“Today, you are going to learn about Treasure Hunts,” our interpreter, Eduardo continues on, “Ask Holy Spirit to show you an image or a word…what He has for you on this outreach.” My mind ponders that statement, Ask Holy Spirit… That must be the Spanish way of phrasing that statement, leaving out the word THE before Holy Spirit. I get beyond the linguistic difference and consider what I was asked to do. Eduardo called this a Treasure Hunt and encouraged us to be alert, looking for what Holy Spirit revealed to us during our prayer.
“Oh, Lord, as we go out on this garbage ministry mission, please show me an image or a word…something you want me to see when we are in the neighborhood in Tijuana. Clear my mind of my own agenda and help me to be open and responsive to your agenda, Lord.”
Clapping his hands together, Eduardo, asks, “Now, what did Holy Spirit show you?”
Mikayla, with all her unfiltered faith, certain of what she saw, exclaims “KITTENS!”
Others, “A red truck”, “Old van”, “Broken broom”.
Me, quietly “I saw a yellow flag, I think.” In my mind, I know it’s not a flag. It was a yellow, flag-like shape. Oh, well. Not sure what that means, Lord.
Loading up onto the old, broken down, barely running school bus, we head out to a poverty stricken area of Tijuana. I am looking out the window the entire time, not wanting to miss my yellow flag.
After a 45 minute drive, the bus stops, our group of 8 grab our work gloves, water, and garbage bags and unload onto the dusty road. The neighborhood smells like garbage, but there’s a certain charm there. It must be the precious kids playing ball by one of the houses. Or, maybe the quiet of the afternoon.
Our task is to collect garbage from the households, as there is no garbage service for the people. After we have provided a much needed physical service, we offer to pray for any needs they may have. Be Bold
Some are unaware that their Spiritual need is far greater than their physical need of having their trash removed. Did they know that Jesus paid the price to give them Spiritual cleansing? Did they know that we are no different than them…in desperate need of cleansing from our Heavenly Father?
We start at the beginning of the street. Some of my group has the opportunity to pray with some of the beloved people we came to serve and we all the had the opportunity to pick through garbage and drop it into our garbage bags.
How quickly my mind wanders from my task. I had completely forgotten about our “Treasure Hunt”. I was hot, distracted and focused on the needs at hand.
“Mom, mom, mom, look at all the kittens!”
“Yes, yes, Mikayla. I see them, but that’s not what we are…” Kittens? Kittens? Oh, my goodness, look at all the kittens.
Oh, Lord, you are too much! Mikayla’s image was kittens. My distracted brain had forgotten! But, oh, Lord, you got my attention. There was an old truck, with about ten kittens surrounding it!
The 8 of us gush over the dirty, albeit, adorable kittens for a few minutes, when from next door, we hear a voice. The houses are all right next to each other, with little or no privacy. It’s easy for her to notice the 8 Americans right outside her door.
Before she speaks, we see her emotion. She begins in Spanish, shaking and with tears running down her cheeks. Eduardo explains to us that she is saying she knew we were coming! She had a vision that Americans came to her house and prayed for her. Several in my group begin praying for her, for healing, provision, peace…she’s trembling, feeling warmth flood her soul.
Eduardo explains to her our “Treasure Hunt”, again stating how Holy Spirit led us here through the image Mikayla saw.
Oh, I get it, Lord…the term Holy Spirit, without the word THE first, is intentional. When one is so close to the Spirit that they are friends, receiving constant counsel and direction, the word THE gets dropped. No distance there. Eduardo is guided by Holy Spirit. He trusts Holy Spirit. He loves Holy Spirit.
4 Truths I am Learning to Trust about Holy Spirit:
Holy Spirit, our counselor, John 14:16
Holy Spirit, our guide John 16:13
Holy Spirit, out fruit harvester Galatians 5:22-23
Holy Spirit, our teacher, John 14:26
Our beautiful time with the lady was coming to an end. I was in awe of the Lord’s work, planning, guidance, timing. Taking one last look at our surroundings before heading back out to the street, I notice a brightly colored towel hanging on the woman’s clothesline. It’s covered with yellow triangles.