Updated: May 2
"For even the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give His life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).
For Keila, her experience with the Kogui community, in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, has been an event that has no words to describe everything she lived back then.
"God is in control"
Being a missionary is the most tangible way to feel God and see his wonders. It is leaving everything on the ground, drawing your true human strength to reach the goal and feeling that when you are short of breath, you are greeted with a shy smile and tender eyes.
I have experienced many things, but I have never felt how the angels of heaven pushed the vehicle and took us and brought us with all the care, helped us to clear the way after the collapses caused by the rain of the previous day, which God sent a hour after arriving at our final destination.
It was exactly 12 hours where the thunder and the storm delighted us and confirmed the power of God and his presence with us. In the distance you could hear the power, strength and speed with which the intrepid waters of the Don Diego River came down, at times I was afraid that it would reach the school where we were staying, the rain did not stop and the rays fell closer and closer to U.S. Suddenly everything calmed down and it didn't rain anymore.
"You learn to serve, no matter what ..."
Being with the natives is realizing the simplicity of life, that we have everything and we feel we have nothing, while they have nothing but they live as if they had everything, and that is that they have it, because they have peace, they have tranquility, they have a sincere smile that fill your soul with joy, something that is difficult to achieve in the comfort of the city. You learn to serve, no matter what degree of preparation you have, you find yourself wanting to help, and your problems disappear in the face of their living conditions. See that they are so vulnerable, sensitive and exposed to anything, but that God protects them and provides them with what they need to exist.
We worry about filling our lives with luxuries, clothes, shoes, different wallets and fashions, but we do not have the happiness that they do have, even if they are barefoot, without combing their hair, with a single dress that they change when they have already overcome the holes and the dirt from sleeping on the floor for a long time.
To be a missionary is to deny yourself and follow the example of Jesus, who was serving those in need and doing good. If you are in a moment of your life where you do not find sense to follow, it is the perfect time to leave your comfort zone and go to serve those who have nothing. It is not necessary to go to another country, or to cross an ocean, you can go to the most marginal locality of your city, take the things that you do not use to donate them, a smile, arms ready to hug. Once you are there, you will realize what you need to look for to carry next time. Ask for help from those who have the most, and those who feel the same way will come to your life to accompany you and fulfill the mission, purpose and plans. God always goes ahead and will give you everything to start and finish the work.
-Keila P. Ayala, Volunteer since 2018 (Santa Marta, Colombia)