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Christian Life

5 Lessons from My Missionary Friend Esli in London!

[Photo Credit: Forgiven Photography]

Esli Saravia, a college graduate and one of my great friends, just embarked on a journey to London to do missionary work and to step out in faith with what God has called her to do! Saravia is a compassionate, hardworking, faithful treasure who has a passion for helping young girls, especially victims of human trafficking.

Saravia left right during the Olympics, so this has been such an exciting, anticipated moment for my dear friend. She has been through quite a journey in her life and has now arrived to an even bigger adventure with the Lord, completely on her own, trusting God fully for everything!!

Here are Saravia’s 5 lessons she’s learned so far:

1. Trust God–even when it’s hard.

Saravia has had to trust God while living in a foreign place and for finances, ministry, and being far from her family. She doesn’t know how long she will be doing missionary work but she is willing to follow where God leads her.

2. Seek God–even (especially) when you feel lonely.

Saravia is so far from her friends and family, and she has had to cling to God more than ever before. In a written interview, she said:

 Living on your own in a different country completely unfamiliar without any of your friends and family can be really hard. Through moments of loneliness I have learned to take hold of God and make my relationship with Him way more personal than just talking about Him. Whenever I feel scared or miss home I remember that God never leaves me and in my personal moments with Him, I feel encouraged and strengthened. 

3. Focus on the purpose–even when you want to focus on how you feel.

Saravia has had moments of doubt, fear and even questioned her purpose but again, as we experience these human emotions, we need to remember feelings don’t always tell the truth. We need to remember that God’s plans and purposes are WAY bigger and better than we could ever have for ourselves! Also, when we want to look to ourselves, let us look to others!

Saravia said,

There are so many girls who need to feel and hear about God’s love. So instead of always focusing so much on myself and how I feel, I want to put others first and feel God fill my heart with His joy and peace as I love others.

4. Trust your Guide–even when you get lost!

Saravia recounts her craziest moment so far in London. She said,

Since being here… I have already had a couple mishaps, but the top one on my list has to definitely got to be getting on the wrong train, ending up 5 hours’ driving distance away…YIKES!

There also were some unexpected circumstances that came up, but Saravia and her team handled it and God watched over them! Saravia is such a great example of a young woman of God truly living out her faith, which leads me to the next lesson…

5. Walk by faith, not by sight–even when it seems impossible.

Saravia explained how she has been tested and tried in the fire, and has had to really put shoe leather to her faith. When asked, “How has your faith been stretched?” she replied,

My faith has been stretched as I trust God with my whole life, that including my dreams, my finances, and my plans. Moving to a whole new country almost feels like starting from scratch. Now I can’t always rely on my family or friends because the hour difference is so big and finding a time to talk to them is hard. Whenever I need advice or I feel insecure and scared I have to trust God will tell me what I need to hear as I look to Him in my alone time. There are many times that I don’t and will not see things happening exactly when or how I expect them to, but that’s when God reminds me of promises like 1 Thessalonians 5:24, ‘The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.’

Would you like to hear more about Saravia’s mission work and her story? She would love for you to pray for her and encourage her by writing a comment below, PI readers! Also, please read her blog and her Tweets for updates–we can all help support her and her ministry!

You can also can support her either in prayer or through donations online (#39110 Esli Saravia).

Thank you for your love, prayers and support! It is greatly cherished by Saravia and her missions team! Let us share the love of Christ, the hope of glory to the nations!

PI girls, do you want to go into missions work one day?

Image: fromesliwithlove.wordpress.com

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22 Comments

  1. Lexi7

    Posted by Lexi7 on October 2, 2012 at 19:03

    I do hope to do missions trips some day. Partly because it would be awesome to travel to another country. 🙂 But mostly because I love helping people, whether it’s helping them to survive, or helping them to strengthen their relationship with God. I love the good feeling I get from helping, and spreading God’s love. Thanks for these tips; they will definitely help me when I go on missions trips someday (hopefully). I will definitely pray for Saravia, that God works through her to make a big impact on others’ lives, and to bring others to Christ; also that He will help her in her travels and keep on doing great things. 🙂

  2. JessicaLS

    Posted by JessicaLS on September 30, 2012 at 17:22

    Aw, thank you for this article! I’m not away from family and friends…but I feel many of her fears she mentioned. So…basically, trust God for everything. 🙂

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by Michelle - Brazil on September 27, 2012 at 16:38

    Hi Saravia! What a beautiful work you’re doing, I fell inspired by that. I’m from Brazil, and I’m always looking for project inspired messages.
    I love everything related to God and about His word. The missinary work is a blessing from Him, I pray you can have strength and faith, knowing that Jesus, our Lord, is always with you 🙂 . Hugs

  4. Project Inspired

    Posted by stancy22 on September 26, 2012 at 15:44

    God bless you, Esli! Reading about females as you who who seek the Lord and follow His will, is encouraging, particularly in today’s age. I pray that you will continue to listen to Jesus and teach others what He teaches you. Continue to be different for Christ. May God bless you abundantly and provide for all your needs.
    🙂
    Jude 24,25- To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by A. Christine on September 26, 2012 at 12:39

    Rock on, sister! 🙂
    I hope one day to get involved in some kind of missions work, but I have no clue what kind. Will definitely pray for you.

  6. olburrows

    Posted by olburrows on September 25, 2012 at 13:00

    Being freshly graduated from high school, I have been thinking about doing missions work lately, but I have also thought about my other passions. I have been facing the most difficult years in my life ever and it is still continuing. I pray God may open my eyes and reveal to me that which I am missing. That’s wonderful to hear about Saravia’s lessons that she has learned. It is helpful! May she be blessed wherever God takes her in life!

