This sentiment was shared by the approximately 20 youth and 10 adults that participated in the Paynesville Evangelical Free Church’s missions trip to Saltillo, Mexico, population 500,000.
Senior Pastor Rich Hubert and Pastor of Family Ministries Grayling Trees led the 11-day trip along with Dove International, a Glenwood based group that facilitates and trains church groups in short-term mission trips.
“Unfortunately, we have a tainted view of Mexicans over here,” Trees said. “It was good for our kids to see the true mindset of Mexicans as respectful, humble people.”
The group worked with Christians from the Temple of Sinai church in Saltillo. Services, promoted by door-to-door evangelism, were held almost every evening. Trees and Hubert preached with the aid of interpreters, and the group sang songs that they learned in Spanish.
“We were really amazed with Sinai’s young people,” Trees said. “They are extremely committed to Christ.”
Jen Roberg said, “My favorite part was the door-to-door witnessing with the nationals, because they were so bold and brave in sharing their faith.”
The youth also performed human video skits, which is drama set to music, and presented puppet shows for the children.
“Although some were rather petrified, many of our kids gave their testimony during the services,” Trees said. “Many natives came to know Christ.”
Miracles were not limited to the natives, however. Liz Hubert realized at the Mexican border that she forgot her notarized parental consent form. Despite the fact that her father was with the group, the border guard gave them difficulty.
“I thought, ‘I’m going to ruin this whole trip,’” Hubert said.
“We had a prayer meeting right there at the border,” Trees said. “Amazingly, the notoriously tough border guard let her through. It was our first miracle.”
“When I got to go through I was so excited,” Hubert said. “I jumped up and ran for the bus smiling from ear to ear.”
The group stayed in a vacant Bible school in Saltillo.
“The living conditions were not what we are used to, but I never heard anyone complain,” Trees said.
The youth described the trip as a positive experience.
“I liked trying to talk to [the natives] because we had to be creative in our communication,” Brittany Ernst said.
Hubert said, “It was an extremely rewarding experience. I’m planning to do an internship abroad in missions for the entire summer next year.”
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