Mission Tijuana 2018

Greetings all,

I was made aware that this is quite a lengthy post. Imagine that, I am long-winded so suddenly I have a long story to share! However, it was suggested to perhaps create some sub-headings. I took that idea and made it a step further even. Here at the top you can now find a linked table of contents to each of those sub-headings. Hopefully, this addition will make the story a little easier to read.
Thanks for being amazing. I hope you enjoy the story, no matter where you pick-up at or leave off.

The Early Beginnings

The story of Mission Tijuana begins well before the trip itself took place.

We could go as far back as when I was a young child aspiring to follow my sister’s footsteps and telling people for several years that I wanted to become a missionary. There have been countless miracles and struggles leading up to this trip. Here I intend to share some of those in the time preparing for, during, and after the trip.

It was January and I was attending Revive on a Thursday evening at the West Des Moines campus of Lutheran Church of Hope. They were announcing this evening that there was mission trip being planned for the Revive ministry in May. There were information meetings approaching and I decided to attend one.

See, I had always wanted to do an international mission trip. I actually had set a goal the year before, to deliver a meal package made by Meals From The Heartland. I had spent a lot of time volunteering with local missions work including helping MFTH, and I knew it was time to go out further into the world.

After doing some research and attending an informational meeting, I got the details figured out. It was coming up soon, in May and I was not sure of how I could afford it yet, especially the soon approaching deposit. Little did I know at the time, God had bigger plans for me and they were only just beginning to be revealed.

I went through the next couple of months aiming to get my passport soon, so I got the paperwork filled out. I also worked my butt off hoping to be able to afford the down payment. Then the email arrived one afternoon, the May trip had been cancelled! Instead, they were going to open the future August trip registrations up to only Revive members to begin with and then the rest of the congregation after.

Getting Fired Up

This was a huge relief on the time and financial considerations. I settled down a bit and started with making sure I could get a passport. In late March, I was accepted and the passport was on its way! Then God started pulling on my heart to go in a different direction with my job. At the time, I was not feeling very fulfilled with what I was doing at a lawn care company. There was a couple of people who visited Revive one evening and were recruiting new summer staff. They literally said “If you aren’t worried about money, and you aren’t feeling fulfilled at your job, quit your job and come work for us at Wildwood Hills Ranch!”.

Granted, everyone needs money to live – I really don’t like money and I do my best not to worry about it even though it is a huge stress cause it seems like. I still don’t let money drive me. So, they got my attention and soon after I felt God was saying to take a leap of faith for him. I went for it. I actually even went as far as going through in that order of quitting my job first then applying for the job at Wildwood. Hardly a week after my application I was in an interview and a few days later I was getting a call that I was the new Summer Support Staff Facilities Director.

There was one key thing though. I was not making much money during my gap in employment and the deadline for the deposit on the trip was quickly approaching. I also knew at the time, especially with the new job not making much money, I was going to have to raise funds. I talked it over with my dad and he agreed to make the deposit payment if I would pay him back with my first couple of checks from the ranch. I went for it!

That fundraising I mentioned earlier, was also bearing down on me. I was really hoping to get it started before I left for Wildwood- knowing I would not have as much time to work on it while I was there. I decided that while I would love to be able to write an awesome plea for funds, I am way better at talking about it – so I scripted and recorded a video with some help from the production team at Hope Ankeny.

I was almost done editing that video when suddenly the computer crashed. From what we could figure out at the time, all was lost. We spent a few days troubleshooting it to no avail. I didn’t have enough time to re-record and there was a lot of stress around it. I did my best to give it up to God and tried writing a few things about the trip so I could begin to campaign.

I was #firedupforJesus before going to Wildwood. Knowing that I had secured my place on the Mission Tijuana trip.

God had other plans and before I knew it I got swept away with starting at Wildwood. It was incredible. I was getting to see these kids’ lives change and I knew I was making a huge impact even with the work I was doing just in the background keeping things going and looking good. One weekend I decided to road trip back into town with a couple of coworkers – I needed to get a couple of things at home and I was going to drop a few things off too. While on this trip, I last-minute drove us to my church on a Saturday afternoon before a service. I didn’t even know if many people would be there. I was showing them around the church giving them a grand tour when it ended in my favorite spot of the production loft. Coming back through, it had occurred to me that the computer my video was on was functioning again.

