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Brittany’s Story

I have been involved with Youthfront for a long time. I was nine-years-old when my mother began cooking for Youthfront Camp West. I camped, Teen Staffed and Summer Staffed. I loved Youthfront camps, but this summer I felt God leading me toward a different experience. I am currently attending Emporia State University to obtain my degree of a Bachelors of Secondary Education concentrated on Spanish with ESL (English as a second language) and a Masters with Special Needs. I felt God leading me toward experience with my degree. I heard about Croc from staff members at Youthfront who went on a trip there. I wanted to know more about Croc and I was interested in learning how I could get connected with Croc. I emailed Amber Booth about Croc and she informed me about an internship in Kansas City that was going to partner with Youthfront and those interns would have the opportunity to go to Croc for two weeks. After she told me about this internship and the opportunity to go to a Spanish-speaking country and work with kids, I was super excited and sent in an application right away. After having an interview, I was hired to be an intern in Kansas City with Mission House and to also be a part of Youthfront’s internship opportunity and that is how my journey got me to Croc.

Croc has made a huge impact on my spiritual journey through teaching me that having conversations with God out loud or in my journal is good. Also that I shouldn’t control how comfortable I feel and that He has the best intentions for me and that I need to give all the control to Him and keep none of it, especially my feelings. Through going to Croc, I feel closer to God because I had no control over how comfortable I could be because at first, I was always uncomfortable. But when I finally cried out and asked how and what can I do when I feel uncomfortable, that is when I got closer to Him because that moment is when I gave Him the control over feeling comfortable.

What I enjoyed the most about being a part of the Youthfront community was being a team. Everyone worked hard and no one stopped working until all the work was done. Even the kids were a part of the team. No one was left out of the team and no one was left behind. Even though we had some language barriers, the people who knew English and Spanish or were learning Spanish worked together to communicate to everyone. We all made sure that everyone knew the plan and/or the job they were assigned. Being a team was my favorite part of the Youthfront community.

I would invite others to come to Croc because it was life-changing for me. I got the opportunity to be submerged into the Spanish language. Also, the community that Croc is in is amazing. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming. I believe that everyone should go on a mission trip because you learn so much about yourself and others and it’s an opportunity to grow in your relationship with God. So, if you’re looking for adventure, challenges, meeting new people, or learning a different language and culture, then you should think about coming to Croc, Mexico.

While serving in Croc, I learned that a piece of my heart will always be there in Croc. I would love to return and see all my friends there. For now, we continue to communicate through Facebook messenger. With the degree I am pursuing, I have options of work in the United States of America or a Spanish-speaking country. After returning from Croc, I have realized that I fell in love with being submerged in the Spanish language and the culture. I cannot wait to get back to my studies and learn more about the culture and the language. While serving in Croc, God answered a prayer that I have been praying for a couple of years. That prayer was to have more passion and some memories or experiences that would get me through hard classes and/or times of doubt. Now I can think to when I got to sit at a table with all of my new friends in Croc, Mexico, and help them learn some English words while they helped me learn more Spanish words. I have more drive and passion for my degree than I ever thought I would have. It is all thanks to God and His wonderful ways and timing. Even though I had to wait a couple of years for this prayer to get answered, the timing He picked to answer my prayer was perfect. It had to be perfect timing because He is a perfect God.

Brittany Cowel, Volunteer with Youthfront Imagina in Croc, Mexico

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