You can download the Mexico 2022 Hope in the Desert Devotional book here.
JOIN THE MEXICO'22 TEAM FOR "DESERT LIVE" ON FACEBOOK
9AM EST EACH MORNING.....SUNDAY, JULY 10 THRU WEDNESDAY, JULY 13
2 of our students will be broadcasting live from our base camp in the Mexican desert. They will include interviews, updates, tours of the camp and a few surprises!
To join the broadcast, "like" the New Providence Presbyterian Facebook page at: facebook.com/nppcnj
“Hope in the Desert”
Jesus once said, “Go forth into the world
And spread my Name and my love to every single soul
He said, “I am the solid Rock, build your house on me.
Go forth into the nations, and give help to those in need.”
Bringing hope to the desert, we leave our comfort zones
And we spread the love of Jesus Christ
By blessing a family with a home
We are the hands and feet of our God
We are the light of the world
And we build much more than just a house
We build faith, we build love
We build hope in the midst of the desert
The harvest is great, but the laborers are few
There is so much work to be done and Jesus needs You
So, we say, “Jesus here I am, take my life and do your will”
We put our hands at your service
Cause’ we are servants of Your Name
Side by side we stand
Our eyes fixed on Jesus
Hand in hand we walk
As a family towards our goal
-Audrey Del Campo, 2007
Hope in the Desert
Wednesday July 6, 2022
The song at the beginning of this devotional book is one I wrote in 2007 after my first mission trip to Mexico when I was 14 years old. I was sitting on the plane flying back to Newark and I had this tune in my head and all of a sudden, tears started to fill my eyes and I felt lyrics emerging. I grabbed my journal and started writing it all down. A mixture of Scripture and my own experience starting to weave together forming this song that captures not just the heart of God for the world, but the very essence of this unique mission trip.
As a 14-year-old girl, I remember the culture shock I felt as we crossed the border. I spoke the language, but even that wasn’t enough to make me feel any better. I was a foreigner. I was a stranger. I was uncomfortable. But then, I met the family. Then, I met the kids of the community for VBS. Then, I met the pastors of the community and something shifted in me. It’s different, very different. But at the same time, not that different. As Mike would say, “kinda, sorta…”
I realized that this mission trip wasn’t about me at all. It wasn’t what I could do for them, but what God wanted to do in me. I believe that this trip, 15 years ago, planted the seed of a love for evangelism and international ministry for me. Since then, God has done amazing things in my life. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been good.
My prayer for you these next few days is that God would reveal to you what it is He wants to do in you. No matter how old you are, God wants to use you and His plans for you are so good. Go into this journey with a heart wide open and ready for whatever it is He has in store.
Read Jeremiah 29:11 & Matthew 28:18-20
Peace & Love,
Thursday July 7, 2022
The time has come. In just a few short hours, we will be getting together to do what we have been planning, dreaming and getting ready for over the past couple of months. Hearts are racing, expectations are high, and anticipation is kicking in at full force on both sides of the border. While you’ve probably done everything you can to get ready and be ready for this mission, the truth is, you’re probably still thinking about what’s missing and what you could possibly be forgetting! Fear not…
Martha and Mary learned it from Jesus Himself as He went to visit them one day. Martha was running around up and down getting all the preparations ready for Jesus to come over. In the hurry of it all she wondered where her sister was and got annoyed when she found her chilling out with Jesus. Gently, Jesus taught her that Mary chose the best part.
Friend, you have done all you could to prepare. Trainings, fundraisers, garage sales, packing…So now, as you prepare for tomorrow, don’t worry so much about the physical, material things. Take a minute to quiet your soul and prepare your heart for what is to come. Sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to what He has to say. This is the most important and beautiful preparation of all.
Read Luke 10:38-42
Prayer: Jesus, I invite You into my excitement. I invite You into my anxious thoughts. I invite You into my expectation. I invite You into my worry. I invite You into this space, here and now and for every second after during this mission. I choose to be still, and be with You and believe that You are taking care of all the details. Amen.
