“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’”

Matthew 28:18-20

My junior year of high school I felt a tug on my heart that I will never forget, the call to go on my first mission trip. That school year I had been serving on the missions team at my student ministry, I had never been on a mission trip yet God still used me alongside other students who had been. My student ministry was sponsoring two children at the time in Peru and Guatemala. The students contributed financially to the sponsorships and those of us on the missions team also wrote them letters and got to know our kids. We threw them birthday parties at church and would send them pictures of banners we made them. As I learned more about the lives of these two children and the life of the sweet girl my family was also sponsoring from Guatemala, I knew I had to go and do whatever it would take to go and meet them in Guatemala. That meant I had around 6 months to fundraise enough money to get my job-less 17-year-old self and my mom on our church’s mission trip to Guatemala that year. There were a lot of trials throughout that time, primarily financial trials. I was not able to make enough money to pay for the 9-day trip. I didn’t understand why God would put that on my heart and make it so hard. I was making handmade accessories and selling them for money, babysitting, saving birthday money, and styling hair and doing makeup and putting all the money towards the trip. By the time our final payment was due for the trip, I was just a little shy of the cost for the 3-day option of the mission trip. It felt unfair, I didn’t want to just go for 3 days when most of the time would be in travel and we only had one work day in the country. But then God reminded me of his command to his disciples in Matthew 28. Jesus said to GO. He said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations”. The use of the word “therefore” means that our action comes as a response to something. We are to respond to God’s endless mercy on our lives. We are to respond to the sacrifice it took for our sins to be washed clean by Jesus’s blood on the cross. We are to respond to the blessings he gives us despite our failures. We are to respond to his love. Our response should be to GO. Go and make disciples of all nations. God wanted me to go and make disciples in Guatemala, even if it was just for one or two days. So God allowed for my parents to help me cover what was left of the trip cost and then my mom and I were off to Guatemala. I got to visit schools and homes in the neighborhoods where churches were being planted. We prayed over widowed mothers and showed them the hope we have in Jesus Christ. I got to meet my sponsor children face to face. I got to hug Sucely and Lazaro and tell them and their parents how much God loves them and we love them. God used even the short time I had there, it was valuable and meaningful. I learned so much about myself and my view on life shifted. My life purpose is not to do what I enjoy or what society tells me I should be doing. My purpose is much greater, much more fulfilling. My purpose is to make disciples. My purpose is to bring joy where there otherwise is sorrow, to bring hope, and to be a light in the darkness. I live to point the world to the good news that Jesus came to this earth to die for us so that our sins would be forgiven and so that we could have eternal, beautiful life in heaven with our creator, God.

This call to “go” is for every follower of Christ. Not everyone is going to be called to go out into a different country right now to share the gospel but we are all called to go in one form or another. Maybe it’s in another country and maybe it’s in your own community. GO and make disciples, baptize them, and show them the way they should walk in the Lord.

Photo of me and my mom meeting Sucely our sponsor child and her mother.

Home visit in Guatemala