We all were deeply affected by what we saw and heard on our trip. We felt moved to the point of action. But how do we live that out once we're back home where we already feel pushed to the limit ... by family commitments, jobs, volunteer work, and ministry involvement? Her question really becomes the crux of the issue once we get back home. God brought us to Tijuana for a reason. One reason certainly was to bring about change in our selves perhaps even first and foremost before change in Tijuana. But yet He has burdened our hearts with pain that calls us to do something for the situation there. How do we live that out in already very full lives where, particularly when it comes to family commitments, change or "downsizing" really isn't an option?
I am sure that God will call us all to different things as the result of this -- that is how the unified Body works. It may be amped-up prayer for Tijuana and the particular issues we learned about. It may be telling the stories we heard, raising awareness perhaps even world-wide. It may mean continued strategizing and discernment and developing a bigger mission in Tijuana -- finding God's vision. It may mean a return trip for some of us. It may mean welcoming Tijuana Christian Mission folks into our homes the next time they visit. Particularly for a young stag like Seth, it may even mean a development of a lifelong ministry to the oppressed of the world.
It will be really cool to see how this plays out ... how God works among and through us. But an important thing along the way will be continued encouragement for each of us to really seek out and act on exactly why God called us to through this trip.
As far as the personal change in my "self" that has been effected by this trip, I hope that it includes a renewed focus on living a life that is truly transformed in Christ and embodies what Paul wrote in Colossians 3:5-17 (NIV):
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.