Friday, April 13, 2007

Mexican Journey

“What makes you come alive?” was a life-changing question that was asked of me by a very wise and dear friend about three years ago when I was in the midst of a job search and looking at a possible career change.

I had been sharing with her that I wasn’t really sure what direction to go in, and just didn’t know what I wanted to do. The question provoked me somehow, and when she asked it I thought “you know, I really have no idea what it is that I love to do, and what makes me feel alive when I do it.”

Later on that year I had the opportunity to return to Mexico on a short-term missions trip with a team from my church. I say return because 20 years earlier I had a somewhat disastrous experience as a short-term missionary in Mexico, and I have to say that as I returned this time I was absolutely paralyzed with fear that my experience was going to be a repeat of my first journey to Mexico. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I remember the moment exactly, and it is still as clear and vivid in my mind today as it was then – it was our third day in Mexico, and we had gone into a neighborhood to go door to door inviting people to come to the church for some groceries and a meal. We were walking down dirt roads, with dogs barking at us from everywhere (including the rooftops!) There were little boys driving cars down the roads, and we were struggling to communicate with people who were wondering who these foreigners were that were knocking on their door.

As I was walking down one of those roads, suddenly it hit me – this is it! I am in the middle of a dirt road in Mexico and I have never felt so alive in all my life! I was amazed, and continued to be throughout the rest of the week at how different my experience was from the first time, and how I fell in love all over again with these beautiful, resilient people of Mexico.

I have returned to Mexico three times since that first trip three years ago, and am now getting ready to leave my job and go to Mexico for a ten week mission term this summer. You may ask how I arrived at this point in my life; well, that story is too long to tell in one sitting. You will have to come back again and I will share a bit more of my journey. Hasta luego!