Kate's Guadalajara Testimony
Kate Baker is a 22 year old that has been attending remnant for a year and six months. in march of 2017, Kate joined a group of remnant students on a mission trip to Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
“This was my first international mission trip as well as my first mission trip with Sugar Creek. When we went down to Guadalajara we stayed with Julio and his family. Julio used to work here at Sugar Creek so it was my first time meeting him. He was a great person and I love him and his family so much. A lot of our trip was street evangelism, which is very outside of my comfort zone. I am usually very good at talking to anybody for any amount of time about anything, but for some reason when you charge me with go talk to this specific person about Jesus and here’s the thing that we trained you in, it really stressed me out. I got into this huge overthinking moment.
“After the first day, we were put into three different teams. I was put with Julio and his wife Carla. We were walking around and I had only spoken to two or three people who were what the church calls yellow lights. Yellow lights are people who listen to what we have to say but in the end, don’t make a decision. It was very uncomfortable, there really is no other word for it, to talk to these people who I’ve never met and probably won’t meet again. I went back to our living quarters that night and I just cried. I was in tear. I remember praying and for the first time in a long time I just of sat there in this ultimate silence. I had this moment where I just sat before God and said “God I don’t know what to do. I know you have me here for a reason.”
“God was very apparent in getting me here to Guadalajara because there were a lot of moments that lead up to Guadalajara, because there were a lot of moments during the lead up to this trip where I saw God move. As soon as I heard that there was a mission trip to Mexico I was like, “Hey! This is interesting! Hey God, if this is something you want to happen for me, let it happen!” He met every single need I had to get there and I saw every single stepping stone that He set down for me to be able to go on this trip, it was incredible!
“As soon as we touched down in Mexico I was immediately very overwhelmed and disheartened because it was very eye opening to me that I don’t know what I’m doing. Then, I sat there and I prayed and I was overcome by intense emotion. Ultimately what I walked out of that night knowing in my heart, was that God brought me there, I was just an instrument, and all I had to do was let him do the work through me. It was a really nice refresher for me. Day two or three, we did relational ministry, I love relational ministry so much! We set up this assembly line where we had grab bags filled with water, food, feminine hygiene products, general bathroom stuff etc. It was almost like this emergency kit filled either necessities.
“I felt really prepared for walking into the more less prosperous areas of Guadalajara because I grew up in a honestly more like ghetto area in the town I grew up in. I felt so ready because of my childhood, but when we got there I was very caught off guard. It looked how I expected it to but my brain was ready, my soul was not. We walked in and were passing out bags to the people in the area and there were so many kids who just walked up to us and my heart just broke for them. They really needed it. At one point a boy walked up to us and asked, “Is it alright if I have one? My mom is bed ridden and we really need these supplies.” Julio had told us, prior, that this area is so poor that the people will lie to get more because they have no idea when these materials are going to come again. So, Julio followed this young man back to his home with the supplies.
“It was really cool because it gave us so many opportunities to meet these people where they were at. We didn’t just walk in like “Hi we are Christians! Here’s Food! Bye!” We just walked in and gave. There wasn’t a lot of explanation unless it was asked for. And we had some people ask us, “Why are you doing this?” and we would just say, “Well, we’re here because God tells us to love others and to serve and that’s what we’re doing. We’re loving you and we’re serving you.” It was really cool to see such a spectrum of all ages respond so differently. Little kids would say, “OH! Yeah we’ve heard about God!” and the older adults would act more of, “I bet you’re God isn’t my god”.
