Saturday, 26 March 2011
Reyna, living in Madison, USA.
I have three brothers and four sisters. Youth With A Mission has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. We worked at a base in Adams, Tennessee until God called my dad to do a Bible school here in Wisconsin, and so we moved. Our family really began to connect with our neighbors in Madison. The kids congregated to our house to play and talk about life (and eat dinner with us). Our Yellow House is a kid hang-out. During the divorce of their parents, we were able to be a place of comfort for two sisters and reach out to them with God's love. A teenage boy and his sister often come over to play and swap recipes with Mom and talk about politics. God has definitely called us here to make a difference in the lives of these individuals using His influence.
In 2005 we were a (smaller) family of seven, and we went on a missions trip with a church group to Mexico. We stayed at a hotel in Cancun. That was when we heard that Hurricane Emily was heading toward that area, at a Category 4. The team began to get ready: I have a snatch of memory like a photo of my dad walking around carrying big containers of water in both arms; after boards were put up over the windows, the children ran about coloring on them with big markers; the entire group gathered in one place (in the shade) for prayer. We prayed that God would weaken the hurricane's strength, or send Emily back to the water she had come from, and that he would protect the people in the hurricane's range.
On the night the storm was expected to hit our area, we went to bed full of prayers. The kids - and that included me at the time - fell asleep expectant, but unsure exactly what we were expecting. In the middle of the night, I opened my eyes to solid darkness and the sound of what I imagined to be a giant train passing right by our window. Mom told me it was the hurricane, and I went back to sleep. The next day we found out what God had done: the hurricane had gone down to a category 3 (which meant it was no longer technically a hurricane but a tropical storm), and its path had also swerved away from Cancun, instead of directly hitting us as had been expected. It had instead hit about an hour and a half south of us, and because of our earlier preparations, we able to - as a group of a hundred and forty people - go out there and give rice, beans, oil, and drinking water to the people in that area.
The question "what does it mean to you to be on mission with your family" made me think. I believe that it is to be a Godly influence on those around me while continuing to learn with my family about God and how to live for Him. Indeed, "To know God and make Him known!"