You want me to do GUAT?

About three years ago, I spent an entire summer in Baja, California, Mexico translating for American teams coming from US churches that sponsor a Baja Church. The groups come to encourage the church members, see how it’s growing and help with needs that can be met or mostly met in a week.

They do benevolence visits in the homes of church members and visitors, and classes at night, gospel-meeting style: opening song, welcome, prayer, split into classes (men, women, teens, kids) then, reconvene, another song, a prayer, a sermon, 5 invitations (with songs, all ten verses of each), and break.

There’s tons to translate but I love it. Over the years, I got really good at anticipating where I’d be needed, or what my co-translators I’d worked with for a while would be needing at any time, I got a good system going, and feel like I do an ok job.

Then, halfway through first semester of this year, God told me not to go to Mexico this summer, at least not the whole time. I said “what? But I have to go.” And God said “stay.”

So I said “ok.”

While I spent the rest of the school year thinking about what an adjustment this would be for me,  I realized that it was probably a good idea to stay, because I had started building my identity around “translator Sara,” whom everyone loves, who is now comfortable serving in translating for Baja Missions.

I’d actually been feeling for a while that I needed to have more trust and branch out. From conversations I’ve had with several people, the Baja Missions door is always open for me, whenever time/finances allow.

I finally realized that holding onto just that door was limiting other ways in which God could be using me.

So I walked away from Baja’s door, leaving it open for next time, but having decided to welcome opportunities to walk through new doors, to be used in new and different ways; having decided to trust God to bring me to where I need to go, instead of continuing to serve where it is most comfortable.

A little while after I made my decision not to spend another summer in Baja,  I got a call from a lady at my church, who was going on a medical mission to Guatemala through Health Talents International. They needed a translator and for some reason, my name had popped up in her mind.

So, I decided to give it a go. I’d never been, I had some experience in medical translating, and it would be a big step of faith for me.

The trip was June 2-9 and we had a great week of delicious coffee and fellowship, and service to countless Guatemalans who came for surgeries or consults. Our surgeons and their teams performed something like 70 surgeries that week.

I’m glad I walked through Guatemala’s doors – it was a good experience, especially being able to pray with patients before surgery. I hope I get to do it again. Image

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