Last year, I completed a Compassion DTS with YWAM Newcastle, and it changed my life. When I reflect on my experience, specifically my DTS outreach in Mexico, I feel so encouraged by what God revealed to me. I hope to encourage and inspire others as I share some of those revelations.
Looking back, I realise once again how much God believes in His children and wants us involved with growing His Kingdom.
One day on outreach, while my team was offering free henna tattoos at a park in Mexico City, I met a young woman named Paula, who was from Mexico City and attended university there. Along with my friend and our translator, I asked Paula if she would like a henna tattoo and welcomed her to join our group. Later, I noticed that Paula’s henna tattoo was completed, so I sat next to her and in my broken, high school-level Spanish, complimented the henna tree on her arm. At this, she beamed and thanked me for bringing her over to our group.
We continued to chat, in spite of the fact that my ability to speak Spanish was our best communication tool. Spectacularly enough, our conversation was one of the best I have ever had. Rather than judging my poor conjugation and limited vocabulary, Paula appreciated my attempt to speak with her and in return, she used the little English she knew. I was able to tell her about how I was part of a school of young missionaries. I told her about how God provided my finances for school and that as part of my school I got to tell people Jesus loves them. Paula was very interested in my testimony, even though the conversation was not the smoothest. I was even able to ask in Spanish if I could pray for her in English, and she said yes!
It was such a privilege to be in her country, speaking her language and hearing about her life and experiences.
Months, even weeks earlier, I would never have imagined having a dialogue with a Mexican in Spanish; I simply had no confidence in myself, nor in my ability to speak the language. Neither did I understand how God can use something so simple. Because of that, Paula’s response to my Spanish was a welcome surprise.
Throughout my time in Mexico, I found the people, like Paula, so open to my flawed Spanish, and so accepting of me. The culture’s hospitable nature is present in all the areas of society. God used the mammoth meals, the constant hugs, kisses and handshakes of the people I met to show me His love and generosity, but He also used a simple conversation. My entire experience in Mexico was amazing, and I am inspired by the people I met, by Paula, whose generous spirits showed through their actions.
Before my Discipleship Training School, my view of the world was limited to what I could see from my front door. Meeting new people, and sharing Jesus’ love with individuals from different countries and cultures seemed overwhelming and felt impossible. God nudged me out of the house and across the world, then He led me to Mexico. As my perspective of the world grew, I learnt that stepping out, taking a risk, and even speaking a language poorly can be worth it.
I realised that trusting in God and depending on Him in every circumstance leads to unique connections and opportunities to share His love.
by Fiona Muha
YWAM Newcastle Staff