“I’m CSPC missions partner Samantha Beltran. My husband David and I serve with Young Life in Madrid, Spain. We’re building relationships with teenagers, ultimately with the aim of sharing the Gospel. Through this ministry, God’s teaching me a lot about dying to self. Sometimes when people think about Europe, they think, ‘Oh, that’s so dreamy. It’s amazing.’ And it is amazing, but it’s not rainbows and puppy dogs. I’m from the U.S. I miss my family and friends. I miss my culture. COVID multiplied those things and isolated us. It was harder to form friendships- and I’m an extrovert! With COVID, ministry has slowed down and the way it’s done has changed. I’m a go-getter, and so when things aren’t going the way I’d planned, I tend to think, ‘Well what’s wrong?’ But God is teaching me, ‘This isn’t about you. This is about what I’m going to do through you and how I’m going to use you. And part of that might mean you just walking the path I’ve set before you right now.’ So I’m trying to shift my perspective to: ‘Maybe life doesn’t look exactly like you thought it would, but that’s okay. Because God has a plan and He’s going to use you in the way you’re meant to be used. So just continue being faithful.’ There are times when that’s hard for me, like when tragedy strikes family back in the U.S. I can’t be there for that, or can only be there for a moment. So that’s incredibly hard, but then I think of walking alongside these girls in Bible studies in Spain who are surrounded by unbelieving peers. We might be the only believers they know, and you see them growing in their faith and learning to apply it. How joyful! We know God is using us, so we’re just trying to walk faithfully where He guides.
Please pray that I can continue to see God first and foremost before the things of this world- that the world wouldn’t distract me, and that I wouldn’t play the comparison game. Pray that I’d keep my eyes focused on what He’s set before me –to trust that’s going to be the best life I’ll ever live (rather than whatever the world might promise me)- and to stay faithful and encouraged regardless of what the ministry numbers look like or what life looks like in our family.”