The Ranch Life: Angelique and Jamahl

Movement team members Angelique Speranza and her husband Jamahl Evans went to Rancho El Camino in La Paz, Mexico, in November as their first mission trip ever.

That leap of faith lead them to sign up for two more Movement Foundation mission trips to the ranch: one in May and leading the trip this November. There are still spots open for both trips. Here, they share how and why these trips changed their lives.

Why did you guys sign up for the November 2017 Mexico trip?

Jamahl: We went on a cruise last February to Cozumel and Progresso, Mexico. When we ported in Progresso, we could tell it was different. It was a 45 minute drive to the resort, and we saw a lot of poverty and lot of dilapidated homes. There were a lot of needs in Progresso. We made a commitment to take advantage of any opportunity to go back to Mexico in a missions capacity. So when the opportunity to go to La Paz came up, of course we went there and fell in love.

Angelique: We had been talking about doing a mission trip, then Movement rolled out the mission program here, and we thought, ‘This is awesome, we can do it together, and with people we already know.’ On my part, I have a lot of anxiety, but I’ve been to Mexico before, so I thought I felt comfortable enough to go there. But I almost didn’t go. The week before, my anxiety was really really bad, and I told Jamahl he was probably going to have to go without me. I was doing the "Crash the Chatterbox" study, and it was perfect timing with what I was going through. I read this part in the book that said, “You either kick fear out of your heart or it will keep you out of the places God has prepared for you.” Don’t miss out on these things that God has already put in place for you. On the first day in Mexico, I was super anxious, but then that night we were sitting out in this gazebo, and there was a full moon that was so bright, and it was the most calm and peace I have ever felt. I heard a lot from God during that time.

What stood out to you guys about the Ranch life?

Jamahl: All of it was organic and spontaneous. You’re not coming for four days to do this one project. You’re coming to be part of the Ranch, and to do whatever the Ranch does.

Angelique: You’re incorporated into their life.

Jamahl: Exactly, you help out with washing dishes for dinner and breakfast. If the Ranch is going to the beach, you go to the beach. If the Ranch is going up on the hill to minister or just fellowship with people, you get to go fellowship with people. And I’m a social person, I don’t value anything more than the opportunity to connect with people: with the family on the Ranch, the volunteers, and the missionaries. And also the desert was just majestic.

Angelique: You don’t think of the desert like that, but it’s its own type of beautiful. It’s really awesome to see all of God’s different creations.

Jamahl: We touched down Thursday and got acclimated to the local area. Then Friday, we almost died of heat exhaustion. But then after that, we got a chance to go into the community where they serve, and meet people and pray. The lady that cooks for them, Yasmin, she had a visitor at her house, so we went to go see her.

Angelique: We just happened to be driving by, and they said, "Come on in."

Jamahl: Yeah, they motioned for us to come hang out, and we got to pray for this lady who was experiencing a lot of pain and headaches. It blows you away, they’re really excited to invite you into their home. It’s dirt floors, panel boards on the walls if you’re lucky, tin roofs. They were building a home on the back, literally brick by brick, as they could afford it. People had so little in terms of material possessions, but I think they’re happier than we are. It’s all about building relationships and taking care of each other. I really appreciated them inviting us to be part of their world for a few minutes.

Angelique: The two things that stood out to me were driving through the neighborhoods and seeing how different of a world it is there, and then praying with Yasmin’s friend. The other thing was on Sunday they took us to church, and they were singing songs that I know here, but in Spanish. It was this really cool thing that we were all singing the same song in different languages. We were all connected at that moment, there for the same purpose, worshipping God.

Angelique, tell me about going from being anxious to even go on a trip to leading the November 2018 trip

Angelique: So this past year, I’ve been seeing God pushing into more leadership roles, and I was kind of fighting it a little bit because I don’t necessarily want to be a leader. But in the places where I am a leader now, not only is it something I’m feeling more comfortable with, but I’ve realized it’s not something that’s too overwhelming. When I came back (from the first trip,) I thought I’m definitely a person who wants to lend a hand to anybody that needs help, and that’s why I like the Ranch. So I asked Michelle (McNeill) about what it meant to be a leader. We kept thinking, "Movement goes to all these places, we’re going to get to go experience all these new things." But during the first trip, David Millsaps, our leader, said the biggest problem ministries have is that people come and serve, but then they never see them again. When we got there, we fell in love with what they were doing and with the people there, and as much as I really would love to go to all these other places, the Ranch is where my heart is now. We’re signing up every time they go back. We’ll be part time missionaries.

What would you like to tell the Movement family about the upcoming trips to the Ranch in May and November?
Angelique: I tell people to sign up for anything. You don’t understand how it will change you.

Jamahl: Just sign up for something, find your passion somewhere. If Mexico’s your thing, it’s cool, it’s definitely our thing, and we appreciate the support. (We have the snack spots set up in the building!) But if it’s in Nicaragua, or Puerto Rico, go there. You’ll travel hundreds of miles to places where people are in need, but they’ll bless you more than you’ll bless them. Life is so much bigger than all the stuff we stress out about all the time. That’s the type of perspective that you get when you go outside of your comfort zone to love and serve. That’s what you have in store for you, so, do it.

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