Through tears, 17-year-old Julia confessed to the group that she had been living “in deep sin” and realized that she desperately needed Christ. Julia’s family was part of a FamilyLife mission trip to the border town of Juarez, Mexico, in March 2023. Although they had gone together with a goal of ministering to an impoverished community, God was doing something special in their own family.

The mission team spent four days partnering with a local Mexican church to distribute water filters house to house through a partnership with a Texas-based church. They also helped the church with their after-school meal program for kids. The team received training not only for installing the water filters but also for sharing their faith. In those four days, the team shared the gospel with 74 people and saw 19 people trust Christ.

As she witnessed her parents and other team members sharing the truth of the gospel, Julia began to understand Christ’s love for her and the freedom that His grace brings. By the end of the week, she was passionately sharing the gospel herself.

As her heart was opened, she announced to her mom that all of the money she was saving for a CrossFit gym membership would now be used to take a year-long discipleship program after high school that would help her grow more in her love and faith in Jesus.

“I’ve seen transformation in teenagers on mission trips throughout my seventeen years with Cru High School, but when the students returned home, no one in their household shared the experience with them,” said Oscar Avalos, FamilyLife director of global missions. “This was different. Not only were Julia’s parents and siblings present, they were getting to be a part of God’s work in her life, while on mission together. I am hopeful for Julia and her family’s supportive journey.

“What a joy and privilege it is to witness life-changing experiences in families. There are still hundreds of ‘Julias’ who have yet to experience what God has for them through FamilyLife mission trips. Praise God for what He has done and will continue to do!”

For more information about FamilyLife mission trips, visit