Friends, family, others who have stumbled upon this journey, our time together has come to an end. I find myself standing in the airport in San Diego waiting to board our plane back to the Music City. I know I share the feelings of my teammates when I say my heart is still in a dusty city three hours south of Ensenada. Those of you who have been on mission trips know this feeling well. It is not that I do not look forward to being home. I absolutely cannot wait to hug my mom, dad and brother. It is more that my heart aches for the people who impacted me so greatly in a matter of days. I am sad knowing I may never see them again on this earth, but I pray that by God’s grace I do! I am still filled with so much joy from the smiles that are so vividly stamped on my heart. And I am encouraged by the faithfulness with which they will continue to impact countless other Christians who journey their way.
This journey has taught us so many things as a team. We have learned joy and contentment in even the most dire situations. We have learned dependence on God and how faithful He will always remain. We have learned love. We have learned to give love generously and receive love openly. We have learned perspective and service. We have learned the importance of unity. We have learned how good God truly is. And most importantly, we have learned what it looks like to be the Christians that God has called us to be. The people in Colonet and Diaz Ordaz have taught us how to truly be the hands and feet of Jesus in ways that I have never before experienced.
Before I end my time with you, our team owes many of you a thank you.
First, thank you to our parents. I know that it is not easy to send your precious babies off to another country in the way that you did a week ago today, but I thank for the opportunity with which you all have provided us.
Thank you to Coach Peck and Coach JJ for the planning and preparation that went into this trip. I can only imagine the hours that were poured into the planning of this week so that it went as smoothly as it did. We cannot thank you enough for the opportunity to take this trip and grow together.
Thank you to Mr. Coach Ryman and Alex Ross for voluntarily spending a week with 15 twenty-year old girls in a foreign country. You all kept us laughing this week and I am truly grateful we were able to experience the journey with you.
Our team and our coaching staff would like to thank some people as well.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to our journey by providing us with the funds to go. Without you all we would not have had the opportunity to spread God’s word. I hope you all know that you have had just as big of a part in spreading God’s word this week as any of us have.
Thank you to Mark Jent for helping us discover where God was leading us to mission. Thank you to Stephen for investing so strongly in our team and spending countless hours with our coaches making sure the trip went successfully. And thank you to Klotzy for guiding our team spiritually and being such an incredible prayer warrior through every step of this process.
Thank you to Rex Watson and Baja Missions for giving us the opportunity of a lifetime. We have been so blessed by this entire journey, and we thank you for the chance to serve the churches at Colonet and Diaz Ordaz. And thank you to Pilar, Laura, and Misha for being more than just our guides for the week. We all truly consider you our friends, and we look forward to seeing you in Nashville soon!
Thank you to the athletic department back at Lippy. I know we had countless prayers coming at us this entire summer as we prepared for this journey. It is so encouraging to have such a strong army of supporters behind us in everything we do.
Thank you to everyone who has lifted up a prayer on our behalf. I know without a doubt that God heard and answered every single one of them. You all have been warriors for us this week and every single one of us is thankful for every prayer that was sent up.
Finally and most importantly, thank you, God, for crossing our paths with the people you did this week. Thank you for showing Yourself to us in more ways than we could have imagined. Thank you for our safety as we traveled. Thank you for Your love that surpasses any language barrier, and thank you for being so good and so faithful always.
Here is one more picture for you to take with you. Picture half of our team sprawled out on the floor, the other half crouched in a chair with their heads on a pillow. Picture tired bodies but smiling faces scrolling through pictures on phones laughing about the memories we have shared. With joy I tell you that we gave this week our all and in the best way possible, we will NEVER be the same. I pray that through this blog you might have been able to capture a fraction of the joy and love we have experienced this week. I look forward to passing it on and sharing it with everyone we encounter this year at school.
Our tanks are empty, our hearts are full and God is so, very good.
I leave you all with one last blessing from Numbers: “The LORD bless you and keep you. The LORD lift His face to shine upon you and give you peace.”