“The task of evangelism is therefore best understood as the proclamation that Jesus is already Lord, that in Him God’s new creation has broken into history, and that all people are therefore summoned to submit to Him in love, worship, and obedience.” — NT Wright
Katie and I went sharing together again, and we decided to talk to two girls. Since they were both sitting on a bench, when we sat down on either side of them, Katie and I ended up just engaging one girl each. In my mind (since Katie’s Spanish is so much better than mine, and I rely on her for translations) I had an ‘uh oh’ moment, but I prayed for the Spirit to lead me in that conversation and for understanding. And it was an amazing conversation - God drastically increased my understanding of what Norehanny was saying, and I was so encouraged going through the soularium with her and sharing my life with her, because our mutual faith was wonderful to see. :) And it served as a reminder that it’s nothing I do that produces results in any conversation. (I really appreciate the language barrier as a reminder for me just to rely on God’s power in leading me.)
We took a break for lunch - I ate a pepito, which is the longest hot dog I have ever seen, with tiny pieces of fried plaintain (like french fries) and random sauces on top of it. (The food is really interesting to me, but sorry if it doesn’t interest you at all and you’re wondering why I keep putting it in this blog.) After lunch Katie and I had a really long, tiring conversation with two Jehovah’s Witnesses who were really only interested in telling us their beliefs. That’s hard enough in English, let alone in Spanish, so we both felt pretty drained after that! It was still a good conversation, and both girls were very friendly, but we ended up having to leave for the bus, and I didn’t like not being able to have a full conversation with them.
Since we have English club on Wednesdays, which starts at 12, and we got to campus a lot later than normal, Katie and I decided to go around and tell people about English club. It was a little discouraging at first, because people weren’t responding with the open friendliness that I’ve grown so used to, but eventually we ran into Veronica, Palminia, and Olga, who were so very friendly. They already texted Katie yesterday (Sunday), and we’re trying to make plans to hang out this week, but we only talked to them for 10 minutes or so. Please be praying for our conversation with them, because we didn’t even get a chance to talk about spiritual matters with them.
English club was wonderful. I led an advanced discussion group, meaning all of them had wonderful English, and my brain had a beautiful break with no language translations of any kind for a couple of hours. (Something I really enjoy about English club is that the point isn’t really to learn English, but to get to know each other. The STINTers have been putting it on with Vida Estudiantil.) I really appreciated how close our group got in answering questions like: “What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?” or “Who do you admire and why?” At the end, when our time was up, the 10 of us stayed in our circle, and I asked if they had any questions for me, and I explained why I was there in Venezuela. What I loved is that one of the guys, Daniel, then started sharing his beliefs, which meant preaching the Gospel. :)
I was privileged enough to go sharing with my two Venezuelan student besties today, Joanna and Deborah. In the morning, I first went sharing with Joanna, and we met a girl named Genesis, who was very friendly. I started the conversation in Spanish, like always, but eventually she started responding in English, because she’s an education major. That was a nice surprise! She said she was a Christian, and she knows and believes the Gospel, but from what I heard, she hasn’t been experiencing God’s love in community at all, so pray that we’ll be able to meet up this Wednesday, and that God would lead me in how I can best pour into her life.
Okay, honesty time: I started getting lazy and reluctant to share the Gospel. So when Debora asked me if I was willing to meet up with one of her friends in the comedor (their very, very cheap version of a dining commons) before going sharing, I said yes. Then, when I was sitting with them as they ate, I felt so convicted that God had given me exactly what I wanted, yet I felt guilty and restless. (I’m not saying that I’m here to go sharing all of the time while I’m on campus, because follow up with fellow believers, especially new Christians, is more important, but I am saying that I’m not on campus to just kick back with Vida Estudiantil students. And that’s so easy to do, because they’re all so fun and wonderful! And most of the conviction came from how I felt my heart had hardened to going sharing. Does that make sense?) So I prayed for God to soften my heart yet again to the power and magnificent love of His Gospel, and Debora and I went sharing after they finished eating. We engaged one girl sitting by herself in conversation, and I felt like I was really able to enter into the conversation (which can be difficult with Debora since she doesn’t speak any English). God totally blessed me that way, and then by watching as Yesmile accepted Christ. Be praying that we can follow up with her this week, and that she would fully understand the life-changing decision she made.
(We had our weekly meeting tonight, and Bart said that we’ve seen around 40 people accept Christ! Praise the Lord! Other students have some really awesome stories about how God is working here. It was so encouraging to here.)
REST! It was a holiday today, so there was no school, and we all really appreciated sleeping in. We still had an outreach event with Venezuelan students - we all met up at an ice cream place, ate ice cream, and played games. (I tried the torta zuiza flavor, which was vanilla with pieces of waffle cone in it. Manuel told me it was his favorite.) Some of the students I’d met at English club were there, and one taught Brian and me how to play calleda (not sure if that’s spelled right), a really popular card game in Venezuela. I still don’t get it fully. But I had the winning hand!
Some of the students here in Vida Estudiantil are raising money to go on a missions trip to the Amazon to preach the Gospel to indigenous people there. :)
I have now had blackberry, strawberry, passionfruit, pineapple, papaya, watermelon, and melon fruit juice. The fruit juices here are amazing.
Looks like a lot of follow up is happening this week! Please pray that I would be intentional about that, and that God would lead every conversation with His Spirit.