Written by Carla Flores, Ministry Apprentice
I have been spending quite a bit of my time thinking about when God was first introduced to me. Looking back, my family and I would attend mass a few times a year. Then, when I was thirteen I began taking catechism classes. I was participating in these so I could have my first communion and confirmation of faith. I believe this was the time I learned about God, but I lacked a real connection with Him.
During hard times in my teenage years, I would always sing a hymn called “Tu Fidelidad” (Your Faithfulness.) This song made me feel safe and comforted. Right before coming on staff, I attended a CCDA (Christian Community Development Association) conference with the rest of the Mission Adelante staff. I was excited to visit Chicago for the first time and learn more about how social justice and Christianity mix. During one of the worship times, we sang “Tu Fidelidad”. Not only did I know that was God talking to me, but I was shocked to hear a song in my language being sung to a predominantly white audience. Everyone sang along, and my heart was full in a way that I can't explain. (Even re-telling this story now makes me emotional.) This room was full of people that accepted me and wanted me to succeed, brown skin and all. But even more so, to know that all these years God had never forgotten about me even if I had not pursued Him. I left CCDA with a revived spirit and faith.
Now I am well integrated into the Mission Adelante family, and God’s work continues to be done through and in me. Currently, I have been struggling with my anxiety. I am in my senior year at Ottawa University, and the homework alone sometimes is too much. I have been rolling with the punches and leaving it all in His hands. This past Sunday, I was at our house church and Jose, our worship leader, played “Tu Fidelidad.” I closed my eyes and heard everyone singing. Again this warm feeling began taking over my body, and soon it felt like I was on fire. I sang loud and could feel tears rolling down my face. How great is our God? I had been having panic attacks more often than usual in the past week, and just at the right time He reminded me that He was with me. God’s timing is perfect, and Monday I came back to work with peace in my heart.
I still have rough times - and probably always will. Hardships are a part of life, but knowing I have God on my side gives me the courage to face it all. My relationship with God has grown significantly as has my faith. I can look back at my life and see God’s unconditional faithfulness.
Workshop on The Power of Proximity: Michelle Warren is coming to share a morning with us and discuss concepts from her book on this Saturday, May 4th from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. Please plan on joining us for this powerful workshop. You can register here: https://ccda.org/train-connect/events/
We are now collecting filled backpacks to bless kids in the community in August. Are you or your small group interested in helping out?Visit www.missionadelante.org/serviceprojects/backpacks/ for details and to sign up!