Melody Grijalva

What is your vision for this new year?

I am so grateful that I am able to start off a new year here at CTC. My vision this year is to share the gospel wherever God puts me and to make Christ known. This is something that God has really put on my heart. I have been praying for God to bring people into my life that He wants me to share with and that He will speak through me with His words and not mine.

“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” (Mark 16:15-16)

How has the culture impacted you?

Adjusting to this culture was nothing like I had expected. Most of my family is from Mexico and they don’t have a very American culture-like lifestyle, so I thought it would not be much different from my family. But I was wrong, there are so many more things that I have learned actually being here, things that I had never thought of or seen. I’ve noticed a lot of differences between the American culture and the Mexican culture. I have adjusted pretty well to being here and I now do things here that would be considered weird to do back at home. When I first got here, Brennan (CTC director) helped me to adjust to the culture, by telling me things he has noticed and been through. What also helped me was spending a lot of time with the people here and building friendships.

Meghan Sytsma

What is your vision for this new year?

I’m not usually one for new year’s resolutions, but this year I decided I would focus on a goal for my relationship with God. A goal that should really be my goal all of the time: to become less and for God to become more, in every sense of the statement. I want to trust in God’s promises and not in myself, even though what my year looks like is uncertain. I want to obey God’s will, even when it’s difficult. I want to step beyond what I think I’m capable of on my own and have to rely on the Holy Spirit. I want to abandon my old ways that aren’t pleasing to God. The coolest thing is that God has a promise for those who seek righteousness, that He will satisfy them! How amazing is that, that we can be sure because He promises to change us and walk with us.

How has the culture impacted you?

At first look it isn’t easy to see small cultural differentiations. However, when you are living alongside people of another culture that’s when you really see these things. God has been working on my heart and teaching me to appreciate the culture. I’m learning that no culture is right, but that the gospel is relevant to every culture, and that truly is a beautiful thing to see.

Jesus Hernandez

What is your vision for this new year?

My vision for this year is to fall more in love with God, to serve Him and those He has placed in my life with the same heart Jesus served us, all while being completely reliant on His grace.

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:13-14)

How has the culture impacted you?

Being able to minister here in Mexico is definitely eye opening and incredible at the same time. Because the culture is different, God has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and come to a place of humility and full reliance on him. Going to the local churches here is a great way to be immersed in the culture and learn how things operate here. It has definitely been an experience of learning to become less and Christ becoming more which is an answer to my prayers.

Kailey Torres

What is your vision for this new year?

God has given me a vision of going deeper in my relationship with Him. I want to let go of anything that will hinder me from growing. With the Holy Spirit’s guidance and strength, I will achieve this by taking the way I spend my time more seriously and cutting out things that don’t redeem the time, and instead use that time to study the word of God, spend time in worship, and more focused times of prayer.

How has the culture impacted you?

Moving to Tijuana has been very challenging for my family, but I see God’s hand in all of the struggles and trials that we’ve faced. One crucial thing that has helped with the challenges that we’ve faced, is spending time in prayer and in the word, consistently. Life on the mission field can be very busy and hectic and quiet time with God can easily be pushed aside. But we’ve learned that the days where we sincerely seek to hear from God, we aren’t as overwhelmed by the things that come our way.

Another thing we’ve learned that has helped us in ministering to and with the people, is to come with a humble attitude. Even if we do know the best way to do something, arrogance and ignorance just cause people to be offended and cause them to close themselves off. Being on the mission field has taught me so much about the importance of humility and having a servant’s heart and attitude.

Julia Whittaker

What is your vision for this new year?

This year I really want to discipline myself in my faith journey. In the past I have struggled with being attentive in my devotions, and daily making available this extremely important time with God. I want to constantly immerse myself in His Word, reading deeper into it every day. We took a class last year called Inductive Bible Study, where we learned how to dig into God’s word to better understand what He is showing us. This has taught me that I can do this daily with reading the Bible: digging into whatever passage I may be reading, praying to God for understanding, and looking into what God is trying to show me.

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2)

How has the culture impacted you?

When you first immerse yourself in a new culture, the experience can be baffling and at times embarrassing when you realize you have a made a cultural error that would not have made anyone bat an eye at home. This, however, has changed my perspective on a lot of things, and has humbled me numerous times. Not understanding the language or culture has forced me to rely on God and to realize that no matter how different we all are, He is the one who unites us.