“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
Growing up, I always had a heart for missions but never thought I would be bold enough or capable enough to serve on the international mission field. Yet if I have learned anything in life, it’s that God will often use you in the areas you least expect. After attending several missions conferences at Cedarville University and hearing from friends the amazing ways God has moved on missions trips, I began praying that if I am to do missions, God would make it clear. That next week, I heard about a medical missions trip from Cedarville University going to Guatemala. As a nursing major who lived in Spain, I felt that this was God undeniably giving me the perfect opportunity to combine my passion for nursing and Spanish and go on a mission trip. Not knowing what else to do, I surrendered to the call and applied for the trip. A few weeks later, I learned that li’l ol’ me from the cornfields of Ohio would be going to Guatemala! But what I did not expect was how such a short trip could deepen the faith and change the lives of everyone involved.
God’s Faithfulness Through “Hiccups”
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” – Romans 8:28 (NIV)
When it came time for our team to leave for Guatemala, many challenges arose that tested the spirits of those on the trip. From missing medical bags to two-day flight delays causing half the team to miss part of the clinic, it is safe to say that this trip did not go according to our initial plans. But praise the Lord that His plans are better! Time and time again, what we may view as setbacks the Lord continuously worked out for the greater good. For the team stuck in Ohio, this hiccup allowed for a much-needed time of rest and spiritual growth for many team members. For those that made it to Guatemala, this hiccup allowed for a deep bonding between team members that made for an efficient clinic despite missing resources. For all of us, these “hiccups” allowed us to step back and admire God’s provision on display. While the supplies and staffing ran uncomfortably low, the team always had exactly enough to meet the needs of each person that came through the clinic. After three days of unexpected hiccups, the whole team was finally united in Guatemala to serve the Lord together. What an amazing reminder to surrender our plans to the Lord and trust in His sovereignty.
Evangelism Through Medicine
“On hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’” – Mark 2:17 (NIV)
As soon as the team set foot in Guatemala, everyone immediately came together to care for the physical and spiritual needs of the people in Santa Elena Barillas, Guatemala. The clinic had a wide range of resources available to allow for quality holistic care for each patient that came through. With the help of Caring Partners International and a local church in Santa Elena, patients were able to receive vision screening, eyeglasses, primary care, chiropractic care, dental work, lab work, and medications free of charge. While getting to provide for the physical health needs of the Guatemalan community was very rewarding, the highlight of the clinic was getting to use medicine to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Each patient that went through the clinic passed through the Clinic of the Soul. Here, members of the local church came alongside each patient, shared the Gospel with them in their native language, and prayed with them. Throughout the four clinic days, we saw 637 patients and witnessed 85 people accept Christ as their Lord and Savior! Praise the Lord for all He has done in the hearts of the people in Santa Elena Barillas.
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.”
– Revelation 7:9 (NIV)
Throughout our time in Guatemala, God worked in amazing ways that will forever be imprinted on the hearts of the team. As we returned to the U.S., each person carried with them countless stories of God’s faithfulness and provision. Yet what stuck with me the most was getting to see firsthand how greatly God can use people for His glory if you just surrender yourself to Him. It can be scary to put yourself out there and share the Gospel with others if you’re an introvert, or don’t speak the same language, or don’t have evangelism training, etc. However, God does not ask for competency; He asks for a willing heart. If you make yourself available to the Lord, He will use you in ways you may never imagine. It is my prayer that I may be more like the prophet Isaiah: that when I hear the call of the Lord I will not think of my inadequacy and respond with hesitancy, but rather fall on my knees and say, “Here I am, Lord. Send me” (Isa. 6:8). And one of the biggest blessings we have as Christians is that we do not have to navigate the Christian faith alone. From getting to worship with fellow believers in Guatemala to participating in nightly debriefs with the GO healthcare team, one of the most encouraging aspects of the trip for me was to come together and hear how God is working in each other’s lives. Getting to see people from all backgrounds, walks of life, and nationalities come to together in service to the Lord was such a beautiful picture not only of the fellowship we have as the body of Christ on earth, but the beautiful foreshadowing of the eternal fellowship we will one day have with God in heaven. Until that day, may we all present ourselves as living sacrifices to God, submit to His will, and rest in His faithfulness to carry us through.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.” – Romans 12:1 (NIV)
I started this journey questioning my adequacy for missions. However, God used this short time in Guatemala to set my heart on fire for missions. There are simply no words to describe what the Lord can do if you just make yourself available to Him. Whether I am on the mission field in another country or in my backyard, I strive to use every moment for the glory of God. Coming back from this trip has only renewed my fervor for the Gospel and I cannot wait to see how God continues to work in and through His people. To sum up my Global Outreach experience, I wanted to take a moment to share a prayer with you that I use to renew my heart each day to serve the Lord. It is my hope that this will be the prayer of every believer, so through the power of the Holy Spirit, we may see a world transformed for Christ.
Thank you for your grace in sending your Son to die for us on the cross so that through faith in Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection, we may stand justified before the Holy and Righteous God and spend eternity with You. From the moment that I rise, help me to present myself as a living sacrifice for you. Set my mind on the things above and focus my heart on things of eternal significance. Give me the boldness to use every opportunity for You. Guide my words and open the hearts of those I talk to.
To You be the glory, amen.
Major & Year: Nursing, class of 2025
Favorite Bible Verse: Romans 8
Hobbies: Spend time with friends, explore nature, and watch Netflix