My third week in Peru, my team and I served the community of Pamplona at a Buckner Community Transformation Center. I had only been in Peru for two weeks and my most recent Spanish class was in high school. Language was a barrier for me. However, one little girl reminded me that sharing God's love does not always require a translator.
Her name is Maria Belen. Belen is 5 years old, owns a little dog named Chocolate and loves to dance and play hide-and-seek. She also does not speak any English.
Her beautiful smile was the first to greet me each day and she was the last one to give me a hug when I left. We often communicated nonverbally and by the end of the week I could understand her rather well. What I did not know was how much she understood from me.
Through my spotty Spanish and role playing, I shared with her several Bible stories and verses. It was rather entertaining to watch, I'm sure. Yet, apparently Belen was sharing with her mother each night what we had learned together that day.
At the end of the week Belen's mother came up to me and handed me a yellow bag she made for me. Belen had shared with her mother that yellow was my favorite color, and she wanted to thank me for sharing the love and joy of Christ with their family.
This experienced reminded me that God's power and grace is beyond languages and cultures. It is incredible to witness His gospel message spread worldwide through the faithfulness of his followers.
Spending time in another culture always produces barriers, but by actively showing love and leaning on God's guidance, you can be a useful tool for the Gospel. Isaiah 55:10-11 is a beautiful picture of God's word and how it flourishes and does not return empty:
"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it."
Jeanne Jacobs served as a volunteer with Project Go! last summer in Peru. The deadline to sign up to be a 2012 Project Go! volunteer is Feb. 5. Click here for more information.
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