Call: a Journey, not an Event

by: Keyla Flores

I am from Honduras, Central America. I work as a missionary for the Shalom Council of Evangelical Churches (CIES) in Huatabampo, Sonora, Mexico.
The author and pastors in Mexico.

God called me to missions at 12 years old during a service at my elementary school in Honduras. Understanding God’s call on my life has been a process. As a youth, I struggled to stay focused on God’s call because some people told me I was unprepared and unqualified to do mission, and because I got sick easily. God’s thoughts, however, are greater than human thoughts. God had a plan for my life even though I struggled to grasp it.

God was guiding me toward missions and providing me preparation and training along the way. First, I worked as a secretary at The Living Love Church in Siguatepeque, Honduras for six years. Then God gave me the opportunity to participate in the YES Program (EMM), and I went to Hong Kong for one year. After my return from Hong Kong, I thought God’s call to mission was done, but then, I started working in my local church with a Children’s Project. I was very happy and relaxed, but then God showed me that his call was not just for a year!

In prayer, I regularly asked God about what was next. Then in 2006, I received an invitation from a Mennonite Church in the Philippines to design and help with a Children’s Project. I started the preparations by raising funds for a plane ticket and for my visa. I did not have the requirements that the U.S. immigration agents required, but the Embassy gave me a visa for 10 years even though I only needed a transit visa to go to the Philippines.

Keila teaches at an event.

 At this point, I was sure God was calling me to work in the Philippines, but I was surprised when it did not work out. After a time, God showed me that the Philippines was not the place He was calling me to serve. At that time, I was frustrated because I had quit my job in Honduras in order to go to the Philippines.

While in the Philippines, I attended the 2006 Holy Spirit Conference in Lumban, the Philippines sponsored by the International Mission Association. There I heard reports from different Mennonite missionary organizations. Samuel Lopez, the representative of the Mission RED project, shared about the need for a person to start and lead a Center of Biblical Studies in Mexico. Samuel Lopez asked me to consider the possibility of going to Mexico and help start this new project for the Mexican churches.

Keyla Flores (author) at Jubileo 2017 for the Shalom Council of Evangelical Churches (CIES).

I returned to Honduras with very different thoughts than I had when I left on the aborted trip to the Philippines. I understood that it is not where I want to go, but where God wants me to go. I began to pray about going to Mexico, and after I talked with my parents and my pastor, I was sure God was calling me to Mexico. Mission was going to be different than what I originally imagined, but in my heart, I was willing to obey and serve wherever God leads.

God has given me the privilege to serve in Mexico for 13 years, and now I also work with the Christian Church Workers (CIES program) in the United States. I serve in Mexico and in the United States, something I never imagined!

Keila Flores serves as the Director of the Center Biblical Studies in Huatabampo, Sonora, Mexico. She also serves as Director of the Christian Church Workers Program in New Holland, PA

During these years God blessed me in so many ways. I can say sincerely that God is good and faithful because my health throughout my years of service has been good. God opened the doors that needed to be opened, and God helped me to do the things I had to do.

Jeremiah 29: 11 says: “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to give you hope and a future.” Reflecting on my journey with God, I have learned to obey God’s call because He is Faithful. Second, I understand I must trust in God with all my heart, with all my thoughts, and with all my strength. Lastly, I know that I must serve him for His mercy and power, not because of my own skills or abilities.

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