It was recovered! Indeed, the work was not all lost and I was able to get the video from the machine to make a post. By this point, I was already a couple of payments into the trip and really needed the help as it was taking a hit financially. I had made an application for financial aid from Hope but was not sure about the results yet. So, I was pretty excited to finally be able to launch the GoFundMe how I wanted to, with a video!

God Saying “Yes, You Are Going”

God had really appeared then. It was later that evening that I posted the video and launched the GoFundMe. I set the goal for the full price of the trip because I knew I still needed to pay my dad back and was struggling with bills because of the payment I had last made. Again, God really showed up! Within 24 hours of me posting the video and opening the donations, I had raised the complete goal. I even had a check written to the church from someone who helped the total as well. It was incredible. I was literally sitting down on my bunk at the ranch, almost in tears of joy and certainly in shock.

It was at that point I knew God had big plans in store for me and that he wanted me to go. I was so concerned to begin with but he showed up in the biggest way possible and it was insane. I am still to this day getting tingles writing this and I am extremely grateful to each person who made a donation to help me get to Mission Tijuana.

The team I was blessed to be a part of during my time at Wildwood Hills Ranch summer 2018.

The story does not end here though – I haven’t even made it to Mexico yet, remember?

Well, with a bit of a relief on finances of the situation, I was still in the running for financial aid. The next thing I knew, I was approved! And I am so glad I was too, because things started to get rough at Wildwood.

It was early July at the ranch and I got injured on a weekend. Within a couple weeks of being injured, things really started to get rumbled in my life as my time with Wildwood came to a close. It was a very hard few days after being done at Wildwood. But I was being reminded by someone that God clearly had a plan, there was no other way that these kinds of circumstances would have stacked up that way… getting injured and going home, vehicle breaking down, and then unforeseeable delays in getting back. I was still a wreck but I knew I couldn’t let it tear me down. I went back to my local church branch and said put me to work, because I hadn’t been there all summer at this point.

Hope VBS 2018

God definitely had plans, I needed to trust him and I was struggling. It was the week before VBS so I knew they needed help. That Friday, one of the production staff resigned. I was then to fill his role that week of VBS. Indeed, the silver lining that I was seeing was that I was back to Ankeny in time for my favorite thing each year. If I had been at Wildwood still – I would have missed VBS.

This year at VBS, I went all out! I gave it all up to God, I had to trust him and believe in him that things would work out despite the terrible-ness I was going through. At the beginning of the week, I was a pretty laid-back but stressed production tech floating everywhere looking the normal part of the role, getting the job done. Before the week ended, I was honorary dance team leader and rocking a multi-colored mohawk with a crazy headband. Lit up with LED bracelets and wearing a different team shirt during different times.

Sitting among the students during one of the sessions at Hope VBS 2018

I was so incredibly blessed to have been able to be back to do VBS, despite the rough circumstances that had gotten me there. And I was still reminded, that God had a plan to begin with and I didn’t even know it. It was continuing to unfold before me, I just needed to have faith. Which was about to be tested.

The week following VBS, things got rough again. The high had worn off and was sinking more into a sickness from the exhaustion. I also was feeling the blow from having been gone from Wildwood so long at the time. More things continued to barrage me.

It was during the first couple weeks of August that I truly felt like the devil was trying to take me out. I was on a steady course to Mission Tijuana, the payments had all been made, I had invested in things I needed for the trip, I had all my paperwork and affairs in order, this trip was happening! But as I said, I felt the devil trying to take me out at any and every point he could target. During my 2+ years of sobriety then, I had never struggled so hard not to go out and use. I was dealing with heavy depression and even had an anxiety attack for the first time in many months. Putting my faith in God, he got me through. It further reinforced my thoughts that I was on the right course because the adversary had no business going after me if I was not doing God’s work.

Des Moines to San Diego

Are you ready for the details about the trip itself? I hate to disappoint that this trip will be slightly paled in comparison by the events leading up to it. However, there are some great things ahead. Your anticipation is over, as it is now time to unfold the trip!

