The dilemma, how do you run a children’s program with only one team member who can speak Spanish well? No amount of prayer before the trip or leading up to today could answer that. Nothing other than the still small voice that seemed to be saying, “Forget about it, it is going to be ok.” We had done our part, diligently planning and preparing. Now was the time to allow God to bring the increase.
Until this day I thought I had a “pretty good” prayer life. I am not sure that I was even looking in a dim mirror. To start off the church service the congregation all got on their knees on the ROUGH concrete floor and began praying. They were all at once, all out loud, passionately pouring out their hearts to God. It went on, and on, and on. For forty-five minutes praising God, confessing sin, praying for safety and protection, and praying for the salvation of those around them. THIS IS PASSION. Passion to follow Christ with all they have. These people had NOTHING. Some did not know if they would be eating that day. Others didn’t know if they would be killed in the night. Yet, that did not stop them from pouring out their hearts to God. Today was a major eye opening for me. I resolve to never look at prayer the same way. But to unashamedly pour my heart out to God at all times.
During the singing I recognized and was able to sing along in Spanish a few of the songs that we had already sung as a team. There were also a few tunes that I could pick out and sing along in English. After singing they introduced our team and Mr. Duggar shared a short sermon. As a result of his sermon a lady who had come to church for the first time this morning accepted Christ.
Midway through the morning service we split the adults from the children. Most of the team stayed in the larger room with the kids while the parents moved to a smaller room to watch the first opening sessions of the IBLP Basic Seminar. We started out with over 100 kids who could not speak a word of English. But through the loving smiles and limited Spanish phrases we were able to develop friendships with many. We started with a few Spanish songs we had practiced as a team and then shared a Bible story in skit form. Paul did an amazing job translating for me as I narrated the skits. After a few songs and a skit we would break into teams of 10-20 kids for a craft. Each of the craft leaders did a great job explaining the craft to the kids having only their smiles and motions. Over the course of the morning and into the afternoon I think the kids were able to learn more than we gave them credit for because of the language barrier. The crafts were a big hit for them to have something of their own to take home. Some of the most precious moments were watching kids color for the first time. We are very grateful for all the Spanish curriculum provided by the Ken Pharris family from IBLP Mexico.
In the later afternoon all of the kids went with us through the local village sharing food with some of the residents and inviting them to the Christmas party at the church and gifts just before dinner. By 4:30 the entire “auditorium” was packed out with young people, fathers, mothers, and grandparents. Alex share the gospel with them and helped to arrange everyone into groups for the gifts. As team members handed out gifts to the kids and adults others blessed each person there with a gospel of John. We were able to get 1500 copies of the Gospel of John from the American Bible Society.
The rest of the evening was spent just investing in the locals through time as they explored their new gifts. After cleaning up everything we ate dinner and gathered for team devotions. Team devotions were one of my highlights each day. It was so encouraging to be able to share what God had done that day and hear the other encouraging reports from the other team members.
John Duggar and I usually seemed to always end up with our beds next to each other. I think it was accidentally on purpose. Because of that we would stay up much later after getting in bed just talking about our time down there and life in general. Since Josh got married we have gotten to know each other better. What an encouragement John is to me of a man who is totally focused on the Lord. John is a man of integrity who’s name reminds me of honor and devotion. There is much I can learn from his quite responses. He always knows when it is time to be outgoing and jovial but at the same time recognizes when to melt into the background and just listen. Just listen and serve.