Due to the start of the pandemic in 2020 and some health complications the year before, it had been quite a while before I physically participated in anything missions-related. I recently had the opportunity to help with an outreach ministry with my school’s Bible study club to make gift boxes for children in Mexico.
Sure, it was more so behind-the-scenes work, and I was not on the frontlines along with the people that would deliver the boxes and share the gospel, but in a way, I was helping those missionaries and experiencing a small part of the overall mission from that little classroom.
We met on a Friday after school to assemble the boxes to send to the Regalos de Amor ministry, the ministry that would deliver the gift boxes to the children in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. They would then share the gospel with the children and their families.
As soon as I entered the classroom where we were meeting, I was surprised at the various items that were donated for the kids. I knew that we provided several announcements that we were accepting donations to make these boxes, but I was not expecting so many donations from both the students and faculty members.
Regardless, I knew it was such a blessing that we had so much support and help to complete this project. All the other club members were equally thankful for our school’s generous contribution. After a short prayer over the boxes and the children that would receive them, we began to assemble.
The experience was not anything out of the ordinary or extravagant. The items for the kids were spread out on tables, we had some music to make the environment livelier, and of course, we had a few snacks.
While I was assembling the boxes for the kids, I felt so overwhelmed with many emotions and thoughts. In my mind, I remember praying and asking God to bless the child or teenager that would be provided with each box. I prayed that the gift would help them and their families in any way that He would choose and that the gifts would establish the beginning of a connection with God.
As I assembled the gift boxes, I was also able to reflect on my life. I remembered how much I like to serve and how much I missed serving during the time I was unable to do so. I mostly missed the feeling of doing something for someone other than myself for the right reasons and with the intention of showing God’s love to others through my actions.
Even though I would not be there to see joy on the faces of those who received the gift boxes, I find joy in knowing that I played a significant part in the whole process. This, in a way, made me realize how much serving and doing missions positively impacts my life and it brought me closer to God all at the same time.
At the end of the entire process, before we knew it, we had assembled more than 15 to 20 boxes in total. All that was left to do was to put a few personalized notes in the boxes and send them to Regalos de Amor ministries to be shipped off to Nuevo Leon.
By the time we finished securing the boxes, it was time to leave and go home. On the way home, I made a promise to myself to do everything I could to try and participate in more missions like this. I was very thankful that I had the chance to participate in missions again.
The entire experience reinforced the concept that doing missions is not only about long trips to places abroad but is also about serving behind the scenes. The good news is the mission field is not limited. The mission field can be in your own city, your neighborhood, and even in your schools. Your mission field should be anywhere and everywhere you are.
Aileen Gregorio Mejia, a 2022 National Acteens Panelist, is from Garland, Texas, and attends Freeman Heights Baptist Church.