By Cynthia Laird, Mission Team Member
As the Senatobia District Mission Team gathered at the Memphis International Airport on July 12, 2014, we understood we were leaving a life of luxury to seek God's will in our service in El Salvador. The mission trip is just for one week, but God can do so much in one week, as we know from Genesis.
Although it was midnight when we arrived in Ahuachapán, our leaders knew we needed group time with a devotional, prayer and fellowship. Rev. Adam Gordon led the devotional using the beautiful "Magnificat" in the first chapter of Luke. In this inspiring passage, we read Mary's response to the joy she felt when she said "yes" to God. As Gordon said, Mary could have said "no," and God would have done His work in another way. However, Mary chose to accept the greatest honor ever bestowed on a human--to be the mother of our Lord. We were asked to be open to God this week--to say "yes" to God.
Sunday morning, we traveled by bus with other mission groups from Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina to do sightseeing and to enjoy lunch and a tour of a coffee plantation. These same mission groups gathered with us and the Iglesia Metodista in the evening for worship service. The service included familiar music, with words in Spanish, a time of sharing, translated into English, a celebration of a birthday and a powerful message. The sermon scripture passage was from Matthew 13, in which we consider whether our faith and service is the fertile soil, or is the soil that does not produce the will of God.
What we did not know until the service was that the missionary here, Brian Dubberly, had just received news that his mother in the United States had died. Brian has a brother in Afghanistan, and he is trying to work out all the challenging family plans. Please pray for Brian and his family in their time of loss.
In our Sunday night group time, we shared where we had experienced God during the day. Rev. Dave Huffman led the Sunday evening devotional using the same scripture passage from Matthew. Dave said that there are times when we can be all of the different soils in one day. Each day, we need to focus on what we need to do to be the good soil. We each need to have our personal time with God, and we need to be open to where God is leading us. This week in missions is a time of reflection, openness and service. For Christians everywhere, missions are not just for a week. Missions are for a lifetime.