Team: Florida Hospital
Written by: Cassandra P.
It’s the final day and I’m drained. And it’s an answer to prayer. Am I exhausted? Definitely. But is my soul energized? Absolutely. Can one be exhausted and energized at the same time? Well, I suppose now is a good as a time as any to explain why me being drained is an answer to thoughtful, purposeful prayer.
Before coming on this once in a lifetime adventure (and trust me with Kike’s driving through the mountains, it certainly is an adventure), I prayed that God would empty me of myself. Not because I was an over-religious person and it was the pious thing to do; but because I was filled with debris. As in the stuff that life throws at you, and whatever is left rolls into your soul. I knew I was full of debris (it sounds better than crap) when everyone kept asking me: Are you excited to go on your mission trip?!” And I would have to muster the most enthusiastic “Yes, of course.” But if I can be completely honest (it’s easier to be honest with strangers), I was feeling nothing.
You know that moment when life just doesn’t excite you? Your passions no longer light a flame in your soul, and you have no idea when that happened? Well I was there, and I knew it was a dangerous place to be in, so I went to the only place I could find answers. I went to God. I asked Him to please empty me of myself and all the debris life had blown my way and to fill me with Himself. What does the indwelling of the Spirit of God look like?
I didn’t know how He was going to do it. I’ve been so full of me for so long, what did being empty feel like? And then it happened. Not dramatically all at once, truth be told, I didn’t get filled with debris all at once, but over time. My entire worldview changed. And this isn’t my first mission trip either. I’ve been on several mission trips, but not with this organization. This one has been different. This trip I wasn’t building schools, but I was being schooled in building relationships. Every single day I spent in the Malnutrition Center I could see less of myself and more of Him in the laughter, smiles and even cries of the children asking to be held. What was happening to me? I was being drained, I was being emptied. All to be filled again with the most overpowering force, called love.
First John 4:8 says that God is love, and that anyone who doesn’t love, doesn’t know Him. Well on this trip I fell in love; with the country, the culture, and most of all the children. And I met God, and He filled me with Himself through the gentle moving the Holy Spirit in the faces of the most precious people on the planet (yes I’m being bias, it’s my blog) His children.
As my journey here ends, how do I leave this experience and not just let it impact me for a few days? I honestly don’t know. But I do have a few ideas: 1) Pray for the staff, children and their families daily; 2) Tell others of what I experienced; 3) Keep asking God to drain me of myself, and fill me with Himself, which is love. Join me in my challenge and pray for this organization and it’s mission. Tell others of what you experience when you pray for others, and ask God to drain you. Trust me; it’s the best feeling in the world.