Rachel is a One Mission Student that has spent the last three summers serving in Mexico City.

This summer, I had the chance to serve in Mexico City alongside missionaries in ministry to existing churches, college students, children, and people in parks for the third summer. Each year, we’ve worked with a local church, led English conversation groups at a local university, helped with VBS, taught Bible studies, and done various ministries in parks. The past two years, I’ve experienced God’s grace in seeing people come to know Jesus. This year, I saw His grace in a different way.

We went to two churches each weekend, one on Saturday and Sunday night, and one on Sunday morning. Saturday nights, I got several opportunities to teach Bible study. Our night-time church was special to me in that it was a church we had a hand in planting last summer. When we left last summer, we left one regular attender. Almost every study and service this summer was attended by fifteen or more. God is using the members of the church to grow the church, and they put on a VBS to minister to more children in the neighborhood. The growth we saw as we were there studying and working with them was incredible.

Our experience in the church on Sunday mornings was equally encouraging. Some church members had gone deeper in studying the Bible on their own. Some had grown in reaching out to the community. What was a small, unhealthy church last year is now a small church that is reaching out to its community. This year, instead of doing outreach for them, we did outreach with them. Their numerical growth is slow, but God gives good grace in spiritual growth and working with them to support them as they led outreach and VBS programs was an incredible encouragement.

One of our ministries was to college students through English conversation groups. We’ve had a lot of success in this, as the two professions of faith I’ve been able to witness in Mexico City were both there. This year, we didn’t see any, but we saw God’s sovereignty in who He brought to our circles. One guy who had at one point in his life gone from Catholic to “militant atheist” returned every week as my teammate Tori and I engaged him in gospel conversations. We gave him a Bible, and he read it. We told him our stories, and he listened and engaged with us. Though he hasn’t accepted Christ, he’s curious. We had so many good conversations in those times of English practice this summer. It was especially encouraging in that we’ve had some trouble with the administration there due to the often-spiritual nature of our group. This year, we intended to avoid being openly spiritual, intending instead to make gospel appointments with students for later. Instead, the students led the way and asked the hard questions, and we shared the gospel more than we ever have there before. Gospel truths were planted deep and wide this year!

Even as much experience as I have in that place, God hasn’t lost the ability to surprise me. Every year, struggles have changed, successes have looked different, and ministry has varied. No amount of experience qualifies me to tell God what He can and can’t do, and I’m so grateful that He has plans bigger and different than I could imagine or make. If you served this summer or have served on mission before, I encourage you to open your eyes to what God is doing in and through you. Even if it isn’t the glamorous work of leading loads of people to Christ, He has a will and a purpose, and He is faithful to finish His work. God works in so many ways! Don’t be discouraged if you didn’t see anyone come to Christ. You never know what God will do with the tiny seeds you leave behind.

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