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Story

Loving Beyond Barriers
By Sara Strome - July 11, 2016

“God can do abundantly more than we could ever ask, think, or imagine.” Ephesians 3:20

Bridgette Rosario, an upbeat, loving, and tender young adult loved beyond her limitations on Impact 195’s recent mission trip to Oaxaca, Mexico.

Days before the trip came, she was afraid, she didn’t feel prepared, and she was worried she wouldn’t be able to adapt quickly enough to the plans ahead. Bridgette, a competent young lady, loves to plan for her future, her days, and her dreams. Walking into something with no plans was one of the most daunting feelings for her. To her, being flexible and having plans change unexpectedly was a dreadful feeling she didn’t want to have to experience. It was like seeing a foggy path from far away, and not wanting to walk into it, because of unknown territory.

I learned from this journey, to love God is to love others, which means going out of your plans and your comfort zone, serving them even if I didn’t want to … I learned that I was qualified because God was in me.

She asked God to help her prepare for the trip before she left, and sure enough, every time she was with her friends, she found herself in places she never thought she would be. Their plans would unpredictably change for an entire week leading up to the trip. Some of the revised plans included going to urgent care with a friend that had been sick, having to go home early because of her families needs, and having to feed her pastor's dog with a friend at 10:30pm, which was something she would never think she had to do. Typically for her, plans would follow through with friendships, so she quickly knew God had been preparing her in the little things. However, realizing and understanding that God had been preparing her, meant paying attention to the details in her life and stopping to look around at how God had been preparing her in ways she never would’ve thought.

Before she knew it, she was well on her way to the trip, and after I asked her what the first thing she learned was, she said to me, “Mexico was flexico.”

“How so?" I said.

She told me, “well let's just say it this way; I got out of my comfort zone.”

“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9

She began to explain a one particular day she remembered very clearly from the trip.

“Well, one day,” she said, “we were on an evangelizing journey.” She sat up, intently speaking up with her eyes wide open, courageously excited about what she wanted to say.

“It was the middle of the day, clear, scorching hot outside, and people were in their best Sunday attire. Me, Amanda Scotty (an Impact leader), Mike Dotts, and Becka Jane all began to pray, then we looked over at a man, we looked back at each other, and Becka immediately said, "what about that guy?”

“SO,” she said, “he was about 30 feet away from us… he was an average man around 40’s, dark skin, walking and holding a walking stick, and he was limping. He had a straight face on and wasn’t looking too excited about his day. We walked over to him. We asked him if he had any pain and he said yes, his knees had been hurting, and he had been limping, so we began to pray for him. “

At that moment, Bridgette told me she felt as though she wasn’t adequate to be praying for him. She felt as though she either had to be a pastor, a teacher, or somebody who was better equipped. However, what happened next was the most incredible thing she ever could have dreamed of.

The man was healed from head to toe. His face of contempt became a face of freedom, and he began walking with absolutely no limping at all. The man reflected joy as the group reminded him of who Jesus was and that it was He that had healed him. The man couldn’t explain it, but his pain was gone, and he began pacing as he walked away, but this time without a stick to help him stay up in every step.

As the group went on throughout their day, they experienced somebody who was blind gain their sight, and they got to encounter some children at a local orphanage worshipping God as they shared with them the love of Jesus.

When I asked her to sum up the trip and everything she learned from it, she said,

“I learned from this journey, to love God is to love others, which means going out of your plans and your comfort zone, serving them even if I didn’t want to … I learned that I was qualified because God was in me. I found out that even if there is a language barrier, it could cause insecurity or a feeling, but that didn’t stop love. I gathered that for me to encounter God and experience him, I had to be a team player, engage with people, and not let the language barrier get in the way. I could love on others even when they couldn’t speak the same language. I also discovered that God has a plan for me and my life, and there is also an enemy who tries to stop me by putting fear in my life, which causes me to want to control the direction for my life. I learned that to let go is what living for Christ means.”

For Bridgette, it was evident to see that the barriers of fear were broken down by freedom, and God was even more exemplified in her distress because He was the one who became the Hero in this story. In the brokenness of the Oaxacan people, God could shine through the cracks, and it was evident to see that God chose and used Bridgette in mighty ways during this trip because she walked through the fog even when she could not see. She took a step of faith, and God came through in a manner that was unimaginable.