I was given an amazing opportunity to serve in Arlington at Mission Arlington, and my view on people changed entirely. I am not used to working with people in general and it came to be an issue, but with God's help, I made it through. God brought me to Arlington, so I can connect with these people. I am going through a financial issue in my family right now, so connecting with these people was not an issue. God used me in so many more ways that I could ever imagine Him doing. I'm such a shy person, but that shell completely broke down with speaking to these people. I normally don't talk to strangers, let alone have a spiritual conversation or even pray with them. The first day at Arlington was overwhelming with so many people and children. I worked childcare for that day and was very overwhelmed. I learned that God didn't want to use me in children, He wanted to use me in talking and being with adults. I liked it a lot more and felt God calling me towards it.
Sunday, I went way out of my comfort zone and taught children. Some of these people didn't even speak English, so it was hard at times, but it was a great experience. It was heartwarming that some of these children were so willing to go to church and that they knew who Jesus was. The rest of the week, I was in the store leading people to the first step of the process. Some people were happy and some seemed like they were only there for the presents. My heart lightened one day when I heard an acceptance prayer being repeated and they really sounded like they meant every word. My teammate, Justin, and I immediately prayed for these people and for everyone that would walk through the store.
One of the days that affected me the most was when I was in the food pantry and we helped a lady and and her husband who were caring for their daughter who recently had a baby and got divorced. They recently lost their jobs and my heart just broke for them. One thing she said really hit home, "I really wish I didn't have to do this." I went to find this woman some formula and other toiletries. One thing I couldn't find was wipes and I felt bad because the baby hadn't had any in a week. She was so calm about it, but I wasn't. I felt so bad and without thinking, I asked if I could pray for her. She said yes and we all laid our hands on her and prayed. I had to turn away quickly after giving her a hug and saying bye because the tears came. My heart has never been broken for people before. I have never cried over anybody else's needs. I have been so overcome with what my family has been facing that I never even thought that we aren't the only ones struggling financially. Things from home were coming back, and I instantly knew why God had chosen me to go this semester. What really warmed my heart is that the lady agreed that Jesus would provide and that He cared for her. I am beyond thankful for this opportunity to help people that really needed it. I got on the plane December 11 not sure what was to be expected and got off the plane on December 19 with a sure calling of what God had wanted me to do with my semester off of school and a fire for God. I am beyond grateful that I went back and checked to submit my application because it was the second best decision I have ever made in my life.Heather DeMeritt is a student at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and served as a Go Now student missionary over Christmas break in Arlington, Texas.