Friday, August 1
After 30 days full of trial, growth, faith and relationships, our project has reached the finale -- the Debrief, 2 days to relax away from the city in a nearby resort in the mountains.
The focus is to enjoy each other, reflect on lessons learned and allow our students to pause before yet another "transition." While that word may be embedded in the DNA of an MK, it's not always easy to say goodbye and splash land into the next set of circumstances.
Some of our students will not return to their home country. While they've been in Mexico City this month their families moved.
So they will leave Mexico City and go somewhere that's foreign to them, having to start all over…again.
But before turning to that next page on Sunday, August 3, when we all leave, we spend time praising and thanking the Lord for what He's done.
Our students have:
- Served food to the homeless.
- Performed evangelistic dramas in crowded parks and street-side markets.
- Provided vacation bible school type programs to abandoned children.
- Learned to communicate their faith in Jesus in relevant ways - to an audience of one or even large crowds.
- Boldly approached college students on a university campus with the gospel - 19 prayed and received Christ.
- Worked with local churches to aid their outreach and ministry.
- Trained a youth group how to use evangelistic drama in their community.
- Built genuine friendships with students from one of the most influential high schools in the country.
- Grown closer to God and in their understanding of God's word.
A Mission Accomplished, But Not Completed.
But the transformation doesn't end with the students on our project. There is a ripple effect that reaches far into the future.
Two nights ago we had a thank-you party for the Mexican volunteers who helped us all month as our guides and translators. Most of them are the same age as our students, 16-20. They were all in tears, receiving our thanks, but also expressing their gratitude for how much their lives had changed by serving with us.
Kat Gately (25), our ministry liaison who has served in Mexico City with Campus Crusade for the past two years said our project has made a tremendous impact for the long-term ministry in Mexico in two areas: leadership development and the local church.
Kat's words on leadership development:
"As a result of the project we've seen our [Mexican] student leaders grow and being bold. They've had to step into areas that they've been afraid of."
"The Mexican nationals realize they can have as big of an impact [as the project students]. Our volunteers have felt challenged by your students."
Kat's words regarding the local church:
"There's a lot of division in the local church here in Mexico. This project, because it's so big, has allowed us to partner with new churches and new ministries that we really didn't know about before. But it's also enabled different pastors to connect on several levels. It's given them a reason to work together.
We're seeing God using this project to unify churches that wouldn't have otherwise worked together. But as a result, pastors are challenging their youth groups to be involved and we had one pastor who was crying. He said he'd been praying for years for his students to go out and share their faith and as a result of the project they're now planning events, they're doing evangelism, they're knocking on doors, just because they were so encouraged by what our students were doing."
Leaving a Legacy
As we prepare to leave, tears have already flowed. Our students realize their grip on project friendships and the joy of this summer is being pried open.
Yet, there's a satisfaction that our mission has been accomplished and that the investment has been a great one. An investment with a double dip reward: transformed lives now and transformed lives for years to come.