The temperature is a scorching 100 degrees outside. It is a clear afternoon in the sandy regions of Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. To the tourists this fishing village is known as Rocky Point. A slight breeze gives little relief to the heat, but the beating down sun drains your energy and motivation. The roads are made completely of sand. Makeshift homes line the sandy roads and appear to be constructed of whatever materials could be found. Paper, bottles, and other assorted trash are strewn across the sand and blow feverishly with each gust of wind. You are then reminded that these homes and the land you are standing on was once the city landfill. In the middle of this desert, you forget that you are in a beachfront resort town. All you see is beach to the horizon with no sign of an ocean. A couple of ragged tents are set up in the middle of this landfill. Slowly children, adults and local dogs begin to migrate to these tents in hope for a small free meal and the possibility to meet some of the local baseball players. The children’s ears perk up when the announcement is made that they will be able to play a few games with there local sports heros. Laughing and excitement cut through the air as the little boys play tug of war and the little girls play musical chairs. It makes you forget about the heat and the fact that you are in the most poverty stricken area that you have ever visited in your life. Once the games are completed, the children are lined up for there meal. As in all cultures the activity of lining up involves prodding, poking and cutting in line. Once the chaos of lining up is complete, a short prayer is spoken. Now it’s time for hot dogs!
On July 15, 2011, at about 1pm, after traveling three and a half hours, this was the scene of our first mission project in Mexico. Stephanie and I, along with five other members of our church had joined others from Phoenix and the Weekend Missions staff to serve the community of Puerto Peñasco. I knew that God had a lot in store for Stephanie and me during this short weekend, however, I had no idea the impact this trip would have on my life. As I mentioned in my previous devotion, “Line in the Sand,” I was very hesitant about going to Mexico. After being convicted by the Holy Spirit, I chose to be like Isaiah, “Here I am. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8) What I did not know before this trip, was that God would provide Stephanie and me with more guidance about our calling. This year Stephanie and I have been praying and asking God to guide us to where He wants us to be. This can be a little scary, because we have to rely on faith. However, we must put our trust in the Lord, as it states in Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
So what is your calling? This can seem to be a daunting question. For myself I have been asking this question since I was saved at the age of five. It wasn’t until recently that it finally dawned on me what my calling as a Christian is supposed to be. Paul wrote in Philippians 2:5 that we are to have the same attitude as Jesus Christ. Jesus said that He did not come to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45). Jesus also said that the greatest commandment was to “…Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” followed by loving your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:36-39). So what does this all mean? Essentially as Christians God has called us to serve. Serving may mean becoming a missionary in a foreign land. Serving may mean becoming the pastor of a Church. Serving may mean becoming a Sunday School teacher, a youth or children’s leader, or even as a greeter or usher at your local church. Serving may mean going to Mexico and serving hundreds of children and adults hot dogs in the blistering heat. The truth is that we as Christians are to go against the norms of our society and become servants in whatever capacity that we can so that we glorify Jesus Christ. This can be done in our churches, communities, homes, schools, work, and even in other countries. No matter where we are called we must remember that we are called to serve and our service is to honor God. I think Peter says it well when he wrote, “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:11)
All from the NIV
Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Matthew 22:36-39 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Philipians 2:5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.