Sunny San Diego
Friday July 8, 2022
Welcome to California people! The Golden State. Take it in! Honestly, it’s not too different from home… except for its absolutely perfect weather and palm trees. Killer palm trees! In all seriousness though, God’s creation is beautiful, and, you made it! Another step closer to the mission.
You’re probably exhausted. It’s been a long couple of days leading up to this. So, today is a day to process a little bit and rest before you cross the border. As you process, look up at the sky. The sun that is shining over California, is the same sun that shines over Mexico and is the same that shines over you back home. And just as the same sun shines over all of that, the Son is also shining much brighter, over all the world.
You are His child, and therefore a carrier of His light, so stand tall and confident. Be bold and encouraged. What you are carrying within you is something so precious and so powerful. It can change the world. So, carry it with integrity. Carry it with honor. Carry it with humility. Carry it and share it for all to see. That’s why you’re here. Not just here, in San Diego getting ready to go to Mexico. But here on this Earth, for such a time as this, in good ol’ central Jersey (or wherever home is to you!)
Read Matthew 5:14-16
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for bringing me here safely. Give me the rest I need to do the work You have called me to do. Shine through me. I need You, and the world needs You. Thank you for trusting me to carry Your light. It is a joy and honor to serve You! Amen.
Crossing the Border
Saturday July 9, 2022
Today is a big day. You are going into a country that is not your home, to build a home for a family you don’t know. Whether this is your first time, or you’re a pro, something greater than yourself brought you here to this moment… that undeniable tug of the Holy Spirit calling you out and in as the living and active body of Jesus Christ. And the Holy Spirit Himself will be by your side, empowering you and strengthening you throughout this whole mission.
Today is a big day. As you cross the border, you’re stepping into a whole other world. Different landscape, different language, different culture than yours. Take it all in. It’s ok. As you look out your van window, take a deep breath and thank the Lord for all He’s given you, and praise Him because just as He loves you and America, He loves Mexico and every person in it. Process what you see and feel with Jesus. He is listening. He cares.
Tonight, you will be brushing your teeth over a spit-pit and nestling yourself into a sleeping bag on desert ground. Tonight, as you go to sleep and dream about meeting your family, that family will be going to sleep dreaming of meeting you and thanking God for the blessing of a house.
Today is a big day, so stay humble and remember that it’s not about you. It’s all about Jesus.
Read Romans 15:13
Prayer: Jesus, I surrender all I am to You. Thank You for bringing me here. Thank you for loving Mexico. Fill me with all joy, peace, love and hope as I process this cultural change. May everything I do, be for Your glory. Amen.
Sunday July 10, 2022
Today is another big day. Whether you’ve lived it yourself or have heard the rumors… slab day is… well, it’s probably physically, emotionally and mentally going to be one of the hardest days of your life. Not trying to scare you, just trying to prepare you. It is especially important today to not just drink plenty of water and rest when you need it, but to really have the foundation of your heart ready as you prepare to lay the foundation for this house.
You will see that today is the most important day because if the foundation isn’t done right… then nothing else matters. No foundation, no house. No pressure… J
As you work to level the ground and sift sand, ask God to level out and sift out anything in your own heart that has made the foundation unstable. As you mix and pour cement, pray that the foundation of this house not only endures physically, but that Jesus remains the spiritual foundation and cornerstone of the family you are building for.
Pray over the years that are to be lived upon this foundation. All the family meals, birthday parties, Christmases, broken dreams, heartbreak… pray that it all finds a way to remain grounded on Jesus. Because if Jesus is the foundation, come what may, the house will not fall.
Read Matthew 7:24-29
Prayer: Jesus, today we dedicate this slab to You. Be the foundation of this house. May all the hard work we put today in leveling the ground, also be translated into our own lives as we invite You in to level whatever isn’t right in our hearts. Be the foundation of this house. Be the foundation of this family. Be the foundation of my heart. Amen.
