This summer we had three interns from Calvary Chapel Santa Fe Springs serving here at CTC. Over these two months they’ve served alongside short-term teams and have had responsibilities here at the base. Here’s a little bit about them and what they have learned this summer.

Felicia Felix, 21

When did you feel called to the internship?

I remember bring about 7 years old when I saw a picture of a couple on our refrigerator, I wondered who they were, I asked my grandma, and she told me they’re missionaries and she gave me an idea of what they do, she said they tell people about Jesus. I remember looking up at my grandma and saying, “I want to be a missionary”, and it was always a thought in my head growing up, but there was no direction, I didn’t know where to start… fast forward to high school, I fell from my walk with God and in April of 2014 I remember rededicating my life to Jesus at the Easter service in Calvary Chapel Santa Fe Springs. At the very moment of rededicating my life to Christ I knew God was calling me and still wanted me to go out to the field. That burning passion fired up in me, so I started getting involved in church, started going on small mission team trips with the groups, but I felt a tug to stay longer and serve as a missionary. Every door I opened seemed to close on my face, although Mexico was a place I was so used to going to I didn’t want to go there, I thought God would send me somewhere far. He humbled me so much during a season of fasting and prayer, I stopped telling God to open doors to places and to lead me in the direction He wants. So I started reading through Acts around May 2015 after about a month in this prayer and fast on the 20th day. I received a huge confirmation, not only did God speak to me through Acts 20:22-24 but I remember listening to a Spanish worship song and just pouring my heart out to God and the staff here at CTC responded to me coming down to see if God would have me here for a long term stay. I didn’t speak Spanish I didn’t have transportation, how would this be possible? God told me He would teach me and be with me. He was definitely faithful to this promise. Once I finished my fast and prayer that month I remember going to work and a customer came in a talked with me in Spanish and a weird fire came upon me when I spoke to him, I spoke pure Spanish, everyone was shocked. I myself knew it could be no one but God, I started learning Spanish worship. When I came for the visual trip that October 2016 I got here safe, just like God promised. I took a train and a bus while praying about the long term stay, God gave me this overwhelming peace and confirmed in other ways as well. It wasn’t until I got back from Mexico that I realized how dangerous the trip was and I knew God was with me faithfully as He promised. So He will always be as long as I follow Him.

How was your experience?

I almost want to say, “what hasn’t God shown me”, I didn’t think coming to the mission field would be so drastic. I thought, “here I go bound in the Spirit” to serve and love the people. When clearly I should have read the rest of that verse in Acts, where Paul wrote, “chains and tribulation await me” boy did they await me. I could lie and say it was a peaceful storm because I knew how much God was in control, but to be honest it was more of a hurricane that would change my life forever. I always think of the times that the disciples disappointed Jesus by forgetting He was with them, Matthew 8:24-27(the disciples on the boat); Matthew 14:28-33 (peter takes His eyes off of Jesus); even in the old testament Moses didn’t even acknowledge God in his sin, Exodus 2:12 (when Moses killed the Egyptian, he looked everywhere else but to God). The list of the failures is endless, however God allowed these moments so that His servants would be humbled and that they would be refined and ready to serve Him the way He wanted them to serve. I came here thinking, “I’m a missionary” and I stand now saying, “I’m a slave”. Being here showed me to cling to God and to give Him my ALL. It showed me that I should aim to be the least, I don’t want a prize, a title, a trophy. I am happy to be here cleaning feet (john 13:1-17). “Thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10. This season and time being here God has been equipping me to be His slave and follow Him, and actively seek His will for my life. I am completely filled with joy and faith, I truly believe He is going to finish the work He has started. I am excited yet, still and know that He is God. I truly want the best that God has and truthfully its not here on this earth, so while I’m here I will die to self knowing that what He offers in heaven is worth it, what He offers has no comparison to what this world offers. No more “me” I want to abide in Him and His love.

What are your plans for after the internship?

After the internship Is all in the hands of God, I am open to the plans God has for me however I believe God has called me to serve in the field very soon and possibly in Mexico, however, I am open to wherever God wants me to go. I am praying about attending Bible College to learn more about my Maker and possibly pick up some classes on different languages and culture.

When Moses went fled to the Mideon desert he was faithful until God called him to go and fulfill the will He had for him, Moses was about eighty years old when He was called. While I wont be eighty when He calls me I know wherever God has me, I would hope to be faithful and do the work unto Him just as Moses did before going to Egypt. So right now my goal is to be faithfully serving Him, but only my Author knows the plans He has written for my future.

 

Bianca Granado, 22

When did you feel called to the internship?

For me it was a very long process. I went on my very first mission’s trip in July of 2012, to Panama. The trip was only 10 days but after leaving I knew that God wanted me to continue work in the missionary field. I didn’t really spend a lot of time seeking exactly what He wanted me to do because I already had my own plans.    In November of 2013 I began coming to CTC with my home church on short-term missions trips. I always enjoyed my time and was always so bummed to have to leave so quickly. Over the years I would see the interns and hear about the program through them. It was really cool to hear their stories and how the Lord was moving in their lives.

Last summer I went back to Panama again, this time I really didn’t want to leave. I remember telling my pastor and his wife how I would like to stay there for a long period of time. So once we got back, I started being more open to what God had planned.

I came to CTC shortly after that for another short-term trip and began to consider the internship. In November I decided to talk to Brennan and get an application. Our team was coming back in February so I planned on turning it in then, I was so hesitant at first and just let the application sit in my room for a while.

During this time I felt like every church service I sat in, God was calling me. Everything was about putting our faith to work and trusting Him. Somehow everything always pointed me to where I am today.

How was your experience?

Coming into all of this I really didn’t know what to expect. I was unsure of how things would be and what my day-to-day life would be like. I was a little nervous just because I was so used to doing everything my way back home. But I have loved every bit of these last two months. I am sad that my time (for now) in Mexico has ended.

God has really taught me a lot. I’ve been reminded that He should always be my first ministry and to always serve Him. It can be so easy getting caught up in serving that you forget who it is that you’re serving. I’ve learned how to be a better servant and to serve with love.

I’ve also realized how important it is to spend time in prayer and God’s word. And not just a quick five-minute prayer but to really bring your needs to Him. We can’t show His love or share His word to people if we ourselves aren’t being filled with it.

What are your plans for after your internship?

I still have one year left of college and have no idea what I will be doing after graduation. For the first time in my life I don’t know what’s next. I’ve always been such a planner but God has really been teaching me to be flexible.

So besides finishing school I plan on staying involved in ministries at my home church. I am praying about what God wants me to do after school. I definitely still feel called to the mission’s field and have some places that I do feel called to. But I am just learning to let God guide me and learning to trust in Him more.

 

Elizabeth Valdez, 12

When did you feel called to the internship?

My first mission trip was in November of 2012, so I have been coming to La Gloria for almost 5 years. Even though I was young, and I still am, I felt this tug on my heart. After a while, I realized that tug was God. So after a couple of years of coming to La Gloria, I began praying about being an intern. After about 6 months God answered my prayers. He also provided greatly for me in that time.

How was your experience?

I do think that, in the beginning, things were a bit hard and slow. But over time, I was able to grow much closer to God. He put people in my path that have helped me grow in many ways too. God has taught me a lot about respect, sensitivity, on being a servant, kindness and just more about His love.

What are your plans for after your internship?

When I go home, I plan to use what God has shown me throughout my school year and continue growing in my walk with God. After high school I hope to do missions work in Columbia and continue to let God use me for His will.