I want to tell you about my friend Mafer Apparicio. She’s 19 years old and is currently in Atlanta, Georgia, receiving her final training before launching on World Race: Gap Year. She’ll be traveling to Guatemala, Malaysia, and Botswana to partner in ministry.
Mafer is the first Guatemalan to launch on the World Race.
I first met Mafer over a year ago, when she served as a translator for a short-term team here in Antigua. As we got to know Mafer during that week of ministry, we realized that our relationship with her was more of a long-term thing. We knew that God had something really special planned for her life, and we were given the privilege of investing in her.
And so, Mafer quickly became a regular at our house. She joined us for meals, ministry, and often slept over at our house. In the process, we also got to know her family. We joined them at their home for Guatemalan holidays, and they came to our home for American holidays.
In September 2014, we received a World Race: Gap Year team, who would serve alongside us for three months. Soon after they arrived, Mafer began to join them in ministry. From holding babies at a children’s home in Guatemala City to praying for members of a church at Lake Atitlan, Mafer was right there with the Gap Year team in ministry. She quickly became friends with the team, even inviting them to sleep over at her house a couple of different times.
Mafer has always had a heart for ministry and missions. I believe God used her time with the Gap Year team to show her a tangible way she could step into ministry. He showed her the path that He had for her.
It took a great deal of faith on her behalf. Earlier this year, Mafer applied for the World Race: Gap Year. And despite the logistical challenges, despite the fact that no other Guatemalan had ever done it, Mafer was accepted.
But it wasn’t that easy.
I had so many conversations with Mafer through the process of fundraising and preparing for the Race. There are so many times she could have given up. Up until recently, it seemed that she wouldn’t have the finances to go on the Race. And yet, God had spoken to her the plans that He had for her, and she believed.
Mafer is now fully funded.
Later this week, Mafer and her squad will fly to Guatemala City. They will spend the following three months in ministry. I get excited every time I think about the fact that Mafer gets to minister in her own country. Few World Racers have gotten to do that, and I cannot wait to hear what happens as a result.
Two of the core focuses of our ministry here are discipleship and mobilization. We are all about building relationships with people, and helping them grow through building relationships with them. We also believe that Guatemala is a nation that will change other nations. We believe that God is calling people here to give their lives to serving Him, both in Guatemala and in other nations across the earth.
Mafer is a beautiful picture of God seeing each of those visions through. We have had the honor of knowing Mafer for the last year, and in that time, she has grown tremendously. She has trusted God with more and more of her life. Now, she is going to the nations. She is traveling across the earth to spread the love of Christ.
Mafer, we are so proud of you. We believe in you, and we believe in what God is doing in you. You are fully capable of what He is leading you into. Thank you for giving Him your ‘yes.'
To follow Mafer's journey over the next 9 months, visit her blog, maferapariciojacobs.theworldrace.org.