Monday July 11, 2022
Yesterday as you laid a foundation, you reduced the chances of sickness, disease and infection for your family by a high percentage. Over the next few days as you work on the walls, you are building something extraordinarily special for your family: safety and security. Walls are made to keep things out, and keep things in. For a place such as Tijuana, Mexico, having actual walls to a house isn’t taken for granted, so you are, my friend, building an actual blessing. Keeping the dangers of the desert out, and keeping a family safely in.
In the Bible, the walls that surrounded Jerusalem were destroyed when the enemy came and took over. For years they lay in ruins until God stirred in the people that it was time to rebuild. The walls were meant to keep the enemy out, and the people of God in, so the fact that they were destroyed was soul crushing to the Israelites. But when the time came, and the walls started to come up, despite the opposition, they came together and worked hard. In one hand they carried their building tool and in the other a sword in case the enemy came.
Opposition comes when the people of God are doing the will of God. Over the next few days, you’re going to face opposition from the enemy, because you are His and you are doing His will. Opposition also comes in many forms: physical, spiritual and emotional. So, be ready like the Israelites… hammer in one hand to keep working faithfully, and a “sword” in the other hand to fight off the enemy. Your sword in this case is Scripture, prayer, your team which you can be open and vulnerable with and your worship. You got this!
Read Nehemiah 4
Prayer: Jesus, help me stay fixed on you when tiredness strikes and when I feel like it is too hard. May these walls keep my family safe for many years to come. Protect them and guard them. Amen.
Tuesday July 12, 2022
Jesus was a carpenter. And I can only imagine that He too knew all of the joys and frustrations that came with the occupation. And with that, I think one of the greatest joys must have been when things came together just right, according to plan. One of the greatest frustrations, must have been the opposite: when things just didn’t line up or measure up the way they were supposed to.
I’m sure you’ve experienced a little bit of both in your time here so far. It’s part of the process! But never forget that it goes way beyond making walls meet and sizing up a roof to plop on top. As you are building this house, God is also at work building something in you.
Unlike us who can mess up measurements, God’s work is perfect. He makes no mistakes, so let Him do what He has to do. At the same time, as you work on building this house, remember, if the Lord isn’t it in, all your work is in vain. This is true for this physical house, but also for what you choose to do with your life. Like we talked about a couple of days ago, if Christ isn’t the foundation, then whatever you build is going to crumble. Now, Jesus isn’t only asking to be the foundation of your life, but He’s asking your permission to let Him be the chief builder. It’s a big ask which is why He won’t force you, but it’s a sweet surrender to turn it all over to Jesus. In His hands, there’s always a masterpiece in the works.
Read Psalm 127:1 & Ephesians 2:10
Prayer: Jesus, I invite You to be the chief builder of my life. Sorry for trying to take over so many times and trying to do things my way instead of surrendering to You who knows best, because You created me. I also put this house in Your hands. Help our team to follow the plans carefully, so we can bless our family with a sturdy and secure home. Amen
Wednesday July 13, 2022
Get ready to get messy! Today you will go over all the framework of the house and seal it in and bring it all together with this magical cement called stucco. You’re basically “icing” the house, and let’s be real…icing on a cupcake is what makes it whimsical and delicious! That being said… don’t eat stucco. The ideology of it is fascinating, but the consistency and texture, well… you’ll see for yourself!
The amazing thing about stucco is that it’s what binds the house together and keeps it firm and secure. It’s the protective coating that will keep the walls from being damaged, keeping everything and everyone inside safe.
As you mix and scrape your house up with stucco, remember this: Jesus is the cement that keeps our life, our spiritual house together. It is Him who is our protective coating shielding us from the terrors of this world. And while catastrophe may hit, if we’re in Christ, He will help us through it.
You are almost there. Day by day you have been the hands and feet of Jesus right here in this place. You partnered with Christ in building this house, and by now you know that you’re building so much more than just a house. You’re building faith, hope and love, through Jesus. You’re setting the framework to leave the legacy of Christ for this family, and at the same time, Christ is building you up. What an amazing God we serve.