“I remember there was one specific family that really stuck in my mind. We were walking on the train tracks and this man was there. We began talking with him, trying to figure out what train he was trying to hop on, where he was trying to go, where his family was when all of a sudden, his wife and his two children came out of nowhere. His children were so little. The oldest was one or two years old and his youngest was maybe six to eight weeks old. We stayed there and talked to them for a long time. He asked us, “Why are you doing this? The country looks at us like we are inadequate so we do this and they look at us like we are breaking the law…” Which they were, but it was so much to hear. He was very confused as to how anybody would be capable of loving him and his family. It was an amazing experience because we had the opportunity to turn it around and tell him, “You think we love you!? There’s this incredible God that loves you so much its incredible! Let us tell you everything!” So we did, He ended up committing his life to Christ that day and His wife had grown up in a catholic home, so she kind of knew what was going on. She asked us a few questions and we were able discuss that with her and she made a recommitment to Jesus. They talked about how they are so excited to raise their kids in a Christian home once they finally find a place and get settled. That experience was just earth shattering and I started bawling so hard that I couldn’t keep up with everyone in our group, it was just wrecking. God did a lot of work through us, but I can honestly say that God did a lot of work in us and more specifically in my life.
“An obstacle I faced before the trip was a lot of selfishness that I had to overcome. God definitely did a lot in preparing me beforehand. I remember thinking during the flight “I should pray for the gift of tongue.” And I stepped back for a second and thought, “You know what no, I’m not going to pray for that.” So instead I spent the entire plane ride praying for an understanding of what people were going through and an understanding of what the ministry we were fixing to come alongside was going through. I didn’t want to be lost for single second. After we got off the plane, what took the place of the initial impact of “I’m in another country. I can’t speak their language. I don’t know what’s going to happen.” I felt a sense of “Ok, I’m here and I’m ready to do this. I know when I need a translator versus when I don’t. Let’s Go.” I got this mentality of, I am going to do God’s work and this is going to happen.
“We didn’t really have an agenda, and itinerary, or anything burt the way that Julio had us working was with this mindset of “always look for an opportunity.” Which was a huge thing I brought back from this trip. Becka Nguyen and I were at a Starbucks, one of the many times we visited that little taste of home, and people would say to us, “You’re Asian. You’re White. Why are you here?” Guadalajara is not a touristy town. People who are there are there on business, for school, or visiting family. People don’t really go there to do mission work. It’s just this random, landlocked place. We had the opportunity to have what I call a casual interface with people and tell them why we were there. There was another day when Carla took Aaron, Becka, and I to Chilie's. With just the casual act of going to Chilies’ we got to talk to the waitress about why we were there and what we were doing. Then there was another day that we met with a bunch of Guadalajara college students for dinner and coffee. There was one girl who asked us why we were there. And I asked, “Why we’re here in this coffee shop or in this city?” And she said, “Both” So I said, “Well we are in the city on a mission trip. We are here to tell people about Jesus, to show His love through acts of service, and we are here to expand his kingdom because that is what we are called to do.” And she said, “Ok, but why are you here in this coffee shop?” and I said, “Because it starts with simple stuff like this. It starts with little conversations.”
“It was really interesting hearing the different responses from people. We never heard, “Ugh, why are you doing this terrible thing?! Why do you believe in that?!” It was just more of a response of “Umm I’m fine thanks.” I noticed that we really only had three answers to our questions and that was, “Yes! Tell me more!”, “No, I’m good already”, and “No I don’t really care”. It was quite an experience.
“For someone who feels called to go on a mission trip but are too nervous or are experiencing doubts, just remember that nerves are satan’s way of talking you out of it. If you feel called to do anything, the immediate thing you are to do is turn around and pray. Submit it to God and trust him FULLY with it then the nerves cease to exist. I never sat there and said, “Ok God make me not nervous.” My prayer was more along the lines of, “Prepare me. That’s all I’m asking. Prepare me to be used as an instrument for your kingdom.” As soon as your mindset isn’t “me” focused or about “my” comfort, and you realize this is about the eternal salvation of complete random strangers, that’s when it becomes a bigger than self thing. Pray and remember it’s all about trusting God completely.
Interviewer: Sarah Ramirez
Interviewed: Kate Baker
Published" July 21, 2017