Divine Encounters in Oaxaca: Reflections from a Mission Trip

Bold Obedience

In life, some moments stand out as divine interventions, where God’s hand is unmistakably at work. Mission trips are often such moments, where lives intersect with purpose, and hearts are transformed in ways beyond measure. Jilese’s recent journey to Oaxaca, Mexico, serves as a testament to this truth.

I had the privilege of interviewing Jilese about the recent mission trip she went on. She went as a facilitator in training and shared that she was nervous about how well she would be able to connect with the group and if she was even cut out to lead. As she reflected after the trip, it was obvious that she saw God at work in her and the team. Lives were changed and hearts were transformed.

A key moment for Jilese was when she was speaking with the youth group. At first she doubted if it was her place to pour into these children spiritually. Upon retrospect she saw this as a clear attack from the enemy to stoke fear into her and silence her. Despite moments of uncertainty, she listened to God’s voice and delivered the message she felt the Lord had for the teens. She continued to fight against the doubt as she boldly asked who would like to give their life to Christ and was overwhelmed when four of the teens responded! It was a reminder that God’s authority is greater than any uncertainty we may face.

“It came from a place of boldness and authority from God – a moment where He said this is what I’ve called you to do – be brave. And because I listened to that call, four people will be walking in the Kingdom of Heaven!!”

Faithful Response

There was one boy that just stood out to Jilese: Alejandro. The boy whom God had placed on her heart. Jilese shared, “I spoke to him a bit after youth group and told him I would be praying for him and if he had any questions to let me know. That night I went back to the house, and I spent another 30 minutes or so praying for all of the hearts that were saved but still had a calling on my heart for that boy.”

In the quiet hours of the night, Jilese found herself stirred from sleep by a prompting from God. She felt Him calling her in that moment to step out in faith in some way. She navigated to the Forward Edge website, where the first child to show up on the screen was Alejandro. Without hesitation, she answered the call to sponsorship, a tangible act of faith and obedience.

“I hopped on the webpage and hit child sponsorships and the FIRST child to show up was Alejandro, the boy I’d been called to pray over. I didn’t even think twice about it – I automatically hit sponsor and I knew that was the right move!”

Transformation Through Mission

God taught Jilese during the trip to listen to His voice. “He is calling me with a burden for youth and this trip was confirmation of that.”

If you’ve ever wondered if a mission trip is for you, let Jilese’s story be an inspiration. For in those unexpected moments of stepping out in faith God’s presence is undeniable. And who knows? You might just find yourself forever changed by the power of His love. Jilese shared this encouragement to others,

If you have ever needed to experience true humbling and true love, a Forward Edge mission trip is for you! God is so raw and SO real in those moments, there is absolutely no denying Him or the plans He has for His people!”

As Jilese looks back on her experience, she is filled with gratitude for how God showed up in unexpected ways. Through moments of laughter and joy with children like Joel (pictured below), she was reminded of the importance of simply being present and open to God’s leading.

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Transform a Child's Life Through Sponsorship

Gyebaleki (hello), my name is Irene

  • location


  • 17 yrs. old


Entered the program: January 2019

Irene stays with her siblings and cousins (7 children total) at her grandmother’s house since being abandoned by her father when she was young. They live in a three-bed room house and she shares a bedroom with her grandmother and three of the children. The family uses firewood to cook and has electricity for lighting. They use unfiltered water from a tank behind the house which is not clean. Irene's grandmother, with help from the children, does some farming, and raises pigs, ducks, and chickens to support the family.

Irene’s cousins, Majorine, Allen and Reagan are also in the Light A Candle program.

Sponsorship Level What's this?

Three $38 sponsorships are needed to cover the complete holistic care of one child. Cover one, two, or three sponsorships.