By Taryn Breaux: a short-term mission trip participant
My first mission trip to Picota, Peru was such a wonderful reminder and confirmation that God does provide and that He is totally in control. This was my first mission trip, I had no idea what to expect or how to prepare. One of the first things we were told when we arrived was, that if anyone asked what we were going to do next, the response would be, “I don’t know but it’s going to be great!” God certainly exceeded all my expectations and anything imagined, I had no idea what I was getting myself into but it was GREAT!
From the moment I realized I was going to be on this trip it was evident how God had been working in my life to prepare me for the trip. Little did I realize, He had been working long before I knew anything of Picota, Peru. I was constantly left in awe when I began to realize how intricate God’s workings are. When I decided to go on the trip I began attending Mission Formation with FMC. Time and time again I heard “God will provide” and sure, I knew that but I didn’t have true faith in that statement until after this trip. God pushed me to rely on Him and He made it all worthwhile with the blessings, comforts, and grace throughout the trip.
The financial blessings that fell into place were enough to bring me to tears. I knew in the moment when I received the exact amount needed for the remainder of the trip, that God was telling me, “Don’t ever doubt me again, just trust Me”. I knew in my heart that this trip would be something amazing and I couldn’t have been more correct. I absolutely know that the mission trip to Peru was so perfectly planned for me and truly realized that God really does have it all planned out! Every fear and anxiety that I had about the trip was pushed further away each day. The little comforts that God had in place were such little tiny blessings that spoke so profoundly to my heart.
Being in Peru, serving the people there, being able to engage with the community was so amazing. The kindness, gratitude, love, hugs and smiles they shared with us meant so much to me and will be a feeling I will never forget. While there is no doubt everyone of us served our purpose and helped however we knew how, the people of Picota and the spirit of Picota blessed me more than I could have ever imagined. Being there, serving the people there and serving God was by far the most freeing, peaceful, humbling and blessed experience of my entire life.
It was so wonderful to really grasp the fact that we are all serving God’s purpose and that it is so much more fulfilling to serve God’s purpose than my own. I realized that, not only in Peru, but each day of my life, serving, working, and living to glorify God and not man or myself, I am able to cherish each moment that much more! It really gives an inner peace that makes each day more enjoyable! have never experienced more joy and love in my life, whether it was the fellow missionaries, the community, the children, the priest, the sisters or God- it all worked in the most wonderful way to provide for the most amazing and joyous experience of my life.
I have now come back to the states with the absolute faith that God will provide- always! I am also challenging myself to have complete trust in Him and His plan. I just know that if everyone could feel even a fraction of God’s love that I have felt they would understand why I keep saying “It’s just so easy, God loves you, just let Him love you and just love God!” I know feeling God’s love is not always the easiest thing to do but experiencing God’s love and living in God’s love is by far the most fulfilling feeling I have everfelt andrealize how content I would be with just His love, because it is more than enough! St. Augustine wrote, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord and our hearts are restless until they rest in you”. I pray that my heart continues to find rest in Him and that He uses me in whatever way He needs me.
This trip has had such a profound impact on my life and left a huge desire for more! I have also realized how blessed I am to be a part of the Catholic Church, to worship freely, to hear the Gospel, have a church on every corner, the opportunity to hear Mass and receive the Eucharist. I have a deeper appreciation for the Catholic Church, the Catholic faith, missionaries as well as priests and nuns and I plan to take full advantage of each opportunity to pray, worship, serve and trust in the Lord.
My prayer now that I’m home continues to be the same prayer from Peru: Empty me and fill me with You. I am so thankful that God loves me and has blessed me with this experience. I am so thankful to know without a doubt that God will provide. I also know that God will fulfill the desires of your heart because while I experienced so many blessings while in Peru, one little desire that was constant throughout was to be able to get involved with youth ministry when I returned home. Little, did I know that God would have that opportunity waiting for me. In a very casual conversation, Sheila told me that she and John-Paul would need help with the youth ministry in Crowley, I jumped at the opportunity and now have the blessing to continue to serve with fellow missionaries in the exact place I desired to be. I am not sure from this point what God has in store for me but I continue to pray for Him to use me in whatever way He will because I know it’s going to be GREAT!
By Taryn BreauxButton
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