Mission Tijuana 2018 began Friday morning on August 24th at the wee hours of the morning after a night of little sleep. I was prepared as I could be. I had packed and repacked, I was well-rested but running on adrenaline from the night of laying in bed awake from excitement, I was in good health, my heart and mind were right, I was ready to be taken back and taken away, I was open to the experience and whatever God wanted for me.

The first flight was a leg from Des Moines to Minneapolis. I had hardly been able to meet the people in my group before this and unfortunately the flight seating arrangement was not optimal for meeting on the plane. This had been only the 3rd time in my life that I had ever flown. I was a little nervous but man was I excited.

With all that, the first incredible thing of the trip actually happened here on this first flight. I found my seat by the window, only to blocked in by a random stranger sitting on the aisle seat. Of course, before we are even pushed off from the gate, I decide to introduce myself because I like being friendly. The flight seemed to fly by (pun intended) rather rapidly after that. Because after striking the conversation with the man next to me, it didn’t end until we parted ways at the airport in Minneapolis. I had met a new friend in Christ! He was encouraged to hear about my plans, was moved by my testimony, was excited to hear back from me about what happened. We exchanged information, and the next day he sent me a lengthy email. He had mentioned his daughter had recently done a mission trip, so he copied her into the email as well so we could connect after it.

Really, I had no idea what I was in for but that was super encouraging to be able to start the trip meeting someone from a whole different place and have them support me and want to stay in touch. Indeed, we are now friends on Facebook and email on a semi-regular basis. He’s actually looking forward to reading this story. (Hola, my new friend in Christ!)

During the next flight, it was a little more uneventful but we had time at the Minneapolis airport to get to know each other a bit more. This trip was a much larger plane and longer flight. I decided I needed to relax. I found myself listening to one of my favorite Spotify worship playlists and worshiping from 35k feet in the air. Talk about an elevated experience. I continued to pray and surrender to God the adventure I was embarking on.

The Dividing Wall

We touched down in San Diego International Airport and I realized that my lips were getting chapped. I was thinking it would be cheaper to buy some lip balm outside the airport somewhere between San Diego and the border. Plus, I was kind of rushed to get off the plane and to the vehicle. I quickly mention as I get on the van “I need some chapstick” and the adventure ensued!

I was making a really great impression on my new travel mates, bugging them for the chapstick, as I experienced In-And-Out burger for the first time in my life. It was delicious but my lips stung a little bit. A couple of new friends I made had decided to take a quick walk while the rest finished eating. We couldn’t find a convenience store and found out that Starbucks does not have lip balm. We make our way back only to find the vans loaded waiting for us. But alas, after leaving In-and-Out we stopped at a random gas station and I ran inside to buy a tube of Carmex (for the win). We were finally on the road towards the border after many laughs, especially quipping that I at least didn’t forget my passport! (that is a different story, for someone else to tell)

As we approach the border, I find out that it is the busiest border between US and Mexico. It was beginning to sink in at that point, we were about to go through some really serious stuff. Well, going into Mexico ended up pretty easy. But the impact was not. As we were up close to the border, I started to see Homeland Security and Customs & Border Patrol more prevalent. I realized that there was a nation divided over this location and miles of similar.

I don’t intend to get political here, but I have to share this as it was part of the experience of this trip. After passing into Mexico officially, it gave me chills to see the border walls. The United States had erected some pretty massive fences, barbed wire topped, paved roads on both sides, huge lights, and even utilized the terrain to create impasses. We were told by our driver that there was a steep ravine we were going by that people would attempt to cross even in heavy fog conditions just to attempt to cross into the United States. The wall on the Mexican side of this was sparse and pieced together from scraps and salvaged resources. Indeed, there was a wall on the Mexican side.

I want to reiterate, this all gave me chills seeing the border first-hand like this. Both from the perspective of knowing the political hot-button topic it is in the states and the perspective of really seeing what it was that the people of Mexico were trying to escape. Indeed, I was beginning to see what a third-world country was looking like. Hardly into the border, I was seeing what privileged lives we have here in the United States.

