In December, the Center for Youth Evangelism hosted the 2021 Cruise With A Mission to Mexico. This is a trip for young adults that combines vacation with a mission trip to provide a unique experience that is 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 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 in the cup—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 the ship.
Every day, many of us gathered in the morning for devotionals to set our sights right on Jesus. Every night, Meshach Soli, a pastor at 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 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 such a powerful unity—like the milk and powder, you could only see one thing: chocolate milk.
Stops Along the Way
We stopped in Cabo San Lucas at the orphanage and cleaned, painted, and fixed walls, windows, fences, pillars, and gates; then we 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 took over the church facility by removing tile from floors, scrubbing and resealing a roof, painting many exterior walls, and repairing the rod iron fence. The pastor was so grateful, he prayed for God’s blessing on our health, ministry, and finances. He was so touched, he asked God to abundantly bless us as we had blessed his church.
In Puerto Vallarta, we literally helped build a church. The dirt floors and open church space were merely four cement pillars with a metal roof. We helped paint/repair the walls, mix cement and carry it to the roof where 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 locals; 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.
Many of you may resonate with that—the fire, the experience—but the call was left unanswered for many reasons. We invite you, in 2022, as it’s just beginning, to set your eyes on Cruise With A Mission this December. Make a decision to 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 hearts together! Let’s sail on our next excursion, knowing the storms will come, but also knowing God will see us through. Are you ready? Let’s go!
The next Cruise With A Mission will set sail in December this year to the Eastern Caribbean. Find more info at cye.org/cwm.
Nathaniel Sevilla is Cruise With A Mission director, an event hosted by the Center for Youth Evangelism.