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Day of Firsts...

“It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you

and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain...”

John 15:16

Already from day one, this trip has provided a lot of “firsts” for me. Aside from this being my first mission trip outside of the country, I had also just finished my very first semester in Nursing School, experienced my very first plane ride, my very first ‘double’ tire-blowout, and encountering the Peace of God in a new way.

What really called me to this trip was a similar reason why I have felt called to be a nurse: I want to help people. But not just only with physical illnesses, I feel called to take the art of nursing and help people in the spiritual aspect as well. So this mission trip seemed perfect!

From just finishing 16 weeks of intense studying and multiple exams a week, I was ready to finally have some time to myself and was looking forward to spending it serving people along side others with the same intention. For our first meeting together on Friday night, we were able to celebrate Mass as a group. As Father Mark read the gospel, one verse—John15:16—really stood out and spoke to me like never before. I encountered such a close connection with Jesus and a sense of peace within me, and at that moment that I knew that this trip was going to open my eyes to the love of Jesus that I have never encountered before.

Waking up on Saturday, I was so ready to get this trip on the road, which included experiencing my very first plane ride! This was an experience that I will most definitely never forget. From the nerve-wrecking take off to the scary and bumpy landing, I personally think I handled it better than expected. But what really made it all worth it was the feeling of touching ground in the country of Belize. At that moment it really hit me like, “Wow, this is really happening! I’m here to be the hands and feet of Christ!” After getting our luggage we went out to meet the wonderful people that were going to drive us up to our home for the next 2 weeks, which was about 2 hours away from the airport.

While a group of about 10 of us were in route, another one of my ‘first’ experiences occurred; the van that I happened to be in had a blowout, which also happened to be about a mile away from a prison. Luckily the guys that we had on our van were very knowledgeable on how to change tires but there was only one problem to add to all that was happening; we did not have a spare tire to replace the flat. We finally were able to get ahold of someone who went and got for us 2 new spare tires. So we were back on the road, and about 15-30 minutes of driving the same van has another flat tire but this one happens to be a different tire! Thankfully, we were able to use the second spare tire, hoping that none of the other tires were going to blow.

As this day was quickly coming to an end and as I was recalling all that had happened, I started to slowly understand that no matter how much we try and plan out the day’s events, God has so many ways of showing us that he has everything in his hands, and that when the unexpected happens we should embrace it and make the best of every situation! With what I have experienced in these first 2 days of this trip has helped me open myself up to the many different ways God works in my life and I am looking forward to the many encounters with Christ along the way!

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