March 22, 2021

My Spring Break in Miami, FL

Happy first week of spring! 🌷

I almost find it unbelievable when I remind myself that I was in Miami, Florida during last spring break. Everything that happened pre-virus feels like eons ago! 😮

I had decided to spend my spring break doing evangelistic mission-work with Open Air Campaigners for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was my second time visiting Miami (on the same mission trip) so I was excited to go back and serve. Of course, our trip was cut short due to the outbreak of the virus, but we still made a lot of progress with sharing the gospel to those who were not familiar with Jesus Christ or with how to obtain His free gift of salvation. The people I worked with were genuine and godly people, so I enjoyed getting to grow in my ministry alongside them. 

Ambassador Baptist Church was where my mission team stayed for the whole week. It was also where we did our evangelistic workshops and practiced our bible story presentations. I loved to play the church's spare piano in my free time. I fondly remember when our team mingled with the church's congregation during Sunday service. At coffee hour I had finished my lunch early, so I decided to play a few classical pieces for fun. Everyone was happy to have free musical entertainment with their meals, and the pastor's family even encouraged me to keep playing. :)

The basketball court is connected to the church; this is where we would practice our open air preaching and paint our messages/puzzles (and sometimes play basketball lol)
Disregard the "yay" on my poster 😂 I wanted to practice painting over candle wax and "yay" was the first word that came to my mind lol
The church's outdoor playground where I'd often go to destress or daydream during break-time
Sometimes, I'd go on the swings and I'd feel like a little kid again :)
So happy about the warm Florida weather!
Our team leader, Eric, presenting an interactive bible-themed hangman puzzle during church service

Every afternoon, our two teams would drive to Liberty City to host a free Kid's Club for the local kids. We'd set up our tarps and bring chips and snacks for the kids to eat. The main part of our ministry was delivering our bible-based stories to them, and then we'd play fun games afterward to keep them all entertained. The program is kind of similar to way VBS (Vacation Bible School) is run. 

Because I did the same mission trip two years in a row, I became better acquainted with some of the kids; a few even recognized me from the year before. It felt rewarding to get to know them better, especially so I could know how to pray for their needs. But, it made it all the more harder to say goodbye at the end of the trip. :(

A quick selfie I took with the kids at the end of my first mission trip in Miami

I always looked forward to our evening pitstops at the beach, where we'd finally get to eat the sandwiches that we'd save for dinnertime after our kid's club ministry. 

My first attempt at portrait mode lol

We would go to the Lincoln Road Mall every night to conduct our open air preaching and hand out gospel tracts. The mall is known as South Florida's premier outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment destination. I always enjoyed seeing the different kinds of people that the mall would attract for a fun night out (little did they know, their excursions would also entail hearing a little bit about Jesus Christ and His life-giving Word 😄)! 

The first time I served with OAC in Miami, we shared the gospel with people from over 40 different nationalities. Cities are always a great place to serve because they attract people from all over the world, and you never know what kinds of worldviews will collide with yours. Or, the one-of-a-kind background stories you'll get the privilege of hearing from those who are willing to give you their time and attention.

The mall became quite the ghost town by the end of our trip
One of my presentations; we used paint that could glow in the dark - so cool!
Don't let the "God is Nowhere" title confuse you; it's part of the presentation where we ask people whether they read it as "God is Nowhere" or "God is Now Here" 😉
I don't remember what I was laughing at, but I always had a fun time working with the people on my team. They all had a great sense of humor!

The following picture highlights a really encouraging moment in our ministry. Although there weren't a lot of people at the mall because of fear of contracting the virus, the people that did show up often expressed a genuine interest in our presentations. For example, these three brothers (the youngest one is sitting in front of his older brother if you can't see him in the picture) sat down on their skate boards and gave one of our mission workers their full attention. They were able to hear the whole message of the gospel, have their questions answered about the personhood of Jesus, and even get some of their misconceptions about Christianity debunked or clarified. So neat!

As you can see, I had a very memorable trip in Miami despite all the setbacks of the impending virus. There's a part of me that longs to go back just to check up on the kids that I ministered to over the past two years and see how they've been handling the pandemic situation. All I can do is pray that God is keeping them safe and continuing to influence them in their individual walks of life. 

Group picture. ☺️ Always a pleasure to serve with Open Air Campaigners!

Here's a short video montage of my trip:

I hope that by sharing my experience in the mission field, you might become a little more inspired to evangelize to those around you who have not heard of or do not truly understand the good news of Jesus Christ. Remember, you don't have to go on a mission trip to be a missionary for the Lord. It takes the average person at least 30 times of hearing the gospel in order to truly understand its message, so we ought to share the gospel frequently with those around us, and especially those that we care about. 

No matter where I serve, the fundamental message I share is always the same: We are sinners in need of saving grace, and Jesus is the only One who can deliver us. Believe in His resurrection, call on His name to save you and trust in His redeeming power, and you shall be saved from spiritual death. Amen!


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