I have had the chance to travel down to Ensenada, Mexico with my youth group every summer when I was in high school. This year, I’ve had an even greater opportunity to serve as a short-term missionary at the same base with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). I have been able to experience the joys of seeing a child’s face light up because of a simple balloon animal, a family of five living in a trailer and receiving a new home which I had the blessing of being able to assist in building, and a weeping mother, rather than asking for food itself, asking for prayer that God would provide the food. I’ve never seen such faith or contentment and joy than I have while working in the different parts of Ensenada. My stories and life-changing experiences could go on and on.
But even more than this, I have been able to grow in my faith with the Lord and take it to a new level. I have never prayed, wept, sang, or heard God’s voice so much (or so very clearly!) as I did in those three months. I have been able to understand why I love to serve and God has opened my eyes to new perspectives and a deeper love for Him, people, and his creation. There is something wonderful that happens when you are removed from the routines of everyday life and the consumerism and chaos many of us know so well.
Rachel Villaire is a gifted photographer from Modesto, CA. She is currently pursuing her passions in photography and getting ready to return to Ensenada, MX as a volunteer for YWAM. To see more of her pictures visit her facebook page. For more information on how you or some students in your youth group can volunteer for the summer or even just a week in the spring, find us on facebook or check out our website to apply.
If you would like for your students to have this experience but they aren’t old enough to volunteer, consider taking them on a missions trip to Ensenada, Mexico this summer. For dates & pricing, see our listings here.