Arriving To Tijuana

Traveling further south down a main highway, I was seeing the ocean at full for the first time. This was glazed over quickly by then beginning to see how there were Americans developing and living down there as “vacation homes” and communities popped up. Some half-completed. Then there were massive resort like structures that were incomplete, next to homes and structures that were put together from the same kind of scraps and salvaged resources I had seen earlier on the Mexican border wall.

We then took a sharp turn off the high way to a side road and a short road up through a neighborhood into a gated compound. We had arrived, Youth With A Mission San Diego/Baja campus in San Antonio del Mar, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. A place they call “Base Camp”. It unfortunately, looked a bit out of place considering the surroundings. Though developed and a bit more modern and stable looking in general, even a gated community right next door that looked more American than Mexican, the area surrounding YWAM was still spotted with rough parts. I, of course, hadn’t seen much of Mexico yet.

Upon arriving, it looked like a resort. I think the only thing missing was a pool, despite the ocean beach being visibly only a couple miles away. The accommodations had me in wonder. I felt pretty spoiled but appreciated it as being blessed. In hindsight, I was spoiled, blessed, and still blind to what I was about to experience.

Early the next morning we get up and have an amazing meal, one of many to come. We go through a debrief of the day as a team, then we load up into the vans and begin the trip to the build site. The trip started back on the highway, but continuing to go south further into the country following the ocean. Again we were seeing random communities of what were likely American vacation homes, divided by a few more incredible skeletons of buildings that looked to be planned as resorts or high end condos. I would later here the buildings were in that state for years, seemingly abandoned.

It wasn’t until we started turning to the east inland that I became more aware of what life was like in a third-world country.

It still rattles me thinking about it. It breaks my heart.

There really are hardly words for it and to attempt to describe it would hardly do it justice, it would also be… cold, or insincere, to type it out and have you read it.

I could tell you we drove by a couple of furniture stores that were basically parking lots with a giant heaps of furniture. Couches on top of recliners on top of tables on top of each other. You may have the right image in your head but the depth and meaning behind seeing it in person is, completely lost on you unless you have seen it yourself.

We continue the drive towards the build site, winding more towards the south again. The density of the urban sprawl begins to thin, but not before going through more neighborhoods that are burned into my memory as what we would consider squalor here in America but there may have been considered a good home.

I try to be honest here as I share via text. Communication in one of it’s coldest forms in my opinion, however it can be somewhat warmed by forthright and openness. Vulnerability seems easier when you have no idea who you are being vulnerable to. The topic however, makes things different.

I struggle to recount these things to you because as I have said, it breaks my heart to think of them again. It makes me want to pour out to the people struggling with little opportunity.

We lead up to the trip to Tijuana with a bit of training from YWAM called “When Helping Hurts” and it goes into the fine lines of when you are encouraging and enabling. It talks about how people in poverty are not usually there because they are incapable, but because they have no opportunity. That’s why I said what I did at the end of the last paragraph.

Building Begins

As we arrive to the build site, it is a warm slab of hand-poured concrete in a 16ft x 20ft rectangle sitting very close to both sides of the property line that was marked by a string. The property was hardly 18ft across and maybe 35ft in length. Later to find out they were paying a very substantial amount for that little plot of land.

The first thing we did was unload our tools and equipment, also a few more building supplies including the 3 windows and door. The remaining building supplies were down the hill a little in front of another home pieced together from scraps. The family we were building for, this was the grandparents home. The family was a younger couple with a daughter. They were close to their family and so the sister and her kids were around, as well as grandma and grandpa who lived just down the hill.

Building walls on the ground.
Raising the first wall.
Holding the center dividing wall while it was being secured.

Within the first day of building, by noon, we had raised 4 walls, and a dividing wall in the middle that would be where the roof rafters met. By the end of the sheeting was on the roof, the windows were in and the door was in. We could store our equipment inside safely for the night, otherwise it would have been stolen.

We load up the vans and embark on the trip back. By this time, I was a bit red with sunburn and had adopted many mothers taking care of me for the trip. Reminding me about sunscreen and making sure I was eating well, staying hydrated, and in general taking care of myself like any good mother should. I was grateful for the laughs and loving attitudes.

