When God calls us to cross borders

Author: Ruthann Weece

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These four boys came running up to us.
Nine of us were en route to the local XOXO
{hugs & kisses store as we liked to refer to it}
to grab a coke, locally handcrafted.

We stuck out as we shuffled across the dirt, we were quite easy to peg as outsiders.

The little boy holding his big red bowl was once full of empanadas ran toward us as hopeful customers.
He had three companions traveling with him.


Albert, one of our team members, who speaks fluent Spanish began talking with them.
As I stood to the side close enough to capture this picture I was also trying to follow their conversation with my high school Spanish tucked somewhere deep in the back of my head.  
I was struck with a tender heart as Albert began sharing the story of Jesus with them.
They knew of Jesus, just not the enormity of His love for them.

I felt like a scam artist... as I handed over some loose change, it was all I knew to give.

For the words Jesus spoke to love our neighbors and care for the ones in need were ringing in my head...

...a little bit of love to go along with a whole lot of Jesus that Albert was handing them.

With tears running down my cheek and the message of Jesus still mulling in my thoughts, we headed back to the school.

Sometimes when we cross over boundaries to change lives we end up changing our own…

Thirty some years ago I committed to live a life on mission.
I knew nothing of what God was calling me to, I just knew I wanted in.

And for the past thirty years He’s been preparing me for this long weekend when He called me to cross the border south of us.

Last year, as I was getting ready for our house emptying and our youngest son to head to college, I decided to jot down a few desires I had for the upcoming year.

One of them was to go on my first mission trip out of the country and cross over the border.
When the invitation to go to Mexico was announced, I ran toward it.

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You see, it’s stories like Mariela, who came to their ministry, Vida Nueva at 6 months old when her fourteen year old mother couldn’t care for her.

Mariela was orphaned and abandoned, yet not by God.

As the Psalmist pens,
‘Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
If I make my bed in the depths, you are there.’
Psalm 139.7-8


Vida Nueva’s mission is to stop the vicious cycle of generational poverty in the lives of children as well as teach them about the love of Christ.


Mariela is one of these children.
She’s a brilliant light, shining in her country for Jesus.

At 15, she accepted Jesus and began following Him.

No one in her family knows Jesus,
Mariela is a missionary in her own country.

She’s taught for four years at the school and ministers both with the organization as well as with her husband, Edwin at the Church Vida Nueva planted in Piedras Negras.

She can’t imagine her life without the ministry helping her to find Jesus and ceasing the vicious cycle of poverty in her family.

As I sat next to Mariela in Mexico, she told me of a bucket full of dreams she has for her people, my heart filled with wonder as I stepped into her story.

You see, sometimes our desire to be known is us choosing to let Jesus be known...it’s choosing to be written into the many stories that fill our world.

….people finding Jesus, changed lives and the life-giving message of the gospel.

Friends, we have too much in our hands to lose people to poverty these days.

My only regret after going to Mexico, is not going sooner.

The border that stretches between us should never become greater than the people who live on the other side.


Sarah Hestermissions