Mission to the Marshall Islands

Marlene Espiricueta gives Dolly a piggy back ride after school.

Marlene Espiricueta gives Dolly a piggy back ride after school.

(edited by Saul Flores)

My name is Marlene Espiricueta, but for 10 months I was known as Miss Mendez. A few months ago I took the decision to be a missionary, as I had planned when I was a kid, but it became a reality when I got to Southwestern Adventist University. I did not know where to go or how to get there but I knew God was there for me.

I finally got the call to go to a very tiny country called Marshall Islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. My duty was to be the Bible teacher for high school kids and Chaplain for the whole school of about 300 students. It wasn’t easy, I was in a different country, with a totally different culture than mine, but God showed His power in my life. As well as the life of my students.

I always thought being missionary was the coolest thing to do, but not as a teacher. I told myself that I was never going to teach, but God has a good sense of humor, and I ended up teaching. The thought of standing the whole day in front of people staring at me for ten months was scary, but God was there making my teaching fun.

Even when my kids misbehaved, when they were crying, when I was crying because of all the stress, God was there.  When I got injured and the wound became infected until I couldn’t walk, even then, God was there. I couldn’t have made it without Him. I saw His mighty hand in my life, and in the life of my fellow missionaries. I can truly say that the most beautiful thing was to see His mighty hand in the life of my kids.

There’s a boy that we all liked. He is the toughest, tallest and strongest boy in the whole school.  I could tell that in the deepest part of his tough, non-caring heart, he was deeply interested in God. One day during a report card meeting, his dad came to me, and said, “You know what, my son doesn’t accept our beliefs now. He said that he believes yours, and I’ve seen he has changed a lot.  He said that he plays better when he prays. I don’t know what it is, or what made my son change his beliefs. But it’s making him a better person, so keep doing it.”

Those words came just in time for me. I knew God was telling me not to give up, but to pray for every kid, and show His love to them, no matter whom they seem to be.  There are plenty of stories like these. God is blessing the mission field now more than ever. And because of this, I have developed a passion for teaching.

Most people call it “spend a year as a missionary.” For me, having this year as a missionary has open my eyes to the real passion that was hidden inside of me. Working in the education field is the only thing I see myself doing for the rest of my life.

“Teaching till Jesus comes,” has become my motto. My prayer is that more young people can consider to serve God as an ambassador in a foreign country. God has plenty of richness waiting for us.

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