>Sufficient Grace Demonstration
I had the immense privilege of knowing, albeit briefly, Hugo Liborio and his wife Sarah. We worked together a few times at the camp I speak at in Nebraska, sponsored by Teens for Christ, the ministry in Phillipsburg, KS that Jane and I served the first two years of our marriage.
In December Hugo died unexpectedly at a very young age. He and his family were stateside on furlough. After the funeral Sarah and the children returned to the Dominican Republic.
TFC sends mission trips each summer, and what follows is a letter Sarah wrote to them that will encourage, bless, and challenge: (bold type added by me to highlight)
Dear Mission Tripper!
I am so honored to be able to help send you on mission trip! I know the eternal impact God does on a life during a mission trip, and that is something I want to be part of. It is never a waste of finances to put it where God is working!
And even though I don’t know you, I know God is working on YOU! Whatever your personal motive is for going on mission trip, theGod of the Universe has His own reason. He wants you to go for a specific reason to change something in you. You’re right where God wants you to be, even if it doesn’t fel like it.
I went on my first mission trip when I was 14 years old. I went to the Philippines for two months. It was the hardest thing I had done in my life up to that point, but God was faithful to get me through.
During that mission trip God called me to be a full time missionary. I didn’t know how, when or where, but I knew someday I would be living overseas dooing God’s work.
From that summer on I sought every opportunity to deepen my relationship with God, and also to do more mission trips. TFC, the TFC staff, and their summer mission trips were a HUGE part of my spiritual growth and training…
I finally entered full time missions with my husband, Hugo, in the Dominican Republic in November 2008. Hugo had waited 9 years since God had called him to missions and I had waited 13 years to finally fulfill God’s ultimate call on my life.
Hugo and I enjoyed an amazing, totally blessed 10 months of ministry on the mission field. While we were back in the states to have our second baby, Hugo died of a brain aneurysm. He was only 29 years old. He had only 10 years of committed life to his Savior.
I wanted to tell you all this background information for a reason. In processing Hugo’s death, I have started to see that those years leading up to serving on the mission field, my focused seeking God to know Him more, were for the purpose of wanting to be a missionary. That was always the underlying motive.
But now I see that God used that learning time during those 13 years to give me a foundation of Jesus Christ that He knew I would need in order to pass through losing the love of my life.
So my advice is this…Enjoy mission trip, serve God, seve others, but don’t lose what God wants to teach you spiritually. Because only God knows when you will need that spiritual lesson to keep you from being shaken in a trial.
After losing Hugo, in Christ’s strength and grace, I returned to the mission field one month to the date (of his death). The verse that I kept in my mind was 1 Corinthians 15.58, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”