By Janaya Hirsch
Five years ago, I was sitting on a rickety church pew at a Thursday night youth gathering, when my youth Pastor flip to a slide promoting our church’s “2013 Mexico Missions Trip” with One Life. A spark ignited in my soul that night which hasn’t gone out since.
Ministry isn’t a moment or certain feeling during a 7-day mission trip, it is the Great Commission. As Christians, we are called in Matthew 28 to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Ministry doesn’t only take place away from home or in a foreign country… but in every aspect of our lives; in our workplace, in our school, in our community, and in our homes, we are called to be Christ’s hands and feet. And when we are in full surrender towards our Heavenly Father we see the transformative work of His hand in our lives. He moves us into seasons of discomfort, change and unknown to show us His providential work and reveals His promises.
This has been my story for the past 5 years. From the beginning when I heard if this ministry, I knew Christ had called me to serve. When the founders, Rob and Brenda Wall, gave their welcome speech and staff introductions to my team 4 years ago, Rob said, “This could be one of you guys up here in a couple years,” and I knew that was God. He was calling me down to Mexico, and that was a promise He kept.
This summer I had the opportunity to serve as staff for the second time in San Quintin, but there were moments where His way was unclear to me. There were moments where it was hard to see where He was leading me. Many times in our lives He calls us into situations and seasons littered with promises but lacking actual logistics, and when there seems to be no light, God reveals Himself and moves. In these situations, we have to live in reckless abandonment towards our Great Father and His plan. After deep prayer and reflection, I have been able to see His faithful promises have prevailed in calling me to serve. Our Great God will always keep His promises in our lives; He is SO good.
The spark that Christ lit in my heart 5 years ago continues to fan into flame. The God who put the universe in order, created the land and sea, gave breath to the birds of the sky and animals of the earth and called it “good” also invited me to volunteer with One Life One Chance and I could not be more thankful. I was moved in ways I couldn’t have expected and saw the hand of God in various situations, and in the teams that came to serve.
One life One Chance continues to be a bright light in the darkest places of San Quintin Valley. He is moving in this community as they impact countless families, churches, and communities. And not only in Mexico but here in North America too. As I served this summer, I saw lives transformed and hearts broken and turned back to Christ. God used His work to impact my own life through the church services, the fellowship with the locals and so many interactions with others. I do not have enough gratitude to thank my Heavenly Father for the season He has placed me in, and I am hopeful of what He has in store for me next. However long this season of working with One Life One Chance is, I will continue to understand and proclaim that He loves the powerless. And so will I, in every aspect of my life.
Janaya lives in Abbotsford, BC and is studying Elementary Education with a minor in Middle School Math and Science at Dordt College in Iowa. She has served with the people of the San Quintin Valley for 5 years as a team and staff member.