God Brings Full Circle One Young Girl’s Dream

When Regina Palazuelos was nine years old, she boarded a bus at her church for the ninety minute trip to Guaymas, Sonora, where the Operation Mobilization (OM) ship Logos II would dock.

Regina recalls, “It was the event of the year, to board this missionary ship with an international crew. It was a big party for us! I have memories of us kids running around, people laughing and this sense of joy and peace. It was like entering another world.” On the bus ride home, Regina told her best friend, “When I grow up, I want to be on this ship.”

Four years later, Regina was not practicing her faith when dance drew her back to God. Regina explains, “Dance was the only link between me and God, and having that ministry at my local church is what started my relationship with God.” When she was twenty, Regina was suddenly afflicted with a debilitating back condition until God healed her and called her to serve Him in missions. Regina was still passionate about dance and the Lord was nudging her to use that passion to reach others, but she assumed that dance and missions were incompatible.

During the same season, OM came to Regina’s church for a large conference. As Regina researched various mission organizations she could join long-term, she noticed, “OM was the one that felt most like me, because they involve arts in many of their ministries.” After attending the conference at her church, Regina knew that “the Ship” she was drawn to as a child was where she would be trained.

“It just seemed to have a place for everyone, with any kind of skill, experience, age, etcetera. I wanted to be trained on the field, more practically, and then see where God would take me.”

Although Regina recognized the Spirit’s clear call to missions, at first when she introduced the idea to her family they expressed concern and said they wanted her to pursue a career, as others in her family had done—architects, doctors, teachers, and sales managers. Were they right, Regina wondered? But when family and friends bid Regina adieu at a farewell dinner, her mother offered, “I prayed to God to close the doors for Regina to go to the ship if it was not his will. With God opening all the doors, I’ve slowly accepted the fact that it is indeed God’s will.”

Though it wasn’t easy for Regina to leave the dance, artistic, and evangelism ministries where she was invested at home, God reminded Regina that their flourishing was His business, not hers. “The hardest part, though,” she says, “was saying goodbye to my family.” She desperately wanted them to understand that she was not so much leaving them as responding to God in obedience. “In the end, they understood and were happy for me. My parents remembered that they dedicated me and my siblings to God, so we belong to him completely.”

Aboard the OM ship, Regina was offered the opportunity to launch a dance group that would minister both to the ship’s community and to those who would come aboard to visit the ship in various ports.

“This,” says Regina, “has been one of the greatest joys of my journey.

Today, Regina serves aboard the Logos Hope, a ship that spends anywhere from five days to one month in ports around Asia. When visitors board the Logos Hope, they have the opportunity to visit the Book Fair and the International Café. Crew members from around the globe mingle to connect with visitors. The ship’s guests can buy tickets to concerts and performances held in the 450 seat theater, and enjoy drinks or ice cream. A smaller theater offers video screenings, as well as live dramas and music. Ship staff often share Christian or cultural songs and Regina says, “There’s always music and interaction. It’s dynamic and a lot of fun!” When lines to board the ship become long, the crew takes the party outside as well.

Regina is the ship’s Onboard Events Team Leader. She oversees the organization of all public events on the ship. The community of 400 crew members, says Regina, is amazing. She gushes about her Onboard Events team explaining that though the team’s primary purpose is to serve guests, they are also committed to serving each other. They come alongside each other and pray for one another regularly. They do for each other what OM staff does for the ship’s guests every single day.

One such encounter is still vivid in Regina’s mind. While in Thailand, Regina developed a friendship with a local Christian girl whose boyfriend was Buddhist. During the month the ship was docked, Regina and the couple enjoyed spending a lot of time together and just before the ship set sail, Regina and a friend shared the Gospel with the young man. In the end, he was very closed to it and Regina was brokenhearted about his distance from God. After loosing track with one another, Regina returned a year later with the ship and the couple was there. She remembered their story, “After we left, God started to speak to the young man in dreams. He started to attend church and accepted Christ in one of the services. He joined the worship band, was baptized and is now sharing his testimony of how God took him out of drugs, depression, and alcoholism.”

Marveling at the young man’s story, Regina declares, “God is still a God of miracles.”

At OM, there’s nothing cookie-cutter about the work we do and there’s nothing cookie-cutter about us. If God created us to design, then we design. If we’re wired to organize, then we organize. If we’ve been made to build, then we build. We’re extroverts and introverts. Single and married. Left-brained and right-brained. And though we bring a multitude of gifts to the work we do, the one thing that unites us is our shared conviction that the Gospel changes everything.

Our work at OM focuses on six spheres that we believe generate vibrant community: Arts & Entertainment, Business, Church, Education, Media, and Social. As we engage in each of these spheres, we identify specific ways we can build up local communities. So whether we’re working as editors or artists, caterers or coaches, mechanics or musicians, we’re building up the communities where we live and serving our new friends in ways that lead to lasting transformation. Discover where your gifts could lead…learn more here.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising pages. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here. 

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