Something my church has instilled in me from a young age is that missions are so important. Whether financially supporting them, praying for the people that go on them, or participating in them yourself they are an amazing way to share the love and Word of God. During my sophomore year of high school, I had the opportunity to go on a mission trip to the country of Guatemala. I was in my third year of Spanish at the time and by no means was I fluent, but I was still excited to see how God was going to use me. Upon arriving in the country the amount of suffering was evident. My heart truly ached for these people, but I was so wrong. I should be concerned about the state of my heart not their state of living. While having little to nothing and living in a house with a dirt floor, these people showed me what it looked like to truly have joy. I used what Spanish I had to talk to a local pastor there. He said that residents of the United States are so focused on material things and how we can better our lives while these people do not have much at all but were so willing to share. I went into this trip thinking about how I could impact the lives of these people, and yes I did have that opportunity, but ultimately I felt like they left a greater impact on me. When I returned home I saw how privileged I was. Things of this world will bring you temporary happiness but I learned that true joy is found in the Lord. Through this eye-opening experience, God showed me my passion for the Spanish language and the people of Latin America. I thought that I would go to Spanish three and that would be it, but here I am, a senior in high school, in my fifth year of Spanish and planning on minoring in it in college. Without the encouragement from my church home, my wonderful Spanish teachers, the opportunity to go on this trip, and the call the Lord placed on my life I would have never known that I would forever want to be involved in the work the Lord is doing in Latin America.
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