Looking Forward- Into The Unknown

So, I had been kind of tagging around with a couple and their daughter since the Minneapolis layover. After returning to base camp they knew I had never seen the ocean, much less been in it, and offered to take me on a walk down to the beach. I was so happy to agree and spend time with them. We trekked over and then along the highway we were just on. Walking down a ways before getting to a beach that was considered to be clean, had we walked directly to the beach from base camp the beach was said to be a disgusting mess. There we spent some time watching the waves crash in. I officially made it to the beach and it really settled in a thought that had bounced around my mind since arriving… I was meant to be here. I prayed, I asked God to continue guiding me, I surrendered to him, and I embraced whatever future he wanted for me. I basked in the sun that was setting, felt the cool mist of the breeze, and the sand between my toes. It seemed like a vacation for a moment, having in my mind distanced myself briefly from all that was going on before. Hitting reality again as we start the journey back, I still felt that it was where I was supposed to be, like where my home was.

I had made it, I was seeing the ocean up close for the first time.
Looking forward, into the ocean of the unknown.

After getting back to campus we had a team debrief time around a fire pit. Sat back and sang some worship songs. Played a name game that a little boy suggested, later to take that little boy on a goose chase for a cat that had appeared and vanished as quickly as it appeared… and somehow wandering back to where the little boy’s father was. To clarify all of that, we were sure the boy was supposed to be there on campus and he had told us his dad was somewhere. I encouraged the chase of the cat, that I legitimately saw even when no one else did, and I slyly made sure the boy found his father so our group could continue with our debrief.

The boy came back of course but we enjoyed it. Even if he may have made it rain a handful of flower petals on a few of us. And the team in general was all in good spirits, we worshiped, we told stories. I think I had adopted the mothers officially at that point, especially after discussing where the midnight snacks were and them all telling me to make sure I keep eating well. (for those who don’t know, I function on an extremely high calorie diet – like nearly 8000 average… I have to eat a lot of food…) Eventually the night was called so we could go to bed, we had a long work day ahead even though we thought we’d be done by noon!

The Big Day with The Reveal

Sunday morning early, we were up again, excited to be able to finish quickly. Again the breakfast was incredible, as were all the meals. We did our meeting and loaded up on the way to the build site. This time when arriving, I was mothered a bit more spoiled. I had asked one of the mom’s if I could use her sunscreen, and then next thing I knew she was applying it. Her husband joked that he couldn’t even get that kind of treatment. We all laughed and I knew I was protected a bit from the beating sun. Today, was roofing day! This was one specialty I went into the trip knowing I have experience in, and was excited to be able to use those skills again.

Work on the roof had begun with getting the trim in place.
After the roof was laid, we closed the gables.

Truthfully, the Sunday work day was extremely long in the sense of it being a lot going on. There were a handful of things that were setbacks and little things that seemed to have taken forever. The team was all in great spirits though, despite our exhaustion from the day before, and the family was being very supportive. They actually spoiled us, we had a special treat where the family made us fish tacos! They were super delicious and my mouth is watering thinking about them. (You know the eating a lot of food thing that I do? Behind-the-scenes here I just went to get a snack as I write).

So, I know I have some timeline stuff a little jumbled in here… because I am not the greatest at remembering the exact sequence of events to begin with – and this was overwhelming in all I was taking in… but there are a couple of things I want to share about the family and first-hand my experience with them and such.

I knew why we as a whole team were there, it was for the family. I knew why I was there, it was to reach out to the world and share the everlasting love of Jesus Christ. I was “On A Mission From God”, which in this story started back before Wildwood Hills. I was #FiredUpForJesus.

Okay, I can throw a handful of church sayings at you but they are only sayings until acted upon.

My role in any serving capacity, as I prefer and have often found myself in, is usually in the background. I may be a very social person but when I serve I do not look for credit or recognition of it. I appreciate what I do get, but I just do it because I know it is what I am supposed to be doing because it is my gift to have such a servant’s heart.

When we arrived to YWAM we were encouraged to spend time with the family. I had no idea what that meant for me but it took my heart away in the couple of things that were my interaction.

