In December 2021, the Center for Youth Evangelism, based on the campus of Andrews University, hosted the 2021 Cruise with a Mission (CWM) to Mexico. This is a trip for young adults that combines vacation with a mission trip to provide a unique experience like no other. Here, Cruise with a Mission director Nathaniel Sevilla gives a personal account of the 2021 cruise.
I like chocolate milk. I drink a cup of almond milk and mix it with three spoonfuls of Nesquik chocolate powder every night, so I’m not tempted to eat late and gain weight. My four-year-old calls it “Happy Belly.”
It’s not enough to just pour the chocolate powder into the cup, because it will sink to the bottom. You have to stir it. And that’s what God did to us on this trip; we had the ship (cup), we had the milk (the passengers), we had the mission (chocolate powder), but Jesus stirred us together, and we became the church on a ship.
Seeing One Thing
Every day on the cruise, many of us gathered in the morning for devotionals to set our sights right on Jesus. Every night, Meshach Soli, pastor of the South Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church in San Diego, California, reminded us where our identity lies and not to believe the lies of this world.
We met young adults from all across the country on the trip and bonded with them. We connected with people on the ship as we wore our CWM T-shirts and had people attend our nightly worship experiences. Finally, we got our hands dirty with mission projects and opened our hearts to those we were serving. The stirring in us created a powerful unity. As with mixing the milk and powder, you could only see one thing — chocolate milk.
Stops Along the Way
We stopped in at an orphanage in Cabo San Lucas and cleaned, painted, and fixed walls, windows, fences, pillars, and gates; then played with the more than 30 children at the orphanage. We ministered to Spanish-speaking patients in medical assistance programs so they could be treated.
In Mazatlán, we served at a church facility by removing tile from floors, scrubbing and resealing a roof, painting many exterior walls, and repairing the wrought iron fence. The pastor was so grateful that he prayed for God’s blessing on our health, ministry, and finances. He was so touched that he asked God to abundantly bless us as we had blessed his church.
In Puerto Vallarta, we literally helped build a church. The church had started out with dirt floors and four cement pillars with a metal roof. We helped with the walls, mixing cement, and sealing the roof so they could have proper cover, and finally painted the surrounding walls that protect and beautify the open sanctuary.
No Longer the Same
Do you know that when you serve in the name of Jesus, your life is never the same? Sure, it doesn’t look like anything amazing has changed when you look in the mirror, but something has changed when you keep Him as your focus.
It wasn’t just serving the people; God stirred something in us. We were no longer the same people we were when we entered that ship. Something stirred, and something lingered. It still lingers today; the fire within us was fueled, the experience remains, and the call to come back is alive.
You may resonate with that — the fire, the experience — but the call was left unanswered for whatever reasons. We invite you, in this year 2022, as it’s just beginning, to set your eyes on Cruise with a Mission in December 2022. Make a decision, sign up while travel costs are low and time is available to budget. Make a decision to allow God to stir in you something again, something more, something long-lasting that the world can’t take from you — an experience in serving and connecting with other young adults.
Then maybe, just maybe, we can stir the world’s heart together! Let’s sail on our next excursion, knowing the storms will come but also knowing that God will see us through. Are you ready? Let’s go!