Saturday, May 14, 2016
I wish I could say that this is the day the journey began. But to say that would be leaving out all the things that God did in my life to get me to today. I would be leaving out years of struggles, trials, temptations, failures, triumphs, successes, victories, grace, mercy, and blessings on top of blessings on top of blessings. Each step was so full of Christ's love and I am experiencing it more and more each day. So for now, I'll focus on this specific part of my journey to Saltillo, Mexico.
So last night it really hit me that I was about to leave everyone and everything that I know and love to get on a plane to Saltillo, Mexico by myself to live with missionaries Mark and Serena Dunbar, whom I have never met, for ten weeks. I began to panic. I told myself that I know this is what God wants me doing. I just needed to hear it from someone else. Then I thought about all God has done for me and how extensive my support system is back home. So I texted Tyler Breech and asked him to say a prayer for me to help calm my anxiety. But Tyler had a better idea.
The next thing I knew I was on a video call with Tyler and Mariah Breech, Andrew and Emily Rinehart, and Garret Fitch. They spent time with me reminding me how much they love me and how proud of me they all are. They also reminded me that God has already given me everything I need for this trip. God has been with me all this time and will continue to be with me. Back home they are all praying for me every hour of every day. Knowing this is knowing that I am never truly alone. I have so many people who love and care for me and I am constantly in their hearts and minds. And my God is such a good Father. He has never left me alone even for a moment and I know He never will.
This phenomenal group of people sang to me for encouragement. Garret played the guitar and everyone sang along. They sang songs like, "Holy Spirit," "It is Well," "Through the Fire," "Just Say Amen," and Garret sang my favorite, "When I Lay My Isaac Down." During which I was so overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit and love and grace and thanks to God for His faithfulness to me and all that He has done for me. And specifically for putting such amazing people in my life.
They proceeded to pray over me and over this work that God has called me to do, and that was the best part. They prayed with so much love and compassion and I know that that kind of prayer is happening for me each and every day. God is such a good Father.
This morning I woke up at 2:30am and thought to myself "No way I am not ready for this." So I went back to sleep and woke up at 4:00am and I needed to be on a shuttle to the airport at 4:30am. I managed to be in the hotel lobby by 4:30 all packed and ready to go. However there was no seat for me on the shuttle, even though I signed up last night and they told me I was guaranteed a seat. I just thought that it was in God's hands and if He wanted me to be somewhere He would find a way to get me there on time, and He did.
Flying without my mom has been an experience in and of itself. After I checked my bags I turned to look for her and it really stung when she wasn't there. But God knew what I needed and He provided.
As I sat on my first flight waiting for take-off one of the flight attendants approached me asking if I was Brianna Boggs. She said that my Aunt Amy had emailed her ahead of time and have her a heads up about me. Her name was Kimberly and she let me know that if I wanted or needed anything that the crew was there to help me. It took every bit of will-power to not weep in front of her. There I was feeling afraid and God sent Kimberly directly to me to give me peace. As it turns out the woman across the aisle from me heard me talking about Asbury University and she said that she has family that went there. God gave me another comfort.
Currently I am sitting on my second and final flight of the day. I am already surrounded by people who look differently than me and speak a different language than me. But I will be landing in Monterrey, Mexico in less than an hour and finally meeting Mark and Serena. I am ready. God has prepared me. God is with me. God loves me so much.
Before we landed in Monterrey the flight attendants handed out visas and other paperwork. Well some papers were in all Spanish and I had absolutely no idea what they were wanting form me. Eventually the man next to me took pity on me and offered to help. He didn't tell me what the paper said. He just told me what to write and I prayed it would all be alright!
Mark and Serena were waiting on me right outside of customs. I was so nervous to finally meet them. I wanted to laugh, cry, and maybe vomit. But my time already today with them has been wonderful.
We went straight to a yough activity day where I promptly went inside and took a nap per invitation of the woman of the house. Then I played games with the kids. They were all shouting and talking in Spanish and I was 100% clueless. But somehow we made it work and everybody had a great time! One of the girls even took a selfie with me on her phone. But after spending time with these kids today and realizing how difficult it is for us to communicate, this will be a challenge. I pray that God will use me in their lives and that they will see the light and love of Jesus in me over this language barrier.
So on to food! When they picked me up from the airport we grabbed Carl's Jr. to-go. I know it's American food but I had never had it before. For dinner we ate at the youth event. We had: hot dogs on baked buns with mayonnaise, ham sandwhiches, tortillas filled with potatoes and sauce, tortillas filled with refried beans, and cantelope juice. Yes I ate beans, and on the first day. But they weren't all that bad. Maybe that's just a tiny example of how I need to be ready and willing to do whatever God calls me to in the future, whether it be near of far.