Ever wonder what a missionary actually does? Well, today William Santiago, TEAM worker in Puerto Vallarta, shows us how he’s navigating his first week as a missionary in Mexico, where he intends to engage in discipleship through creative arts. Follow along as he establishes a routine in a new home with new challenges.
I’m exhausted. I stayed up too late preparing, and I couldn’t rest well because I was excited! I felt kind of like a kid trying to get to sleep on Christmas Eve. Note to self: Setting out to the airport at 4:30 a.m. is not nearly as exciting as waking up on Christmas morning.
Although I love traveling, I do not enjoy flying. Every flight is an exercise of faith as I remind myself of the Lord’s absolute control over every pilot’s hands and every jostle of turbulence. The sun rising over the clouds this morning was a wonderful testament to his sovereignty over all creation and over every step I take in this new adventure in Mexico.
Walking up to the apartment that was so generously provided to me. What a reminder that the Lord opens the doors he has called us to walk through.
No day is complete without a little adventure. My first step in my new home was through the window, which is a way better story than walking through the front door.
I’m home! Settling in and unpacking really made me appreciate that this is more than a pit stop. That realization was quickly followed by panicked doubt: “Why am I here? There’s been a mistake! I’m not a missionary!”
But those are all the whispers of the Enemy. I look at the ways the Lord so clearly moved me here.
I can stand in confidence and say: “I am in Mexico because the Lord has called me here.”
And because he has called me, he has equipped me. He is the God who works all things according to the counsel of his will, and I can rest in that knowledge tonight — and really deeply rest. Because I’m exhausted.
Great start to the day with time in the Word and an encouraging message from a friend. It’s wonderful knowing that while I am here, I am not forgotten by my church family.
The heavens declare the glory of God, even when people do not. It’s amazing that his presence can be denied by so many in a place where his handiwork is so wonderfully displayed.
I love this place! What a blessing that the Lord has placed desires in our hearts and satisfies those desires in his calling. He gives us the desires of our hearts.
I spent much of the day reconnecting with my ministry teammates and catching up with some of their local contacts. Puerto Vallarta is such a huge tourist destination, and I wonder what I have to do to stand out from the crowd. People come here to consume. How do I show that I have come to give and to share?
I believe that art is a language that can cross cultures and stir people’s hearts. I’m excited to use art to creatively connect with people as we seek to start Bible studies in homes across this city and region. I can’t wait to see what will be created in my time here.
Trying to make healthy choices. Starting with a regular breakfast and the beginnings of a routine. I know it’s important to maintain my physical health as well as my spiritual health. This week: regular breakfast. Next week: regular exercise.
This weekend, we welcomed our team leaders from Guadalajara. It’s exciting to see someone see the city for the first time.
Today, I saw several women carrying buckets, and it reminded me of the woman at the well. I prayed as we walked that they would discover the source of living water and the one who would carry their burdens.
Santa Muerte: This idol is worshiped and gaining popularity in the area. Our team stopped to pray against the darkness and specifically for this idol’s removal.
I felt selfish here because I was praying for myself. I was having a difficult afternoon, and I prayed that the Spirit would keep me from further spiraling into isolation. I was reminded that as the kingdom advances, the darkness will push back. The Enemy would love for our team to be divided and bitter. Fighting to guard team unity is part of the work of the kingdom. I’m so grateful for this team, and the Lord has so clearly brought us together.
My prayer now is that I would remain sensitive to his Spirit. That I would place unity over preference and clarity over comfort.
Today’s painting was a result of the weekend’s inspiration. The village we visited on Sunday is soaked in New Age and mystic spiritualism. We brainstormed how we could talk about the church in a way the seeking population would understand. This little sample was a result of that thought and my reflection on John 1.