Four years ago, I made the best decision in my life, of my life, and for my life.
It was March 2009, I was 14, and headed on my first mission trip to Trinidad! I was super excited, but a little (make that a LOT) bothered... gonna go spread the gospel of salvation even though I'm just as lost as they are?
March 18, Wednesday: We were up bright and early and headed over to Tulsa to fly out. There was snow in Tulsa and fog in Dallas, so we were there all day before we finally flew to Dallas. Well we missed our flight Trinidad of course, so one of the members in our group, Edy Cozort, called her Aunt and Uncle who live outside of Dallas. They were so gracious and kind! We divided up between their house and one of the members of the church there, and had a full night's sleep and a wonderful breakfast!
March 19, Thursday: After a long day of flights, we finally arrived in Trinidad past midnight. We got settled and all that jazz.
March 20, Friday: Up at 6:00 to get ready to leave by 8 AM, reached the building, and headed on to the fields. Nathan and I were assigned to go with Mr Eugene Jenkins and his wife Mrs Luvenia (Love those two people so much) to go on a study. The lady was really close, but unwilling (still is) to simply make the decision to get baptized. Funny how things work, eh? Cause I read all the scriptures out loud for study purposes... and the feeling just grew worse! She might not have been ready to obey the Gospel but I sure was! But I was still too scared to say anything... we went back to the building, rested, changed clothes, and went to the Crusade. Bro Dominic Dos Santos preached the most amazing sermon. I have no idea what the topic was, other than redemption, but I will never forget the way it made me feel.... That there was hope available for me, a spiritual family that I wanted to be a part of, that I could be clean, but that I was still helpless and totally lost.
I slept that night. After a while, and only because I had traveled for two solid days and been in the hot sun for one, and it was like 2 in the morning when we got back. So I slept, but not well.
March 21, Saturday: We went to the beach! "Woohoo!" you might say, but I was completely miserable. Seriously. We stopped by the pitch lake, and everybody is "oohing and ahhing"but I was holding a baby, so I didn't have to get out, and I didn't want to. So we fiiiiiinally reached to beach about 10:30 AM? We play in the water, jump, scream, yoga (lol), dunked mom in... had a great time! Then it was time to get out... and I could not take it anymore!! So I told mom, "I want to be baptized." We located dad, he and I talked for a little bit while everybody else went onto the shore, then I made my confession, and I was baptized into Christ!
You can ask me how the rest of the day went... I really don't know. I came out of the water and hugged my family that was now my family in Christ, even all those Trinis that I didn't even know their names. haha! But it was glorious. We went to the bathhouse to change, and Edy told me something that has stuck with me ever since. "Isn't it a great feeling, Onie, that you are perfect? In the sight of God, you're as innocent as a baby!" :) I think we went to get chinese food after that... and maybe came home and rested before the crusade... not really sure! haha! I do know I zonked out as soon as I got home though! It was so nice to be able to sleep sure and safe, without the fear of not waking up and being in hell that I'd had for the past couple months. :)
But I do remember that that next week was tremendous! I felt so good, so invincible! I'm just thankful for the blood of Christ, and salvation, and for God blessing me and giving me the strength I needed.
So today, four years later, I'm thankful for God's mercy he has bestowed on me, thankful for the blessings, thankful for the family I have in Christ, thankful that he gives me the strength to face anything, thankful for the opportunities he's given me, thankful for just being *saved.*