Pella Chronicle

June 26, 2012

How mission work impacted my life

Amy Holmquist
The Chronicle

Pella — I’m back in the swing of every day normal life after a long week of vacation, but I find myself thinking of that hilltop over the city of La Mision where I spent every morning last week preparing myself for the day of serving through the work of my hands.

It’s hard to transition back into your normal routine after you have stopped your life for a week to travel thousands of miles away with 65 other believers for mission work. We traveled to La Mision, Mexico to build homes for families in need. Even though we spent four full working days hammering nails, cutting wood, building trusses, walls and putting up sheetrock, we all returned home feeling blessed and refreshed.

The difference is the simplicity you find in La Mision. A small town of 2,000 people, life is simple and good. They find enjoyment in  each other and God. People cherish their family and relationships. Their house is small, but their hearts are large and full.

It’s not until you escape your every day routine that you realize how busy your life really is, and how God is pushed to the side too often. The physical work was harder than my work back home, but I left that city relaxed, refreshed and in joyful spirits. Slowing down and taking time alone and with others is what really refreshes and strengthens your soul.

My favorite moments there were the mornings. I would hike up the hill to a large, white cross that sits on the North side of the valley. Sitting on one of the benches, you can overlook the entire city of La Mision. In the crispness of the morning, I could watch the ocean and hear the city begin to stir to life. In these moments I took time to reflect on my life, the person I am every day and to pray for all the relationships in my life. This is what God wants us to do in our daily routine, to simply take time in refreshing yourself in Him. And to value not the sports you play, the things you have in your home or how successful you are in your career but rather appreciate and invest time in your relationships.

The past week was a blessing for my life. I have enjoyed the quietness of life in Baja and the companionship with everyone who also traveled to Mexico. It’s been so refreshing to slow down my life, almost stop it completely. The people in La Mision are so content with such a simple life. My life seems very complex – should it be that way?

Forming a relationship with 65 people over the course of a week is a blessed experience. Being immersed in the Mexican culture is enlightening and interesting. Mission work is rewardful, but in a humbling way. Getting to know the people of La Mision shows me how materialistic I am. They humble me to my knees, resulting in me asking God to mold my heart into a more appreciative person. One thing is true – the poor people in La Mision are more rich than me.

“The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:17