My small church had been wanting to go on a mission trip for years and now as my big Italian family became new members, it was as good a time as any to plan one. We decided on a Navajo Reservation in New Mexico. We planned on fixing up a school for the kids to grow in a better learning environment, but never knew we would be gaining so much more. Through out our week we spent a lot of our time hiking and exploring the desert. Their were no trees to cover the beautiful sky, no cell phone service or television to distract from reading The Bible; at La Vida I felt at one with God. But there was one night that will not go unnoticed. Our group got invited to have dinner with a Navajo family near the school that we were fixing. As we pulled in, the first thing I saw was a child sitting in the ground, playing on the ant hills. When we entered the families small but humble home we were informed that they had no electricity or running water. Once dinner came around we were lead to a long picnic table that was placed on a patch of dirt. Durning dinner we all exchanged stories about out backgrounds and loves. While the father of the family told about his memories of using rocks as toys, the little boy that I had seen earlier came to mind. I realized how fortunate my own childhood was, and for that matter, my whole life has been. But I would have to say the one thing that we all had in common at that table was the love of God, which in the end is the most important thing. As we said our goodbyes it occurred to me that some people might think that this family has it bad. But to me, it is quite the opposite; these people get to be in a place where they can be at one with God everyday without all the worldly distractions, without worrying about if they missed a phone call or who is spreading what rumor on Facebook. We can all be that lucky if we take the time to see what really matters in life. As it drew nearer and nearer to the end of the week, I felt so much closer to God. Being in a place with no electronics can do that for you. My favorite thing about New Mexico was the clear sky, watching the sun set and go down day after day reminded me that Jesus is coming soon. When we got home it was as if I had become braver in s many more aspects of my life. For the first time I went up in front of churches and spoke about how the mission changed my life. That then inspired me to do more public speaking. Since then I have done several sermons to better help spread the Word of God. I used to be shy when it came to talking about my beliefs but after the trip, all I could think about was spreading the good news about God’s love and grace.
The Mission that Changed my Life
January 6, 2011