Several weeks before my trip to Mexico I had worked and fretted and worked and fretted over my Spanish. Knowing that I was going to be an interpreter on the trip added extra pressure. I wanted to be able to communicate really well. One of the reasons that concerned me most was the fact that I'd be sharing the gospel with these kids in spanish. I really didn't want to mess that up! God was at work before, during, and after my trip! He had gone before me and prepared the hearts of the kids. He prepared my heart...
A Few of the ways God encouraged me before the trip:
During my Communications class, a fellow classmate shared his favorite Bible verse. I was so thankful in his willingness to be so open about his speech impediment, and talk about how this verse had aided him so many times. It was Exodus 4: 10-12,
"Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue. 11 The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."
I realized that this verse applied to me too! That God would tell me what to say.
When I realized I'd be working with kids ages 8 and under after the first day of camp, I immediately felt very capable. My level of spanish is more than sufficient for this age as well. I love this age bracket!
I was truly empowered by the Holy Spirit working through me in answer to the many prayers said by my mom, family, and friends! Thank you!
Many of my fellow classmates on the trip encouraged me, telling me that my spanish was good.
God replaced my fear with confidence.
God inspired me with the perfect idea for sharing his plan for our lives with the kids!
What God did in Valintine's Heart!
...The night before it was my turn to share the gospel (the coaches, skill instructors, and interpreters shared the responsiblity) God inspired my with the perfect plan! I wanted to be effective in my communication with the little kiddies on my team and knew I needed to keep whatever I said short and sweet. The other thing I knew, was that it had to be tangible to them. God inspired me with the idea to present the gospel in a symbolic way.
The next day, after my team had just had their snack and were all squishing up beside me in a tight circle I was soon ready to share about Jesus. I was excited as I looked around the circle of chubby cheeks and smiling faces. I told the kids that they each had a door in their hearts, "Tu tiene un puerto en el corazon." I described that the door of their heart had a keyhole in it, "La puerta de su corazon tiene un agujero." I said that Jesus Christ is the key that can open the door of their hearts to let God in, "Cristo Jesus es el llave que puede abrir tu corazon para Dios." I drew a simple picture of this idea and had it ready to show to the kids. I further explained that our hearts are dirty with sin and need Jesus Christ to come clean them. After finishing my gospel presentation, I looked at the local Mexican pastor who continued the discussion and eventually asked the kids to respond. They were told whoever wanted to stay behind and ask more questions could do so, while the others moved on to the next station. To my surprise, 3 boys stayed behind!
The pastor and I talked with Valintine and the other 2 boys who had stayed behind to be sure they truly understood what I had said. Valintine had a genuine interest, and his facial expression was serious. That afternoon, right out there in the dusty grass of the ballfield, Valintine took a step of faith and recieved God into his heart. This is the first time I have ever gotten to help lead someone to Christ - to actually see the decision be made! What a moment! The other thing that was so appropriate, was that the local pastor got to aid in this step of faith Valintine took. I was only in Mexico for the week, but the pastor obviously lives there, so the goal was to get the pastors involved in hopes that they'd to able to establish and build lasting relationships with these kids. GOD IS SO GOOD! What a great day!!!!
The other two boys were probably only 4 or 5 years old and did not sufficiently grasp the gospel truth to be able to make a decision. One of them told me that he didn't have lots of sin in his heart...he only had one sin! I laughed when I heard this! So cute! I explained that everyone actually has lots of sin in their hearts and they need Jesus to come and cleanse them from it. While these two cuties did not pray to recieve Christ as Valintine did, they got to see and hear Valintine's heart and attitude. They watched him pray. I hope some seeds were planted.
Please pray for Valintine and all 80 of the kids who came to camp! Pray that the pastors will be be effective in contacting them and building relationships with their families. (We left each pastor with the contact info. of the kids who live in their area) Pray that these kids would have a chance to become part of a church family and learn about the truth of the gospel so they can live in the freeing love of Christ! Pray that there would be lots of opportunites in each kid's individual life to hear about the God of the Bible. Pray that they and their families would understand that God seeks a personal relationship with them, and that there is nothing they can do to merit/work their way to heaven. Pray that there would be many sons and daughters of God over this next year out of Acuna!