“Focusing on ourselves will never reveal the purpose of our lives.” – Rick Warren
Hello my name is Joe D'lopez and like the apostle Paul, do not come with elegant and persuasive words, but with simple and plain words from my heart, simple and easy as God has called me to do so.
During the journey that took place in the city of Matagalpa, Nicaragua along with the team L.H.I.M (Living Hope International Missions) from different parts of Mexico in conjunction with FXMissions, team from USA led by Scott McClelland aka “Gallo más Gallo”. All I can say about this trip is that God was in the house..! As the center of all and nothing more, because in prayer we asked to the Lord that, “if His Presence does not go with us, we will not move”. Listen to God in prayer, church, or in places we know, is the best thing to have in our Christian life, without His voice we would have no direction, but there is something even more astonishing that strikes me even more every time I'm on trips like this in the north of Nicaragua. That is to hear God’s voice from unfamiliar places or speaking to me through something simple around me, and realize that He is speaking…not just talking but teaching and instructing me! I don’t know what it is with northern Nicaragua but every time I'm on this side … I feel a peace that drives me to serve those who are the Lord's.
“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the “EXTRA”
The phrases resonating in my mind all the time and before the trip were: “I am here to serve you alone”, “mark that identifies me is service,” “I am clay in your hands” etc. (because they are so many and I cannot mention them all lol :P) are important in our missionary life and we must take into account when we are a mission, and not just when on mission … but always, as this has to be a lifestyle with us.
“Ordinary people doing extraordinary things!”
The biggest example that can exist when we talk service, Jesus is and always will be. What is important to be focused on a mission trip, no matter what the function is to keep it clear that you were called to do something and something great in the kingdom of God! Everybody can do something, everybody has the Ability to do something!!! So, do something!!! There are no excuses! Dare to do something in the Kingdom and for The Kingdom… that's why God gave us talents, gifts, and great abilities – to be men and women of action.
“Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things, for you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” -Colossians 3: 2, 3.-
The most amazing and important thing about this is that you can see what God sees, feel what God feels, do what God wants to does and speak what God wants to say. Since Jesus himself did what his Father did, this to is our calling.
“Because Those Who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”
Being guided by the Holy Spirit is also very critical and very important because, only then, do we realize what God wants to do with those in need of a word from the heart of God … This is only achieved when we are focused on what we have been called to do and stay connected with the things of the Spirit, leaving aside all of us to give it all to Him, the whole scenario.
Something God made me understand even more is that, being a servant is not only doing something for someone, it's more than that; you must have a servant's heart, and to have a servant's heart, we must first know the heart of the largest servant of all time – Jesus Christ.
Something important to be taken into consideration is the attitude we show when we serve, sometimes we preach more with our attitude than words … not always easy to follow a rhythm of hours of continuous service when we're on a mission, the body is exhausted, lacking strength, etc. This is where our attitude towards what we face comes into play; “continue or stop…” the word tells us that “let the weak say I am strong” this is something that really makes us even stronger because our heart is completely bound to continue the work of God no matter how tired or exhausted we are! The Bible says “And we know that in all things God Works for the good of Those Who Love Him, those who Have Been called according to His purpose.” And “nay, in all These Things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Likewise, the Bible encourages us to continue doing what God commands us to do since everything we do on your behalf to him and through him is not in vain and has its reward. Every time I felt tired and that I couldn’t do more and was about to stop, the image of Jesus carrying his cross. This went through my mind letting me know that if Jesus himself (with that heavy cross on his shoulders) could meet His goal up to the Calvary, being beaten, tired, thirsty, bleeding and even after falling again and again … He fulfilled His goal. And everything for His love of us …
What makes this possible?
One single word… Commitment!
How about Your commitment to the Lord? Is it so strong that it allows people to see Jesus in you…? Who will listen to him when you speak? When you serve the people as a ministry of Jesus? Or feel the love of Jesus when we pray for others?!
“Attitude lets you be who you really are.”
What kind of attitude should we take when on a mission trip? In my past times in missions, I have had many attitudes that do not fit in with Christ… But now, I am noticing a new attitude in me, according to Jesus’ example.
When serving, Jesus the king took off his robe to put on the dress of a servant and then served others as an example of humility. In your life, what is the mantle that you are wearing that does not allow you to show the real attitude of a servant? It may be… comfort, reasoning, position, pride, complaints, etc. And maybe you have not noticed … but, Jesus wants you to take off that mantle and put on a servant's garment, with a pure heart to serve… it's time to dress with the attitude of Jesus … the attitude that allows us to serve before being served, giving before receiving, to humble yourself, to let Jesus be exalted and being second for him to be first in everything.
And, I invite you to tell God these expressions
When you get to be in other nations.
When you get the chance to be in a mission
Ask Him: God, help me to embrace your Vision.
Jesus, Let your kingdom come
Let your will be done and
Let my will be gone…
Jesus, I know life begins at the cross
And I know that i can’t follow you without carrying my own cross
Jesus in your name deliver me from the routine
I surrender all my life to You, with everything
So next time I get to go to a mission trip
Please God remind me that this is not about me
Because is all about you, to deliver people from sin
Help me that your desire be my desire
To see Jesus lifted in higher
Change my heart and wipe off the iniquity
And replace it with a pure heart full of humility
God, give me of your wisdom
To be able to make the right decisions
Because, I will pursue you
Instead of my own ambitions…
I don’t want to grow weary and weak
I want to join to the club of Jesus’ freaks
God loves you in many ways…
Don’t worry, He will always love you every day.
So, if by any chance you want to be in the mission field in a different nation…
Don’t worry, if you were thinking of a special invitation
Nicaragua is waiting for you to come
Because when you get here, you will feel like home
And I want to encourage you with this…
KEEP CALM AND LET GOD BE GOD…!