  7. IdaPahus

    Posted by IdaPahus on September 25, 2012 at 06:46

    She is so encouraging. I know how she is feeling. I have tried to move from Denmark to he US to a place where I didn`t know anyone with my parents to go on a misson school. It was pretty hard in the beginning. I`ll pray for you Esli!!!

  8. unicorns4567

    Posted by unicorns4567 on September 24, 2012 at 16:26

    thanks moodypilot and t.m. gaouette!(:

  9. Milana16

    Posted by Milana16 on September 24, 2012 at 14:36

    I really want to go on a mission trip, and to show the love of God to them but i dont have money. I would do anything to go! 🙁

  10. unicorns4567

    Posted by unicorns4567 on September 24, 2012 at 05:34

    please can someone give me some advice please i am begging you1

  11. Project Inspired

    Posted by No More Tears for the Awakened on September 23, 2012 at 15:07

    Quite useful 🙂 My only experience on the field thus far has been short time and in large groups.

  12. unicorns4567

    Posted by unicorns4567 on September 23, 2012 at 12:25

    can someone please give me some advice? i am desperate.

  13. Project Inspired

    Posted by kissesfromkaitlyn on September 23, 2012 at 10:15

    I’m leaving for Uganda in 18 days.

  14. unicorns4567

    Posted by unicorns4567 on September 22, 2012 at 13:50

    i know that this is a realy random question but i do not know how to stick up for God. i want to but it is realy hard for me. whether it’s some one useing the Lord’s name in vein or someone gossipping about the girls in my class. i just don’t know how. help? does anyone have any advice for me?

    • tmgaouette

      Posted by tmgaouette on September 24, 2012 at 09:31

      Dear unicorns4567 have you read the following posts. U might find these useful, as well as the comments below. Also, don’t forget to use prayer as a guiding force. God bless you. http://www.projectinspired.com/would-you-defend-jesus-as-strongly-as-you-defend-your-favorite-celeb/ and http://www.projectinspired.com/pi-quiz-are-you-on-your-way-to-becoming-a-positive-role-model/

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by moodypilot on September 24, 2012 at 01:02

      I’m really glad to hear that you want to learn how so much! We need more people like you! Jesus came to the earth full of grace and truth; to stand up for God we need both of those. If we have truth but no grace, people will feel like we’re being harsh. But if we have grace and leave out the truth, we can’t stand up for God at all.

      God tells us to speak the truth in love. Of course love doesn’t mean watering it down… “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” It only takes a little salt to take a bland bowl of soup and make it taste amazing. Read the Gospel, go to Jesus for help with sticking up for God. If anyone was an EXPERT on this, it was JESUS! 😀 Pray and ask God and the Holy Spirit to give you the words to say and the courage to say it. Remember the most important thing is to love God and love others, not judge them. You can say it with a smile and a loving tone of voice, not in an accusing way, you know? And here are some things regarding gossip.

      “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.” Proverbs 11:13
      “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12
      Some people don’t think gossiping effects people, but it does so much. The people who hear the gossip think differently about the person being gossiped about, she gets treated differently.
      You could say one of these in your own words to them if you want.

      Be that girl who never gossips when everyone else is doing it, who never swears or gets angry with people for petty reasons. Go to God for fuel. By being pure and set apart you’re stepping out for God, and people will notice. And they’ll ask you what your secret is 😉

      Read the Bible. Knowing the Word helps me A LOT with witnessing to people. Because God and the Holy Spirit use the Word to speak through Christians and save others. And if you’ve read a verse, God can call it back to your memory and use it.

      Obviously I have a lot to say on the subject and I’m glad there isn’t a limit to how much I can post. ;D I’ll be praying for you!

  15. ams7298

    Posted by ams7298 on September 22, 2012 at 08:01

    I’m still only 14, and I know God has called me to be a missionary in the Middle East. So, I’m sure these tips will be very relevant in my life! God bless you and your work!

  16. Jamourvous97

    Posted by Jamourvous97 on September 21, 2012 at 21:58

    Thank you for posting this! I want to be a missionary when I get out of high school. A year ago I would’ve NEVER thought God would call me to go into missions, because I didn’t really have a relationship with him. I plan on doing DTS (Discipleship training school) which I am so excited about. They focus on growing in your relationship with Jesus and doing outreach. I remember the first time I left the country to stay with missionaries, it was so life changing. I just wanted so badly the faith they had, and now I’ve gotten it. I’ll be praying for you Saravia!♥

  17. Project Inspired

    Posted by cowgirl96 on September 21, 2012 at 20:40

    Father i ask that you help this girl out. Daddy you love her so much and I ask that you protect her coming and goings. Comfort her and help her when hard times come.

  18. Project Inspired

    Posted by Brittanyyann on September 21, 2012 at 19:45

    This was really great to read. I’m currently serving in China and am away from all my family and friends and needed this reminder that God is with me every step of the way and I need to rely on Him.
    Thanks!

  19. Deeblves3

    Posted by Deeblves3 on September 21, 2012 at 18:24

    God, who got you started in this spiritual adventrue, shares with us the Life of His son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that. 1 Corinthians 1:9

    Father God, we pray for Eslie, and this amazing woman of God! that you are her hope and her encouragement Lord and she is working to your will! That her family and friends are proud of what she’s doing for the Lord! In Jesus Name, amen.

  20. Paris

    Posted by Paris on September 21, 2012 at 17:35

    She is brave,and God is proud of her! Lord,please help her to make a huge impact to everyone she will connect with on her missions trip,and please keep her safe,and let her family know that you are watching over her. In Jesu name,amen.