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During Analisa’s senior year of high school, she lost both of her grandparents. They died two days apart.
“I was going through a season of grieving the loss of my precious grandma and grandpa. I loved them so much. I started going to services at Shadow Mountain Community Church on Saturday evenings to cope with my pain. I remember in December 2007, Pastor Jeremiah was sharing about the story of Job in the Bible. I was so touched that even though Job lost everything in his life, He was still praising God.”
Analisa wanted to have a faith like Job did. She wanted to have the kind of hope that Job had even in the midst of immense trials.
“This was the beginning of my relationship with Christ. Job had inspired me and I can remember crying out to God in a genuine way. I surrendered my life fully to Him and believed that through the life of Jesus, that I could fully trust God, no matter what He had allowed or would allow in my life. This was the beginning of an intimate relationship with my Creator.”
Analisa’s faith grew and she desired to know God more and know more of what He had designed her to do with her life. In 2012, Analisa enrolled in IMPACT195, the Rock Church’s discipleship school.
“Just after my first term as a student at IMPACT195, a short term team headed out on an IMPACT International trip to Oaxaca, Mexico. Two of my closest friends were on that team and I committed to pray for them faithfully while they were away. Through the prayer requests they sent me and the photos they shared with me, an increasing ache grew in my heart for the people of Oaxaca. God was giving me a desire and a burden greater than myself to serve Him at a whole new level.”
God stirred Analisa’s heart with compassion and gently called her to be a laborer in His Harvest.
“My second term of IMPACT195 was very purposeful. I began planning and preparing to move abroad for the long term. My heart was burdened for the unreached and the villages that had never heard the name of Jesus. I fell in love with the beautiful people there. An opportunity was presented to me to join a second team on an IMPACT International trip to Oaxaca in 2013. This trip was my make or break moment; through the hospital visits and outreaches God confirmed I was to move to Oaxaca for the long term. Those short two weeks in Mexico gave me enough compassion to endure the following year and half back in the states preparing to move to Oaxaca.”
In June of 2014, Analisa along with a team of ten others, moved to Mexico long term. It’s been the journey of a lifetime with difficult things and glorious things. Two months in, Analisa describes her new life.
“Traveling is different. Jumping in my car and getting to where I need to be in a few minutes in not an option anymore. We do a lot of walking. It’s taken some adjusting when it comes to using the bus systems here because they don’t really have a schedule. That’s been an adventure. It takes a least forty-five minutes to get where you need to go, give or take. Meals and meal times are different too. The people of Oaxaca eat their biggest meal at lunch time and usually eat late dinners. There is a lot of bread and grease, but also a lot of fruit and vegetables too.”
Analisa was diagnosed with diabetes in her youth. Maintaining her sugar levels requires daily monitoring, exercise and a healthy diet.
“At first, I was concerned about moving abroad and having diabetes. But God kept reassuring me of His faithfulness. I knew that He wanted me to trust Him. Having diabetes here has been a little bit of a challenge, but as I am faithful to make good food decisions, my blood sugar has been dropping in a healthy way. All the walking is also helpful.”
Analisa’s living conditions have been an absolute blessing to her!
“I have my own room and a bed and share an apartment on top of a house with my two best friends. When it rains, which is often, I get to hear it like a concert on top of my tin roof! Sometimes it’s so loud, it’s hard to sleep, but God has been faithful to give me rest. Getting used to the stray dogs that follow you home has also been an adjustment, but I just pray for them. The cockroaches however, are large enough to be used for pitching in a baseball game.”
Analisa and members of her team have chosen to live their first year in Oaxaca with a homestay.
“The family we live with here is amazing! I am so grateful to be able to practice my Spanish everyday and experience this total immersion in the culture! No matter what happens through out my day, at the end of it, when I get to share moments of it with my little family of seven, God fills me up with His love and I have the strength and encouragement to remember His goodness in my life.”
Analisa has been tasked with the role of hospitality and food coordinator for her team trips into village communities.
“I am learning how to demonstrate love to the whole of the team and each as individuals. I am also learning how to be flexible and available to serve wherever I am needed, even if it’s in a different role. I love to give encouragement, support and ensure there is good food to feed our team at meal times.”
Analisa’s daily routine starts with time with Jesus and time with her homestay family.
“I try to spend a good chunk of time with our family before leaving for the day. This past month I have also been attending language school Monday through Friday from 9AM – 6PM. On weekends I make sure I take a Sabbath and spend more time with our new friends in Oaxaca. With language school now complete, our team has been focusing in on our week long trips to the unengaged and unreached beyond our city. Days in those villages consist of prayer walks, outreaches, making new friends and a weekly night of worship we called ‘Open Heaven’ night. We do our morning devotionals as a team also.”
In Analisa’s first few months in Oaxaca, God has already been moving in powerful ways.
“I know personally, I have discovered how much more desperate I am for God and how His grace truly is sufficient. There aren’t the comforts of home to distract me here. He literally is all I have to fulfill me. Through abiding moment by moment with Him I have been able to see Him moving. This past week, I personally experienced God heal ten different people of physical infirmities! In another instance, I shared the Gospel with one of my new friends in language school and by God’s grace she came to faith in Jesus. I shared completely in Spanish! Over nine hundred people in a local village received medical exams and another one-hundred people experienced real physical healings by God. Three unreached villages heard the name of Jesus Christ for the first time in the history of the world!”
Getting to genuinely come alongside those who are sick has also been a blessing.
“I had a moment in the village where I got to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a older woman who couldn't hear at all and had a really hard time seeing. Four a couple hours I stayed with her and assisted her at the medical clinic. God showed me it was His compassion in me for her that had given me the desire to help keep her safe and literally hold her hand through it all. Loving her was such a great encouragement and confirmation to me that God has me right where He wants me.”
Analisa is excited about what God has in store in future months and understands how important prayer is to the success of their efforts there.
“If God leads you to pray for me, pray this. Ask God to continue to provide for me financially. There are a few things that cost more out here because of my diabetes. Pray I would not grow wearing in the ministry. Ask God to grant me great endurance! Pray for our team to supernaturally understand and speak Spanish. Pray we would pick up the differences in the languages when we attempt to speak local dialects in the villages. Ask God to protect us in the armor He promised to us in Ephesians 6.10-18 and that many are added to the Kingdom of God as we seek to do His will.”
To track with Analisa and partner with her in ministry to Oaxaca, Mexico log on to www.mogiv.com/rockmissions/2107l