Also, they were a very humble people. Anytime I complimented one of them, they immediately gave God all of the glory for the gifts that He had bestowed upon them.
Churches in America are so traditional, but not in Chile. Church lasted for hours at a time, and they cherished the opportunity to worship God. Their baptismal services were very special and moving. Those getting baptized were so happy about having their sins washed away. It was absolutely beautiful.
I had hoped to go to Chile and make a difference, but was not prepared for the difference that this amazing experience would have on me. My life has been forever changed and my heart is open to the Lord in preparation for anything He has for my future. I want less of me and my wants, and more of Him and His desire for my life. I am grateful to the Youth Division for this opportunity and to the Tupelo Children’s Mansion for entrusting me to go and to represent them well.