A Summer of Firsts in Missions

Sixteen year old Erika Disney went to Tennessee with AIM and is her very first missions trip.  In a short period of time, young Erika has grown tremendously.  This week of roughing it in Appalachia mountains, where the showers are cold and the air is hot, prayer walking, house painting and worshiping the Lord, has transformed her.

I’m feeling God just like I did when I first accepted Jesus as my Savior. Crazy isn’t it? I honestly didn’t think I’d feel that God-high ever again. I was completely wrong. How I’ve been going on without this God-high is beyond me; it’s like figuring out that you haven’t been breathing all this time.

The “high” hit me when I volunteered to help the “throw-together” worship team they wanted. We sat down in a room to practice. Colton (please forgive me if that’s not the correct spelling, sir) played his guitar so lovely and I was moved as soon as I heard it. My connection with music turned into not just a desire but a Godly desire. My mouth opened and the words flew out as if he was right there in front of me and I was singing for his entertainment. I didn’t want to the songs to stop.

Only sixteen years old, Erika learned what some of us learned later on in our lives:  the importance of spending time alone with God and listening prayer.  These are her thoughts:

ATL. If you don’t know what that is (like I didn’t until moments ago), it means “Ask The Lord.” Sounds simple, right? Let me tell you, it sounds simple but for me it is a struggle. We must shut out all the thoughts in our minds, which is extremely hard for me, but I’m working on it. I love the silent moments when I can hear/feel/see God. It’s beyond amazing! I wish I had learned about all of this years ago.

We’re excited to have been a part of setting Erika into motion both in intimacy with God and ministry to His people.

Karina KoskaKarina Koska spent her first week as the newest staff member of AIM’s Mexico base in Matamoros by putting Matthew 25.35-40 into action. 
As she, her husband Dustin, and fellow interns repaired the roofs of the neighboring houses – following in the footsteps of Jesus the carpenter – they were able to love their neighbors, like Juan and his family, by praying for them.

We were seeing the conditions of his home, but unfortunately we didn’t have anything that we could offer him, except the . . .Gospel. We asked about him and his family and he opened up to us in an amazing way. His job is to buy seafood and sell it at the beach, but he was also a drug addict and had been in different rehab centers yet always went back to drugs. We also met his wife and children, who offered us the best chair that they had – a car seat.

We explained the Gospel to them. . . We spent all our time with him and his wife, who before tried to go to church but felt hurt by the people there. I asked her for forgiveness, on their behalf, saying that I know that we are not perfect, but she needed to leave those experiences in the past and go to God who was the only One worthy to put her eyes on.

After a while, some neighbors came just to hear what we were saying. Dustin started to talk to all of them about the woman in the Bible who was caught in adultery. . . Dustin finished by saying that Jesus forgave this woman, but He said as well, “Go and sin no more.” . . .They wanted to pray and Dustin told them, “God wants to forgive you but He wants you to talk to Him.”

Juan started to pray but he didn’t know how, but he said that he wanted to be free of his sins and addiction and that he recognized that God sent us as an answer to his prayer from the day before. We prayed for him and his family, asking God for freedom in his life. It was an amazing time! It was definitely worth the stay. His wife said that she felt a lot of peace and that they were very happy that we went to visit them.
We’re excited that Dustin and Karina’s ministry has gotten off to such a great start!
Have you never been on missions before and would like to get your feet wet? Check out some of the opportunities we have here; it’s never too late to get started!
Here’s a video of a South Dakotan group’s first week in the city of brotherly love: