I just wanted to share a quick Testimony with you all for the mission trip I went on this past week with Jonathan, Jeff, and Brandon to Guadalajara. This was my 2nd time going to the Guadalajara mission trip. I went on the Guadalajara mission trip back in 2019 with a couple of people from ANF and ROCK church. It was very very nice to see some of the people I met back in 2019 again in this year’s trip, however, it seemed like a lot of things have also changed since then. First of all, when we arrived at Guadalajara and attended Sunday service of our missionary’s church, Iglesia Bautista del Señor, the church had been struggling a lot since COVID and saw a drastic decline in their church membership. Many members have either passed away or left the church due to COVID, and I realized I had been too careless in thinking about how COVID has affected certain churches around the world. From what I had seen from this year’s trip compared to the trip back in 2019, it seemed like the church membership had decreased by at least 70%. I had such mixed emotions of feeling very sad about the current situation of the church but also very thankful for the remaining 30% of the church members for remaining in their place and attending church and House Church so faithfully despite the struggles and pain that they were going through. I just want to ask our congregation to keep the people of Iglesia Bautista del Señor in your prayers constantly.
We visited total of 6 Huichol villages during our trip. For those who are not very familiar with the living condition of the Huichol villages, they live in very remote places in the mountains, often ostracized by the government and people of Mexico, with very little income and supplies of food and clothing. They mostly have no electricity and no ways of obtaining clean water so villagers often suffer from stomach viruses from drinking unpurified water. I can probably talk for hours in terms of what I took away from the villagers during this trip, but I wanted to focus on one important lesson I learned. Our Guadalajara missionary, Pastor Chu, told us about the effort and dedication some of the villagers make just to attend church service or to just simply go to the church building from where they live. For some villagers, they walk 4 to 6 hours from where they live just to go to the church building to attend service. The villagers reminded me of what genuiness of faith was from 1 Peter 1:6-7: “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Pastor Chu also talked about the worth and the value of their attendance and commitment to church. He questioned if their worth or value of attending church would be the same as our worth or value of attending church. I personally have been dreading over driving to church ever since we moved to the new building. Even though it added only 10 more minutes of driving, not even walking, driving to church, I have been complaining so much and have been in so much discontent lately. This trip helped me realize a lot more how embarrassing my commitments were to God and to this church.
Honestly, I am still struggling a lot in my spiritual walk with God currently. Even as I was leaving for the Guadalajara trip, I had so much anxiety and frustration every time I thought about all the assignments and work stuff I had to catch up on by this weekend. However, I am thankful because I gained so much more different perspective regarding life from this trip. If you are complacent in your spiritual life or just in life in general like I am, I highly recommend going on these mission trips. I’m sure the impact of actually going on these trips will be way more impactful than the impact of just hearing our testimonies. I just pray that I continue to cherish on the hearts of the villagers and the hearts of the church members of Iglesia Bautista del Señor.