It sounds pretty ironic doesn’t it? Oxymoron to be exact- broken and filled. Those two shouldn’t go together in a sentence. But that is exactly how I felt during this outreach. As a team, we took over the church in Los Angeles- Hope Central Watts. Due to few laborers, the pastors and leaders are always busy in ministry and don’t have the chance to sit back, enjoy worship, the message, or fellowship with one another. My assignment for the day was to translate. If you’ve kept up with my past newsletters from my time at School of Missions, I was often translating, so this wasn’t anything new for me.
However, it was very different this time. I mentioned a couple times that while in Mexico, I was highly dependent on the Spirit of God to move through me. I had never publicly done translations, let alone one with the Word of God! But for some reason this morning on Sunday the 29th, I came into it a little over confident. I felt prepared and well equipped from having to do it frequently over the past couple of months, that I didn’t feel the need to seek God about it. It was during worship however, during Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin, that I just broke down. I couldn’t stand. I started to weep and weep. In that moment I didn’t know what was happening- all I could see was me, a vessel, being broken down. Completely shattered into pieces. I leaned into the feeling and I surrendered.
I remember clearly in that moment seeing God as my Good Father. He was reminding me to fully rely on Him at all times no matter what the circumstances are. And to be honest with you, as I was with God, I wasn’t fully dependent on Him then. I was leaning on my own strength, my own ability, my own experiences. But God, in His abounding grace, kept showing me that I am of better use as a broken vessel for Him, to then be filled with HIS Spirit and used for HIS glory. I was reminded to take my eyes off myself and instead have a heart of worship and fix my eyes on Jesus. He is the only one worthy of praise! As Paul said, if there is one thing I can boast in, I will boast in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross! “He who glory, let him glory in the Lord,” (2 Corinthians 10:17).
Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”JEREMIAH 9:23-24
Mini Mission Field
As a part of the Missions Training Program, we also get the chance to evangelize at college campuses and this month we went as a team to California State University Fullerton. While walking around I noticed everyone seemed to be in their own little world. AirPods in. Heads down. Eyes locked in on phone screens. Everyone was very much alive, but yet felt and looked dead. It gave me zombie vibes. It was heartbreaking to see but that was our mini mission field for the day and I was up for the challenge.
My friend Alani and I walked around campus for a bit. We had a couple of good chats about life after death, testimonies of some leaving the Catholic Church, being agnostic, as well as some discussions with Atheists who are to no surprise, Psychology majors. After a couple of hours, I was scouting people to see who would be up for an interview and there was a boy sitting by himself at the lunch tables. I mustered up the courage to talk to him and here is a short clip of my conversation with Nicolas-Nicolas and I at University of California Fullerton
There is a difference between religion and relationship. For most religions, including some Christians, there is a list of things that you believe you have to do in order to gain favor and receive love from God. Religion is boasting in the things that I’ve done, that I can do, and that I will do. It is telling God, “look at all I’ve done for you, am I accepted now? Can you love me now?” A true relationship, will cause a change from within- a metamorphosis. Jesus Christ changed that all for me. He gave me a new life.
We are saved by grace, through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8). If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). All by faith, no dead works. May we not get entangled with the spirit of religion, of the flesh, of works, but rather continue to run towards the throne of grace and there find true freedom.
A God of grace makes His invisible grace visible by sending His people of grace to reflect His grace to people who need grace.PAUL DAVID TRIPP
Fully Trust in God
This past week and a half was busy as we got to attend the Calvary Chapel Missions Conference, as well as the Calvary Chapel Association Pastors and Leaders Conference. They were both truly a blessing and we all left feeling refreshed and encouraged! Half way through the conference, my friend Michelle and I had a chance to speak with a Missionary couple from Calvary Chapel Kochi in Kerala, India. The Pastor, Anthony d’Silva, and his wife, Hyacinth, were born in India and were raised Catholic- all thanks to Thomas, one of the disciples, for obeying Jesus’ command to go into the world and share about the Kingdom of God! I was excited to hear that there is a little bit of light in this dark part of the 10/40 window.
It all started one evening in 1997, while working in Jordan, Anthony was invited to a prayer event. For the first time in his life, even as a Catholic, Anthony opened up the Word of God and it started to speak to him. He encountered God in this moment and surrendered his life to Jesus. Seeing his heart for God- a man offered to send them to the USA to study at Calvary Chapel Bible College in Murrieta, California. It was here that Anthony and Hyacinth decided to take a leap of faith. He quit his job of many years, left their country and family behind, and fully trusted in God. They stayed in California for two years and then went back to India to teach and preach the Bible. As new missionaries, the first two years was indeed challenging for them. They had no support and were living off of their savings. It wasn’t until one day, Calvary Bible Fellowship reached out to them and decided to fully fund and support them. Since then, they have been faithful to their ministry in India for 21 years and have been happily married now for 46 years. This story truly touched my heart and I hope that it touches yours as well!
- Officially more than one month into Missions School- it has been filled with everlasting memories, beautiful experiences and also trials that have been strengthening!
- We are all filled and recharged from both the Missions and Pastors & Leaders Conferences!
- Got to see friends and family from my home church, it is always a blessing!
- Please pray for Hope Central Watts- for more laborers to serve in the church and for many more people to come to their new location!
- Please pray for Nicolas and his best friend Eric- as he is dealing with heavy depression and suicidal thoughts.
- Please keep Missionaries in your prayers- in South Asia, Middle East, North Africa- any place the Lord puts on your heart.
- Please pray for our trip down to Tijuana this Saturday with Calvary South OC- I will be sharing my testimony with the Youth Chaplains!
Thank you friends for taking the time out of your day and read what the Lord is doing in my life! He truly is SO good and deserves ALL the praises and glory! It is always a hard prayer to pray, but probably my favorite one to pray- I pray for God to check our hearts and may it break for what breaks His. I pray, if you are broken right now, that you may know that God can fill you and restore you. May we surrender all to Him!
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;PSALM 51:16-17
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
May His grace abound in your Spirit <3
– Mayra Alejandra