“Is there any particular thing you would still like to do or experience on this trip?” Grady asked me as we put our spoons down and finished up fresh bread in the little
I thought back to my prayers from days prior. I had one particular desire: to share the Gospel with someone. God had been challenging me to speak, but I didn’t know Spanish well enough to get beyond things like favorite colors, the weather, and school. However, I knew how true it is that when we delight ourselves in the Lord, He gives us the desires of our hearts! He first plants those desires—such as to share Him with others—in our hearts, and then fulfills them.
The following day, Pastor Alcidez asked for two girls from our team to go with David and Anna’s daughters to take clothes to the villagers. Heather and I volunteered ourselves (and Cassie, who speaks Spanish… what a blessing!), picked up the rusty wheelbarrows filled with gifts, and started down the dirt path toward the villagers huts. “Perhaps today I can share?” I thought and fingered the salvation bracelet in my pocket, checking to make sure I had the yellow paper with the explanation in Spanish. Perhaps to a woman, a child? I didn’t know.
Hut after hut we handed out clothes and lollipops, chatted a little, and moved on. I started to wonder if an opportunity would come at all. We came to one little hut and a precious wizened woman came out to greet us with a smile. “Grandma,” they call her. She was one of the founders of the village and was considered the moral leader. We handed her the clothes, she thanked us, and then grabbed my wrist, saying in Spanish that I could stay with her while the others went on.
“No hablo mucho espanol,” I said, making sure she knew I wouldn’t be much for conversation. I laughed as the others wheeled the rest to the next hut. “Grandma” led me to her orange tree, handed me a long pole with a hook and we started pulling the oranges off. We couldn’t talk much with words, but how my heart went out to her! A few minutes later when it was time for me to go I thought of the bracelet in my pocket. Cassie explained how to say I had a gift for her. “Tengo un regalo para ti,” I said. She smiled and reached out her arm as I tied the bracelet—the Gospel, the good news of Christ in us—around her thin brown wrist. Out came the yellow paper, and I read what each bead signified, after which she said she would have her grandson read it to her again sometime. I hugged her, this woman who had so much sway in the village, and prayed that she would one day be my sister. What a privilege and answer to my heart’s desire to share, even when I could not speak Spanish! When we walked away, she stood there alone next to her hut… but I know she is not alone. The Lover of our Souls is pursuing her heart.
Early on in the trip, a team member shared with me how Jesus is blessed whenever we speak about Him, regardless of the results. What a privilege we have to bless our God by speaking about Him to those we meet, whether that’s in the heart of the Amazon in Bolivia or at the grocery store in Charlotte. I praise the Lord for the opportunity to share His love and truth with others!