I am Capable. I am Enough.
By: Diana Dale; Member of 2016 Youth Mexico Mission Trip Team
As October of my senior year rolled around I was informed about signups for the Mexico mission trip, I thought about it but decided that I shouldn’t go and I was perfectly content with my decision. Fast forward to the end of December, I was relaxing and enjoying Christmas break, when I heard God telling me “Go” and in that moment I knew I need to go to Mexico, I have no idea why but I need to go. I remember it being such a powerful message to me that I, someone who loves explanations and knowing the reasoning for everything, ran into church that Sunday and said “Can I still go to Mexico?” and lucky for me it was the final weekend to sign up, that afternoon I told my parents that I was going to Mexico and thankfully they were on board. So here I was signing up last minute for a huge trip to Mexico without the slightest clue as to why I was going.
As the trip grew closer and closer I was really excited to go, my friends told me all about it (and how amazing it was) and I knew that it would be an eye opening experience for me, which I knew was something that I needed due to the small bubble that I have always lived in, and I couldn’t wait to get there. I even made predictions on what I would learn, I assumed I would learn that I should be more thankful for the material items that I had, realizing that I have all of these items that I take for granted, that these kids don’t have, and I was excited to learn these lessons.
My excitement for Mexico was crazy, to the point that my best friend(who was also going on the trip) and I would randomly text each other like “Omg we leave in a week” “I’m so excited for Mexico”, to the point that we couldn’t contain our excitement. That was the case up until the day before we left when I was overcome with fear resulting from questioning if I was strong enough or capable to help kids, especially in Mazatlan due to the language barrier. But I knew that I had made the commitment of time and money, so off the Mazatlan I went. We arrived that afternoon and the fears didn’t cease. Later that afternoon we had our first project, a pool party for the kids in the local squatters village, the kids came and everything went so smoothly the kids had fun and so did my fear filled self. But I still had fears. I wasn’t sure if it was just a fluke that it went well or if it was because we were at a pool (where I have always felt most comfortable after being a swimmer my whole life) so the previous fears and worries were still present as well as the overall question that I had still lingered with me: Why was I here, why did God send me of all people?
The first morning in Mazatlan we traveled to Rancho de los Niños, a children’s home for special needs children. We learned about the home and what the future plans were there and then we all dove right into our projects, which helped to alleviate some of my fear since going into the trip the projects didn’t intimidate me, I even believed that that was the reason I was there to do the physical labor that I was capable of doing. As our workday ended we started the part that made me fearful-- “Play with a Purpose” which was different activities designed to help the kids in different ways depending on their needs. The “Play with Purpose” activity that day was a relay race where we would take the kids through an obstacle course and they would get to do different activities. My buddy and I went through the obstacle course and I was hoping that I was doing a good job, but I definitely had lots of doubts and fears in my mind still about my capability. After the activity my buddy started to walk over to a puddle on the patio and sat down by the puddle and started lightly slapping his hands on the water watching it splash and feeling the water, and I would copy what he did. He would slap the water twice, I would follow and we went on and on, just watching the little bit of water in this puddle splash in the air and in that moment I saw the biggest smile over take his face and he started to laugh as we continued to splash in the water. In that moment my fears left me, I felt capable, I was enough, I felt like that smile was God’s sign to me that I was capable and I was here for a reason that was more than doing just physical labor.
As the week went on we traveled to more children’s homes and squatters villages and I would watch the kids faces light up with a smile and I knew in those moments that I was capable, I was enough. Which taught me that I didn’t need to fear, the fears that I wasn’t capable, that I wasn’t enough didn’t need to exist because my God is with me so I shouldn’t fear. Many times in my life, I have faced things that scare me and my primary fear going into many things was capability, I was afraid that I would do something and I would fail, I wouldn’t be able to do something and I would embarrass myself and possibly others. So going into this trip I was afraid that I would be the person on the team where everyone would ask themselves “Why is that person here, what are they doing, do they even know what they’re doing?” But I decided to take the leap of faith and go and if my fears did come true, hopefully I could laugh it off or something to get through it. But as the week went on I learned that those fears didn’t need to be present, because if I was following God’s plan, He would be there for me and He would make me capable, I would be enough. This was definitely a big step for me especially now with heading off to college this fall in a new state where these fears of not being capable would definitely scare me. But now I am not scared, I am joyous and excited for the next steps in my life with the knowledge that my God made me capable and knows that I am enough, which he showed me during my time in Mexico.
As I learned more about how I shouldn’t be fearful, I learned about relationships. At the homes I met kids who had parents but their parents couldn’t take care of them, kids whose friends would leave them after something they did, kids who didn’t have churches, church families or youth pastors that supported them and helped them build their relationship with God and I met kids that didn’t have a relationship with God. All of which were relationships that I took completely for granted. In my time at the children’s home I learned to be thankful for my relationships. I learned that I needed to stop taking them for granted, because at the end of the day the most important thing is the people who you love and that love you. I learned that having parents who would give the world for you isn’t guaranteed, I learned that having friends that love you though the good and the bad aren’t something that everyone has, I learned that youth pastors and a church family that helps and encourages you to have a beautiful relationship with God is rare and something that should be treasured and finally I learned that a relationship with God is one of the most amazing things that I could be graced with, to have someone who will always encourage you and push you to be better is something incredible that I shouldn’t take for granted. My relationships with people are not something that is given, it is something that I am blessed to have and something that after seeing the lives of the children in Mazatlan I will never take for granted again.
God sent me to Mazatlan to get a new take on life, to stop taking my relationships for granted and instead to treasure my relationships with everyone, and to stop living in fear that I am not capable that I am not enough. I stand here today thankful for my people and ready to conquer the world because I am capable and I am enough.