Madison & Bianca
Here are Madison' thoughts...
Colombia was definitely a life changing experience, and I couldn’t imagine my life without Colombia. I learned way more than I taught there, from kids as little as 5 years old. God definitely gave me the opportunity to grow as a person. As Sheila had said, we ended as we had started, with Him. We started in prayer, thanking him for the experience we were about to have. And ended thanking him for the one we had. God was such an important part to the process of the missions trip we went on, a lot of things that we did wouldn’t have been accomplished if it wasn’t for God. It was a true blessing to be on this trip with the amazing people I got to experience it with.
But even with the blessings of happiness, there were the blessing of pain and heart break. We went to so many places where your heart just broke for the people you only got to spend a short amount of time with. You were able to make connections and relationships with those people and somehow give them hope. That was my top priority on this trip, giving these people hope. It was brought to my attention that the kids in Colombia were quite similar to those in Canada with the obvious differences of course. But I thought of those I know who were truly struggling with their view of faith in Canada. Those people usually said that they had had God and Christianity shoved down there throat for too long. It is hard to show God to those whose minds are clouded by those who have done them wrong, or affected them in a harsh way. I wanted the opportunity to show God’s love through the way I acted, the way I approached situations. And then when they would confront me curious of why I had come to Colombia, that was my shot. That was God’s gift to me, the opportunity to spread seeds for him. I can only hope those seeds grow into something one day, no matter how long it takes for them to sprout.
Through this trip God had planted seeds of His own in my heart, hoping and knowing that they would sprout and I would become changed. The Colombians that I came in contact with changed my life. They are truly loving and caring people; they don’t care about receiving anything in return for their kindness. I met many people on this trip who I will always remember. One of them tells me, “Radical people change the world”. I find that they radically love and radically care for everyone. They have such big hearts that are truly on fire for God. They are so expressive of their faith. Everyone struggles and I am sure they are not without struggles of their own; I witnessed some of their struggles. I have always strived to live my life by the book set by society. Sure some of their instructions correspond to the instructions laid out by the bible, just enough not to question it, but not all correspond. I know I have to reevaluate the way I live my life and the way God wants me to live my life. I know my life is God’s and I happily give my being to Him. I have to be ready for the unexpected in life, those times where things don’t go as planned, by God wants them this way because through that experience we spread more of Him. For example, we were suppose to go to this orphanage to get a tour of the place, there weren’t suppose to be any kids or anything because it was a place they went before school and after school. It turned out that there were kids and we had to entertain them for an hour and a half to two hours or something like that. On the spot we had to work together and find games and things to do with them. Then we shared a Bible story with them, no props or anything. It was truly one of my favourite times.
In this experience God has showed me that, of course I will face trials where I am unsure of the outcome, but through him, everything will be as He has planned, and when everything is through I hope to be in Heaven with him. Colombia has brought me closer to God and closer to the classmates I go to school with. They are all truly amazing and I got to watch them struggle, but also thrive in the service of God. I am blessed to have them as peers and am excited to see where the rest of the year takes us. Where God takes us, only he truly knows our path in life and I hope that they all have an amazing journey.
Hola! This is Bianca
I am really grateful that I had the chance to go to Colombia. Thank you for all the support and prayers. So many things have happened the past 10 days and I learned a lot. There is so much to say, but I will just write down some of the really special lessons that I learned.
I experienced so much love from the Colombians. The people in Colombia are AMAZING. They are so loving, caring and welcoming. They are the nicest people I have ever met. They are just the best, however many of them that we visited have gone through some hardships. This makes me wonder, why would God make such good people to suffer? Watching those lovely kids staying in the orphanages was super hard. I didn't understand, why would people just abandon these sweet kids? And why would God let it happen? I think one of the things that God wants me to learn is to put faith in Him, to believe in His plan, no matter how it seems. God didn't put them there, just for nothing. When we were trying to help, in some ways, I felt like I had gained more as I was trying to give. We were there to build each other up. No only had we impacted their lives, but they had also hugely influenced ours. We need to have faith in God, because He has chosen us and has great plans for each one of us - to stay strong in Him, because we are here to light up the darkness. 1 Peter 2:9 says, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light"
Another place that hit me the most was the nursing home. I remember how happy the old people were when we greeted them one by one. The joy that they got from us just doing the littlest thing hit me so hard, I wish I could have stayed longer or done more for them. This place got me thinking a lot. Why do I only want to do more when I am in Colombia? It shouldn't be about the place or time. I can do things for God anywhere, any time. It is really funny that I always find excuses for myself that I am still too young or I am still not ready. 1 Timothy 4:12 " Let no man despise thy youth, but be thou and example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." A really big thing that I learned from this trip is to always be prepared. I shouldn't be acting like a Christian only when I was in Colombia, but should always act like Christ in my every day life.
Thank you for praying for us! And for reading this.... I am a really bad writer....jajajaja!