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Small airplane

photo courtesy of sportysnetwork.com

I would never have ventured to guess where a snap decision would take me. 1981. I had only been married a few months, was out of work, had just moved to a new city and started attending a new church. The pastor called me one Friday afternoon to ask if I would be interested in going to Mexico on a short term mission trip. The team was one man short and they were leaving the following morning.

Wow ……..no time to think about it. They needed an answer pronto. I called my young bride to see how she felt about it and got the “okay.” “Why not? You’re not working at the moment.”

So the next morning, I loaded my bags with five other guys and we flew to Monterrey Mexico in a six-man prop plane. The noise was deafening, but we made it safely.

donkey braying

photo courtesy of Carol Oswald

I only have vague memories of that trip: a family that invited me to a picnic after church on Sunday, buying tamales at a roadside stand and eating them for the first time, sleeping on a concrete floor in an unfinished house, a burro braying out back that was our alarm clock every morning, drinking cokes all week to avoid the water. (Bottled water wasn’t available in those days. Can you even imagine?)

It only took a few days, but I fell in love with the Mexican culture ……….

There was an old woman who served as a full time missionary at the school where we worked. On our last day before we returned to the states, she looked deep into my eyes like she was seeing into my soul and asked, “Will you be back?” I was surprised by the question. But somehow I knew my answer and so I told her, “Yes. I don’t know when or how, but someday I’ll be back.”

How prophetic those words have become. This July marks the 9th mission trip to Mexico that I have participated in. I have helped lead the last six.

I am convinced that it was no accident that I was out of work that year. I doubt I would have gone if I’d had job commitments. God sent me to Mexico and has graciously given me more opportunities to return again.

Isaiah 30:21(ESV)

21 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.

You never know how one decision will impact your life or the lives of others. I could have declined that invitation. Who would have thought that a phone call could have made such a big difference in my life …………

Stay tuned for more on this story tomorrow.

All verse quotes courtesy of biblegateway.com