If you would’ve told me 5 years ago that I would now be working for Amor I probably would have laughed in your face. I loved mission trips and had a heart for the Mexican people but it wasn’t a practical life choice. A mission trip was just that, a trip and nothing more.
Though I had wholeheartedly fallen in love with Amor’s ministry, it was only after my third trip I finally admitted to myself that maybe this was God’s plan, calling me to Amor. It’s funny how God can take you to a place you never expected. Looking back every trial I endured, class I didn’t want to take, and unexpected change of course prepared me for my internship.
Starting at Amor right before spring I pretty much jumped head first into the craziness. We had weeks with 1,000 plus people at our camps. It was sink or swim time. My internship primarily focuses on La Cocina, this means my day starts bright and early around 4 am. At first I found this was quite the challenge but towards the end of spring I began to actually enjoy my early mornings! It is a satisfying feeling when you can accomplish so much before the sun even begins to appear.
Every morning that I made my zombie like trek into the kitchen I was greeted by some of the brightest, friendliest, smiling faces I’ve ever seen that side of the sun. Alicia and her team of cooks in La Cocina, despite our language barrier, have become some of my closest friends and best teachers. Not only am I a “pico de gallo” chopping machine but my Spanish has made quite the improvement.
One Month Down
Let me share a little of my first month as an Amor intern with you. Interning in La Cocina means that I help and oversee breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner, making sure they are hot and ready for the group. Breakfast is the most important meal to help get our building teams prepared for the days work. Next, I make sure the lunch is set out for the groups to make and take with them to their building site.
In the afternoon I set out snacks for the work teams to have as a refreshing treat after the end of a hard day of labor. And finally dinner, which is a wonderful time for me to serve and encourage the participants. Some weeks I had smaller groups which allowed me the time to sit and join them during meals. Other weeks we fed multiple groups at the same time. I was really hopping and did not have much down time. Talking about busy, one week La Cocina fed 300 plus people in three different groups at one time.
Being brand new, I can say, at times it was a little overwhelming but I was up for the challenge. I knew that God had a plan and I was happy to be a part of it. One blessing was His provision of 14 amazing Barnabas volunteers from Hope International plus other new friends and volunteers Jeff, Dave, Adam, Nick and Chelsea. God knew just what was needed, plus added a lot of fun and great memories.
La Cocina has been such a success that Amor is now offering it as an area to serve! If you want to learn a different part of our ministry here at Amor this would be a great opportunity for you! Though the mornings may not seem fun, it’s the incredible company and experiences that makes waking up early not so bad. Maybe you’ll even learn a few new recipes to take back home and try out on your friends and family!
Furthermore, I found that it was in the little disruptions, the stressful times, shocking moments, late nights of chopping, and the early mornings that I saw God take over and take control.
When my vehicle malfunctioned and I wasn’t sure how to handle it, God showed me how He was in control of the situation the whole time. When I was tired and didn’t think I could get everything done in time; He took over. When I had to jump right into what could’ve been an overwhelming situation without a moment to process; He took over. When there was a fire in the kitchen right before dinner on our busiest week; He took over. When a crazy two hour sandstorm blew through camp, destroying tents, carports, and trailers; He took over bringing peace and safety to all involved. When I fail He takes over and does things I can’t do on my own.
In all these situations He brought astounding opportunities for me to see lives change and miracles happen. It’s remarkable to see God in the middle of stressful situations, and selfish moments. He truly does strengthen you when you are weary.
As I reflect on these past two months I can say it is simply up to us. We must turn everything over to Him and say “Lord, I can’t anymore but you can. Help me continue to be your hands and feet. I can’t do it alone. Let your love, strength, energy, and patience take me over.” What an amazing start to my internship! God’s plan is pretty good and a whole lot better than mine.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7