On March 4, 2020, my wife, Ashley, and I were ”sent” to Matamoros, Mexico, along with 21 Hartfield freshmen that included our son, Silas, as well as our two daughters Lochlan (Hartfield class of 2018) and Merrie Afton (Hartfield 5th grader). We also had the privilege of serving along with Mrs. Wesleigh Wright, who is currently Hartfield’s Communication Coordinator. This was a seven day trip, and was the first International Mission Trip for most of the students who went with us. I would love to share with you what God did in and through the lives of our team while serving in Matamoros.
God is still in the sending business and it is a joyful honor that Hartfield allows us to go! In John 20:21, Jesus says, “...As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” Mark 10:45 makes it very clear that we are not sent as saviors, but we are sent as servants; Jesus was not sent “to be served, but to serve.” At the end of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus gives what we call The Great Commission. Matthew 28:19 quotes Jesus, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” The verb “Go” is in the imperative tense (I learned this in Seminary!), so we are commanded to GO and make disciples. When you look at the definition of a disciple you will see that it means a learner or an apprentice. With this in mind, I take my job as an educator/coach very seriously at Hartfield. It’s not always about the textbook or the next assignment, although these are very important, it’s about investing in our students’ lives and teaching them what going and serving means. Thankfully, a Hartfield student is given numerous opportunities to serve locally, nationally, and internationally!
One of the many reasons Ashley and I love Hartfield is because our school is a “sending” school. When you look at Scripture, it’s very clear that our God is a sending God. Abraham was sent to the land of Canaan; Joseph was sent to Egypt; Moses was sent to rescue his people; many prophets were sent to the Jews to warn them and to share God’s promises with them; and John was sent to announce the Messiah’s coming. Being sent, on mission, for Kingdom purposes is one of the greatest joys you will get to experience in life!
There are currently over 120 children living at the Matamoros Children’s Home, which is led by Dr. Saul & Maria Camacho. These orphans are generally rescued from abusive environments or they are abandoned by parents who don’t want them. Dr. and Mrs. Camacho, with the help of house parents, provide a safe and nurturing environment to each child.
Our time together was mostly spent playing with the kids or painting the exterior of two newly renovated homes. If not doing either of these two things, you could find us hanging out as a group or eating authentic Mexican food! Our group time was some of the most powerful times of the trip as we worshiped through music, read Scripture, and spent time in prayer. One of our students, Alfie Kinsley, led us in worship and we also got to hear awesome testimonies from our adult leaders. Each one of us came back home a little different from when we left Mississippi.
Will Elliot was not sure what to expect when he signed up for the trip. “I was super nervous [at first]. I never thought that we would do things like painting a house or becoming as close to my friends on the trip. I loved playing with the kids [at the Matamoros Children’s Home] because they were all so happy and would have a smile on their faces no matter what. I made many more memories with my friends too while we were painting the houses. We would sing and just have a great time together.”
The value of what we are called to do is not predicated upon how far we travel or how many countries we might visit, rather our value is based upon our love for and belief in Jesus Christ and our willingness to obey what His Word says; for us to GO and for us to SERVE.
Hartfield Academy greatly values service and sharing the love of God, here at home and to the nations. During Spring Break week, four teams journeyed to four locations around the Western Hemisphere to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Each team shared experiences and forged relationships that will last them a lifetime, all while serving others. If you are interested in finding out more about Hartfield Academy Missions, feel free to contact Director of Student Life Benton Ingram at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hartfield Academy is fully accredited by both the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the MidSouth Association of Independent Schools (MAIS), the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and the Southern Association of independent Schools (SAIS).