Sunday morning early, we were getting ready to drywall the interior. I originally was hoping to be able to write something on the foundation, I had a scripture placed on my heart (actually my favorite scripture) to share with the family somehow and write somewhere on what we built. Before closing the last piece of drywall, I found a sharpie, borrowed someone’s phone to look the words up exactly, and started writing…

“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”- Ephesians 3:17 NLT

Then I stopped and prayed over it.

Thinking about the fact that I wanted this home to be strong, and in the grace of God, I knew I needed to share with the family what I had written in their walls.
On my first interaction with the family, with the help of a translator, I explained to the parents that if they trust God, they place faith in God, and love God – he will keep them strong, and that this house will help them stay strong in HIS LOVE.

Authentic fish tacos were amazing. Also a side of fish & veggie soup there.

Right after that incredible meal of fish tacos, it was finally time that we had finished the home and were ready to present it to the family. We started the project in a circle together as a team with the family included. We were going to close it that way too. This time, something more special involved. And then, I was honored to be asked to do something even greater. In the closing circle we each got to take a few moments as we passed the keys around and share what we wanted to with the family and team. I was also asked to present the family with a couple of Bibles (one standard edition for the parents, one children’s edition for the daughter). Which, almost has me in tears now because I couldn’t believe the honor of it then.

The family during the key presentation ceremony.
Holding the keys, presenting the family with the the Bibles.

As I was handed the keys, I shared some things with the rest of the team – being so grateful for the new friends, experiences, and adopted mothers. But then I turned to the family and continued to encourage the love of God. I shared with them that within these books you will find what it means to love unconditionally like HE LOVES US.

I spent the entire trip completely unaware of what kind of interaction I had with the family, leading up to the trip I had no idea how or what I would even say to the family. I was there to serve, and I knew my strengths were more suited to building and being a laborer of love… not the official of love… and here I was, sharing that love first-hand. Exactly what I was meant to do and why God put me there to begin with. It was so fulfilling, it was worth every moment of the trip to do that, and it left me wanting more.

The finished home.

The circle continued sharing before handed them the keys so they were able to open their door for the first time and see their new home. Tradition goes, we let them make themselves at home before knocking and being their first guests. I was also lucky enough to be the one who got to knock on the door… I will never forget the experience of seeing their joys of tear so directly.

One last time circling up, this time cozy in the new home, we prayed for the family and the home we had created for them. It was then time to say goodbyes and make our last departure from the build to YWAM base camp.

The family soon after us circling and praying in their new home.
A wonderful group photo of the family, team, and leadership. In front of the completed home.
We had done it! Mission accomplished! It was a beautiful day for many reasons.

The return trip from the finished build, left me wanting more still. Somehow we accidentally ended up detoured from our normal route, which was revealing to me there was still plenty of work to be done there in Tijuana.

Upon arrival back to YWAM, we cleaned up and took a quick trip to get some local food at a taco stand, then we got back to the campus we debriefed one last time as a team that night around the fire. I wanted to stay. But I knew it wasn’t the right timing yet and obviously wouldn’t have worked to just simply stay there.

Returning To Iowa

The night went by quickly, we crashed into bed after a few late night snacks, and then morning was upon us. We got up for the last breakfast there, packed up the vans and left. The trip back into the states was still very eye-opening as the route was a little different. We made it through the US border pretty seamlessly, got to San Diego airport, made the flight on time, and were off. The plane rides were fairly uneventful and we had a dozen moments saying goodbyes between San Diego and Des Moines… our layover in Atlanta was pretty crazy but that seems to be common and not worthy reflecting on. It felt like a very long winding road home though.

The excitement of the trip still burning but my body drained, I crashed for almost 12 hours that Monday night into Tuesday. Waking up, I still felt the call to be there.

This story is not quite over, yet… and maybe, hopefully, is only the first chapter.

Within the first week of being stateside, I crashed. The high of the trip had definitely worn off, I was exhausted from the several crazy weeks before and then the trip itself. I was planning on a camping trip and I did just that! It was not as relaxing as it should have been though. And reality is, I hit a wall one Sunday afternoon. I hit the wall and fell right out through to the bottom.

