As I stood on the roof looking out over the compound, all I felt was gratitude. To be told about this place after each mission’s teams visit gave me the desire to experience it myself. Then the song “Gratitude” by Brandon Lake started to play in my ears and the lyrics spoke volumes of what I was feeling.

Stepping off the plane, I thought anxiety would start… but no, just peace. Throughout the airport and ride to Caracol, I was calm, with no fear. The joyous cries of the kids welcoming us into Strong Tower was the moment of tears because you could just tell how happy and excited they were.

Each day of VBS involved so many smiles, hand-holding, hugging, fist bumping, etc. The kids of Caracol succeeded my expectations of how tremendously blessed I would feel while being here. What makes me laugh is a simple fist bump to one child turned into an ongoing greeting or game for the children that ended with a “BOOM!”

My relationship with Jesus has strengthened. There’s a sign in my apartment that says, “Let your Faith be bigger than your fear.” Before this trip, my fear was so big and now I can’t imagine why.

All I can say is I appreciate and love God. He took me out of my comfort zone, placed me with an incredible team, and brought me to a place that has forever changed my life. I already look forward to my next visit.

Chelsea McKay