Getting Out of my Comfort Zone
Blog written by Valerie Anderlik, Missouri
If you ever go on a mission trip, prepare to grow and be stretched! This week our team is hosting a quinceanera for over one hundred girls living in government run centers. Each day we have been visiting the centers, helping girls to find the perfect dress and shoes. We have also painted their nails and waxed brows in preparation for the big celebration. This is not my thing! I do NOT like shopping and I am MUCH more comfortable in sweats, a t-shirt, and baseball cap than a fancy dress and high heels! (Truth be told, I'm wearing flip flops to the quinceanera)! However, over the last few days, I have discovered that hosting a quinceanera is much more than planning and organizing a big party! It is an incredible way to share the Gospel through an event that is both culturally relevant and life changing for young, Latin American women.
This week I have prayed over girls, told them they are beautiful and that God loves them, cried with them, hugged them, and celebrated when they "said yes to the dress" over and over again. God is growing and stretching me, pushing me out of my comfort zone and showing me new ways to serve Him in love.
Today I had the privilege of helping a very special girl to find her perfect dress. I have now seen this girl on each of my three trips to El Salvador. The last time I saw her was three years ago when she was a pregnant fourteen year old. When I found out that we were coming back to El Salvador this summer, I began praying that God would allow me to reconnect with this particular girl. When she walked into the room today, tears began streaming down my face because I was reminded that God is so good. I didn't think it was at all possible that I would see her again! In my devotion this morning I read that God is in the details. He certainly is!
I was honored to pray over her and when the prayer was over, this precious girl jumped up and ran into my arms and we embraced for several minutes. It was such a joy to help her transform into a princess and I can't wait to celebrate her tomorrow night as we dance the night away! I guess it's not so bad to ditch the sweats and baseball cap once in awhile and put on a fancy dress! (You still can't convince me about the high heels, though)!