OH. MY. STARS. I am in love with Puerto Rico!!! With the environment, the people, the beach… everything!
The reason I was on a mission trip in Puerto Rico was to help with relief from Hurricane Maria and to evangelize. Part evangelizing, part humanitarian. I went with Cru High School, which is a middle school and high school ministry that is part of Cru/Campus Crusade for Christ International. The team was made up of 13 students and 5 adults. We got to visit two schools while we were in Puerto Rico, María Mendoza and Catacumba. We also visited three total churches, two of which acted as food pantries. We attended church at Iglesia La Viña on Sunday, worked in the food pantry at Catacumba on Wednesday (it was a church in addition to a private school), and worked in the food pantry at The Family Church on Thursday. We also went to three different beaches and visited Old San Juan at the end of the week. It was fun, but it was also a learning experience.
The biggest thing God taught me during my time in Puerto Rico was about His sovereignty. He is Adonai, Lord, and Master of all. But He is a just master, who doesn’t lord his position over us. Mark 10:42-45 says, “And Jesus called them to Him and said to them, ‘You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.’” He gives us an example. True leaders will put others before ourselves, which we were able to put into practice in Puerto Rico.
While we were in Puerto Rico we went to a school called Catacumba to join them in their chapel time, to talk about Cru, and to share the Gospel with them. We split off into small groups, one of which I co-lead with Hannah Shafer, one of my teammates and best friends. Our group consisted of the two of us and four sixth grade girls. The girls were very chatty while we were talking about Jesus and explaining the Good News, so I wasn’t sure the message was getting through to them. However, when we gave the girls index cards at the end of our small group time, we told them to write a symbol or symbols indicating their decision regarding what we told them about Jesus. Two of our girls indicated that they wanted to accept Jesus that day! Later on, all the small groups came together again to form a big group, and those who accepted Him were asked to stand so they could be celebrated. My two sixth grade girls were the first to stand up! God worked in their hearts even though I felt like I wasn’t getting through to them.
We had plenty more experiences like that throughout the week. Ultimately, we personally evangelized 76 students, had 103 spiritual conversations, met 291 students in classrooms, hosted 40 students in the afterschool outreaches, completed over 8 hours of service, and sorted and packed over 2000 pounds of food to give to families.
I am positive my life will never be the same because of this mission trip. The love and joy I experienced as a result of getting to serve others will not ever leave my mind or heart. I am looking forward to all God has for me in the mission field, starting right here in Indiana! Drop a comment down below telling me how you plan to make a difference in your area!
P.S. Enjoy the little slideshow I made about the trip!
Jaicey is an emerging actress and filmmaker, with big dreams and goals. She lives with her parents and her two younger brothers in Indianapolis, IN. She is a huge movie and comics nerd and especially loves Marvel. You can often find her outside and/or with her nose in a book. She loves Jesus, which is shown through her bubbly personality and people-loving nature.