There were a few factors considered in that wall and I understand them now. I want you to understand, as well. To begin, I knew I had some pressure to get this story written. As part of the requirement for the Mission Tijuana scholarship I am supposed to share my experience. So I had a 30 day timeline on that. Meantime, I was aware that I was supposed to be sharing my testimony for the first time in a formal setting. Writing that was really rough, and slowly working through it I started to resurface a number of things. It was so worth it, and my small group was grateful… I am so grateful for them.

Last on my platter of why I think I tumbled into a breakdown- I was being called to go back to Tijuana, I was afraid and unsure of how that would work but I was being called to go. I knew on my return trip I had made a post to a handful of Snapchat friends that I was considering going back to YWAM full-time, and wanted their reaction on it. I was told by a couple of good friends to breathe, pray, and breathe some more. Indeed, they were right that I was still in the heat of the trip and the excitement still burned. I needed to get some time apart from it. I was getting that time apart, I have prayed, I have surrendered my future to God, and my heart is still pulling to go back.

I gave myself time to focus solely on my testimony, wind down off the story pressure and just do one thing at a time. I got the testimony done but I have still felt the pressure for the story… until now.

Here I am nearly 6,500 words later having shared the story leading up to, during, and following Mission Tijuana 2018 – but it doesn’t feel complete.

Like I said earlier, I believe this is just the first chapter.

Looking Forward- Seeing Steps

I am so excited to announce that I am going to pursue the calling to go west [young man] (Yes, I love Michael W Smith).

That excitement is also ridden with anxiety and fears as well. Which in it’s own way is reinforcing to me that there are already forces at work trying to take me down before I even begin… I must be going in the correct direction, right?

The future is what I have been so strongly considered as I have reflected back on Mission Tijuana 2018 and one of the reasons this story was so delayed. I wanted to be able to tell you that this is not the end.

Over the next few weeks you can be expecting me to make posts about what I know and how I plan to continue in the steps towards missionary work full-time. Right now, I only know the first step is a program called Discipleship Training School that takes place over 5 months, 3 months are on campus in YWAM San Diego / Baja doing mostly classroom teaching and the last 2 months are in the field wherever in the 80+ countries they operate in that they send me to.

Final Note

My dear friends,

In closing, I ask that you please pray for me and these things. To have clear wisdom and guidance as I pursue this calling. For health both physically and mentally as I not only continue to work while here, but know that the season approaching is hardest mentally. I ask that you be bold in asking me questions and expressing concerns about what I am considering. That is where growth, strength, and understanding comes from – in challenges. This will not be easy nor do I believe it was intended to be an easy thing, but I believe it will without question be a powerful thing in the name of God. I want to say that I am beyond words and expression of gratefulness for each one of you that has been with me in this journey. The financial generosity has astonished me, I cannot begin to express how much it has done in the big picture. To my close confidants, you have been so good to me and I only hope I can be the same for you. To the people I have met on the trip outlined here, I am excited to continue to watch how God moves in your lives. Thank you for letting me be a part of your story and grateful for the support you have given me in my own.

To God be all the glory,
Jay P Frye
A Child of God

4 comments on Mission Tijuana 2018

  1. Hi Jay –
    What a magnificent God we serve and how awesome He is to use us to His glory if only we put our “yes” on tha table and He will put it on the map. Keep praying, keep serving, keep giving it up to Christ and know that He will always provide. Your story has touched me and I am sure many others who are now your prayer warriors! Indeed, GO WEST, love, serve, share and be proud of the choices you are making to serve a God who gave each of us the opportunity to eternal life through His Son. Ephesians 2:13! God Bless and I can’t wait to hear and see the many chapters your life will inevitably add to this start. I hope we share a flight again in the future and who knows, maybe even a Mission trip! God Bless!

  2. Really wonderful reading this, Jay! I am blessed seeing what God is doing in your life! I have a niece with YWAM down in South Africa. It is a wonderful, wonderful mission! Thank you for inviting me to your page. I would have missed it otherwise! May God bless you! And, all of us!

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