5 Lessons from My Missionary Friend Esli in London!
Written by Christi Given | September 21, 2012
[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!
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?