The Lord has really blessed me these past couple of days. I´m not sure if all of the excitement and positive outlook is another stage of culture shock, but I´m definitely enjoying it!
We had a team from Wendell, NC come this week to do a sports camp each day. They went to the children´s home in the mornings and then in the evenings we all helped out with a camp for the kids from the villages. It was so much fun!
Each day we still made our way to our assigned villages but we were completely on our own. We were free to choose when to go and how long we wanted to be there. My team and I took this time to only one of our communities because we really aren´t very familiar with it at all. So we walked. We took our remainder flyers for the sports camp and walked, praying for God to provide opportunities to meet people. You see, this community has already presented a challenge for us. We´ve walked through a few times, and each time it seems very closed and there aren´t many people out on the streets to speak with. This is a very diverse area because it´s fairly new, so I don´t think that many people know each other or are close to one another as you might find in the other pueblos. At times, it´s definitely discouraging. I think it´s hit my team on some days this week especially because we´ve gone with eagerness to share with the people and have come out with a few quick conversations and some less flyers.
But for me, God gave me peace. I know we haven´t gotten results from this community as we would like. We haven´t had any clear paths of sharing with people nor have we made close connections as in the other village across the street. But God has given me peace about it. I know that if we continue to act persistently in being a presence in this place, he will provide. It´s easy to look at situations like this and think that we haven´t been successful. But if there is one thing I´ve learned so far, it´s that success on the mission field cannot be measured by us but is solely measured by our obedience to God´s calling. As long as we are willing and consistent, we are successful.
Also, the children´s camp each night was such a blessing for me. We taught them to play some basketball, football, soccer, and we even did some crafts. The children were so excited to be there and to play around. It was mostly affirming for me because I made some connections with a few of the girls that came consecutive days in a row. I think it was the third night or so, I was sitting on the stage and one girl came up behind me, putting her hands over my eyes as I tried to guess who it was. That may seem like something so insignificant to most people, but for me it was a gesture that meant “hey you´re my friend and I´m glad to see you”. Now who knows what that young girl was really thinking but it did touch my heart and reaffirmed that the Lord does have a purpose for me here. Also, one night, it began to pour down rain. Here in Oaxaca when it rains, it rains hard. So the group that was outside playing had to come inside and everything broke out into chaos. It was beautiful. The kids were running around everywhere and having the best time ever. The gym was filled with laughter and screams and the loud pounding of rain on the roof. I simply stood on the stage, smiling in awe of all that was around me because to me, this was the love of God.
There has been a lot of going this week and it´s been slammed pack, leaving my teammates and I a bit exhausted. But the Lord is good and I´m so thankful for the opportunities he will provide while I´m here. Now I wait patiently for his leading.
“When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them and his sheep follow him becuase they know his voice.”