People usually think of Cancun, Mexico, as being a summer tourist hotspot, but for students participating in a mission outreach hosted by Youth With A Mission (YWAM), it was an opportunity site for evangelism and even hurricane relief.
Mission Adventures of YWAM Nashville recently wrapped up its Mexico summer outreach program Aug. 4 after two months of servicing the area. The program released four waves of groups totaling 250 people to Cancun.
After three days of training, the first two waves of participants spent their days on work projects constructing houses for families in need and repairing local churches. During the evenings, they reached out to the local people through drama, puppets, or testimonies. For one drama, "King of Hearts," students represented people who hide their true selves behind masks.
"Jesus then comes and dies for them, takes down their masks and shows them who he wants them to be," said David Jaime, Director of YWAM Mexico 2005.
However, during the program's biggest wave, a greater need presented itself when a Category 4 hurricane hit the region. While the YWAMers were able to ride out the hurricane and suffered only the loss of electricity, a region south of their hotel was hit more severely.
On July 19, a day after the hurricane hit, participants loaded three buses to Playa del Carmen. Upon arriving, they immediately set to work repairing damaged house roofs and distributed 450 bags filled with flour, rice, corn meal, beans, sugar, and oil to families hit by the hurricane.
Although assisting hurricane victims was inspiring for many, the mission trip in itself was enough to change the way most participants felt about mission, according to Jaime.
"Even apart from the hurricane, I think it radically opened up people's eyes," Jaime told The Christian Post while waiting for a connecting flight back to Nashville. "Getting to see how people live made a lot grateful for what they have. It really helped me to see the people are out there. As a result, many gained a heart of mission."
"Mexico is different from other outreach countries because it is an open country where it is legal to preach the Gospel," said Jaime. "I think it's a great environment to introduce people to outreach and missions."