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Mid-South Presbytery Mission Trip- May 12-19, 2015

Left – Right : Andy Combs, Brownsville; Olivia Butler, Rhodes, Matilda, Bob Gammon, Cordova, Sheridan and Brett Baker, Cordova; Enedeo ; and Neal Horner, Germantown.
Mid-South Presbytery Mission Trip

May 12-19, 2015

By: Olivia Butler, Rhodes student
A little over a year ago, I obeyed God’s calling that sent me to Mexico, a trip that seemingly fell into my lap. In a passing conversation with the Rhodes chaplain, I mentioned that I had a heart for missions, and, as a Spanish major, that I specifically felt called to Spanish speaking countries. A week later, Jeff Blankenship, the Evergreen Presbyterian Church recruiter for the Clean Water Project in Xpujil, contacted me. Three months later, I was boarding a plane to Cancun.

From Cancun, we embarked on the 6-hour van ride that would take me to my final destination of Xpujil. Having found this ministry somewhat randomly and not being entirely sure what to expect, I was in for an incredible week. Our team spent the first four days assisting a group of local members of the community who were working to build three separate water cisterns for families in the surrounding villages of Xpujil. I realized quickly, that the team of local men with which we were working was extremely efficient and skilled in their line of work. It occurred to me that I had not been led to Xpujil to offer my brute strength and knowledge of cistern building (both of which I have very little of), but I was there to demonstrate God’s love. My purpose in Xpujil was to financially support the project that brought clean water to the remote villages, and it was to build a relationship with the people whom we were serving.

On our final full day in Xpujil, which was a Sunday, we attended our team leader’s church in Castilla Brito. This day stands out most prominently in my mind. As I stood in that small sanctuary, listening to every single member of the church sing with all of their heart and soul, I was brought to tears as I reveled in God’s faithfulness. I understood that for what I had done for the people of Xpujil during that week, the people of Xpujil had done ten thousand times more for me. I had just finished my freshman year of college, and I had been faced with many doubts and questions during my first year away from home, but the faithfulness of the people in Xpujil demonstrated so vividly the power of Christ to me through their joy, their unyielding hard work, and their overwhelming concern for others. I had never witnessed such a clear presence of the Lord, and in that church service, my calling to a mission oriented life was solidified.

This past year I had the pleasure of serving on the Clean Water Project Board and returned to Xpujil in May. I was returning on seemingly the same trip as the year earlier, but God is not so predictable, and spending five more days building water cisterns and worshiping alongside my brothers and sisters in Christ continued to develop my faith and my understanding of God’s faithfulness.

During this trip, our team formed an especially close bond with one of the families for whom we were building a cistern. Matilda, the owner of the house, continually expressed her gratitude to us while never ceasing to serve us. Each day she brought us popsicles and water, making sure we were never too tired and had plenty of shade to rest. Just as our team was serving Matilda, Matilda tirelessly served us. It through forming relationships such as these that the local cistern builders in Xpujil and we will be able to share the gospel with those for whom we build cisterns. God is obviously working faithfully and powerfully in Xpujil and the surrounding villages, and I’m eternally grateful that I am able to be a part of it.

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