Meet Noe Chavez: a senior in college with a passion for missions, Noe traveled to Guatemala and found his heart broken for those in need around the world.
What led you to Guatemala?
In 2017, God led me to the church that I am currently at. One of our core values is to share the gospel across the street and around the world. I felt God telling me that He wanted me to go on an international mission trip in 2018. I have been out of the country before, but never for a mission trip. I had also been on a mission trip stateside back in 2014. Long story short, I thought I was going to Spain, London, or Honduras, but God had other plans and ultimately led me to Guatemala.
What’s one fear or hesitation you had about traveling and serving internationally and how did you work through it?
So this is the first time that I would be traveling on an airplane. To be honest, I was more excited about that part of the journey. I felt I had a crucial role on our team because I was able to speak and understand Spanish. I grew up with that language. I guess the one thing that I was anxious about was how I would react when we visited the dump. The day before we left, we went to the dump to feed the people that live there. It absolutely broke my heart to see all the kids digging through the trash and looking for anything that they could eat or make money off of.
When I got home, I in a way felt guilty for the lifestyle I have. This encounter made me appreciate the “little” things more. My house, my car, food, an education. Whenever I’m having a bad day or start comparing myself to others, I like to remember how blessed I am. God has blessed me to bless others. I can give, whether it be time, money, or my talents to meet the needs of people and share the Gospel.
How did you serve while you were there?
Our church partnered with the hope of life. Hope of Life has an orphanage, an elderly home, special-needs home, and a baby hospital. In our meetings before the trip, I remember our leader telling us to get out of our comfort zone. I remember the first day we were there, I went to the special-needs home to spend time with these precious kids. I had never worked with special needs kids and that was my number one fear. But God opened my heart and gave me a such a love for these precious kids. We got to go to the villages and share the Gospel there. Our team gave out 400 pairs of shoes and over 300 food bags. I got to lead VBS with the kids, which included leading the Bible study and worship. It was a busy week but God truly blessed it. It’s a week I’ll never forget!
What did you learn through fundraising for your trip?
You have to believe in yourself and the mission that God has given you. I spoke at various churches and organizations and shared my calling. I wasn’t just selling a shirt. People were investing in me and the mission. Fund the Nations helped me out a lot. They designed 3 shirts for me and I sold over 100! I would say not to worry about the finances. If God is truly calling you to serve on a mission, He will provide what you need. Be open to telling your story. Be open to fundraising ideas, like selling t-shirts.
What’s one thing you wish everyone knew about serving others?
In the culture that we live in, we’re always asking what can I do to make myself look better? Yet we rarely ask ourselves how can We can serve others. Serving means you have to humble yourself. You look at the life of Jesus and see how he came and served us. He got off his phone in heaven, His “comfort zone”, and humbled himself. He set the ultimate example. Serving others may mean getting a little uncomfortable, but sharing the Gospel and serving others is not easy. We should serve out of love. I will say that it feels so much better to serve than to receive. I know this is a cliché saying, but it’s so true.
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