Read 1 Peter 2:4-10
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for being the foundation, the walls, the roof and the cement that keeps my spiritual house together. You are also keeping this house together too. You are all I need and You are all this family needs. Help them realize that with all their hearts and see this house as a gift from You. Amen.
Thursday July 14, 2022
Mission accomplished. Well done good and faithful servant. But the mission isn’t over yet! It is time to break camp. It is time to pick everything up and move on to the next step. This is not just situationally true for this part of the trip, but can be true for many situations in our lives.
For the Israelites, they had been camping on Mount Horeb for a while and God sent word saying it was time to move on and take hold of the promises He had established for them. After 40 years of wandering in the desert, it had become their new home, and for many of them, this had become their new normal, and many of them forgot that God had a promised land for them. However, it was time. Because no matter how long it takes, God’s promises are true, and don’t have an expiration date.
You have been in the desert for 4 days… not exactly 40 years, but still enough time for God to do what He had to do in your heart. And now, it’s time to break camp. It’s time to set your eyes onto the next thing God has for you. As you break camp today, ask God to reveal what are things in your own life you need to break down in order to get up and move forward. It’s time to step into the fullness of all of God’s promises.
Read Deuteronomy 1:6-8
Prayer: Jesus, You are so good. Thank You for using me as Your agent this week. Now, it is time to break camp and go home to boldly proclaim that You are Lord of all. Help me break down any spiritual camps that have kept me bound, and set me free into the world that needs to hear Your message of hope and love. Amen
A Whole New World
Friday July 15, 2022
Welcome back to the USA ladies and gentlemen. Land of the free and home of the luxury of running water. The race to the nearest flushable baño is ON! After being where you just were, coming back home is like stepping into a whole new world. Take it in. This is real.
Different emotions are flooding your heart as you process the culture and state of living of these two countries that are so close, yet so far away socioeconomically and politically. Process it. Talk to Jesus about it. But don’t forget this one truth… whether you’re in Mexico or Central Jersey… that is not your home, nor your final destination.
We are on a journey that goes far beyond the 7 continents of the earth and realms of the atmosphere. Our final stop is heaven. Our true home. The final destination for every person from every nation, tribe and tongue that confessed Jesus as their Lord and Savior on this side of eternity. Oh, what a glorious day that will be!
So, for now, be thankful for what the Lord has given you. Stay humble and remember that you don’t know it all and there’s always something you can learn. Share generously with those around you your treasure, time and talents. But most importantly, don’t get too caught up with the material side of this world because it’s not going with you. One day, you will step into a whole new world that will have been worth the wait, and worth the cross. So, carry it faithfully. Carry it humbly. Carry it til’ the end.
Read Matthew 6:19-21 & Revelation 21:1-8
Prayer: Jesus, what a joy and honor it is to serve You. Help me keep my eyes on You and on eternity. Help this trip not just be another memory, but an experience that truly changes me from the inside-out as I continue to serve You. Amen.
Saturday July 16, 2022
Well, that’s it guys! You’re going home, back to your reality. Just as it was hard to cross into Mexico, going back home will be challenging too. Although you missed your shower, bed and toilet, your Mexican desert campground became home for 4 days and that will be hard to part with. As you settle back into your routine of life, be careful to not get too settled in.
Remember, you didn’t just build a house this week. God built something in you. He sparked something in your heart. Don’t let that fire grow dim. And if it does, just ask God for a renewed flame. You embraced the fullness of the call of God over your life, and over every believer’s life to go and make disciples of all nations. You did this by obediently saying, yes.
Your mission, however, is far from over. All around you there is a mission field. A world desperate for truth. People searching for a strong foundation on which to build their lives. Don’t stay silent. Share with them this truth you have. Stay connected to the Church, the body of Christ. We need each other to keep going, to keep learning, to keep building together. God is calling you, to keep sharing this Good News here and now. Keep building hope in the midst of this desert.
Read Romans 10:14-15
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for bringing me home safely. Open my eyes to help me see the greater mission field around me. Use me to keep building your kingdom here. Amen