A couple days after the trip was cancelled, as I got over my shock at the turn of events, I began to think: "Now what?" A thought came to me: "Virtual Mission Trip." Yes! My mind was buzzing with things we could do. But would my kids be on board?
I wrote a masterful, inspiring email, saying our goals were:
- Engage long term in God´s mission
I sent a text message: Please read my email.
I texted the group: ¿Por qué no me pelan? Yes, I resort to Mexican slang when I am frustrated. Basically that means, "Why are you ignoring me?" But I said I understood the crazy week we had just had, but please, I want to talk.
A couple girls responded, but it was all grasshoppers, cicadas and saltamontes (Spanish again) from the others…
One week after the masterful email, I was discouraged. I knelt down and prayed. I realized that I was striving to create my program. "Unless you abide in Me, you can bear no fruit..." OK, I would work on abiding. If this was God´s plan, He would pull my team together.
One teammate sent me an idea he had for mentoring a friend in spending daily time with God. Praise the Lord!
I sent individual texts to students who had not responded.
Ding! You´ve got mail!
Soon six of my seven had responded. I told the Lord, "If #7 texts tonight, I will know this is from you.
Ends up that the non-responders were not receiving the group texts. My original email was too overwhelming to really register so soon after the trip cancelled and the school shifted to e-Learning. We had a video conference call the next day and all agreed to join the 2020 Sus Manos Virtual Mission Trip. Later we would figure out what that meant.
A couple days later, for my morning quiet time, I read the story about Nathanael meeting Jesus. When Jesus tells Nate that He saw him under the fig bush, Nathanael was stunned by His prophetic vision and became a believer. Jesus assured Nathanael that he would be seeing much bigger things.
It made me think about how sometimes little things happen--like teenagers responding to a text--that assure us that God sees and hears us. Those little events inspire us to believe, but if we keep following Jesus, we will see bigger things.
We have met every morning for the past week to share what God is teaching us through our daily quiet time, just as we do when in country. I send them an email with the “mission of the day”: something to read, a short video to watch and something to do. We divided up the names of all the kids at the Los Pinos Home and have spent several days writing letters to them. They will be sent via online Dropbox to Guatemala, where the kids will receive our encouragement and love. The Guatemalans are also under quarantine and it may encourage them to know that we share their situation.
Please pray with me that Jesus would work in us to accomplish big things during our Virtual Mission Trip. Pray that my students would be willing to give their time to advocate for orphans. Pray that we will find ways to bless International Children's Care from a distance. And pray that I will remember that the Virtual Mission Trip isn´t my program anyway.
I pray that you are well and holding up well under this crazy situation.