“What are you doing here?” They asked me, a cloud of smoke puffing from their lips.
I wasn’t so sure.
It was 1am, and the Malechon was filled with thousands of people for Carnaval week. The music shook my bones, and the smell of beer and sweat filled my senses.
I looked past the group of young people into the black ocean, wondering how we could ever get through to them. They weren’t here to talk about God. They were here to have a good time. And part of me envied that.
Writing a mental list in my head, I began to regret my decision to be on the evangelism team.
I’m terrified of talking to strangers.
I hate awkward conversations.
Praying for people is embarrassing.
And I'm not fluent in Spanish.
The list kept going, and my heart grew heavy.
On the street, couples danced to Mexican banda music, while others drank on the sidewalk or ate tacos in the gutter. Crowds and crowds of people were gathered from all over to have fun. It looked like they were living life to the full.
As my weary eyes watched them, the music drained away and I sensed the deep darkness that consumed the crowd.
I knew there was pain beneath their eyelids. Hidden fears in their steps. A sadness to their drinking. And suddenly I wasn’t looking at the beautiful costumes and tipsy dancing, I was looking at a lost, terrified people.
I snapped my attention back to the group of young people I had approached. Oh God, I prayed. This is scary. I want to explain the GOODNESS of you, but I don’t have the words. And I don’t think they want to listen. Help me, Papa.
And He did.
With fear pumping through my veins, I approached people on the street. I didn’t know what I would say, but I knew somehow that if I took that first step, I could trust God to do the rest.
He stilled my heart, and filled me with confidence. God gave me the words, all in Spanish, and there we were; the random strangers and I, praying and sharing our hearts and hugging.
And golly, what a joy it was to be a part of what God is doing in these people’s lives!
Throughout our 5 days of ministry and outreach during Carnaval, God did some incredible things:
- 4975 people heard the gospel
- 2175 people received prayer
- 218 people were physically healed
- 331 people decided to follow Jesus
Sometimes I have to pinch myself. Do I really get to be a part of this?
It's spontaneous, scary, and often feels ridiculous. But God is SO faithful, and I trust Him to lead me as I step out and obey.
There have been times recently where I've stumbled into new, terrifying territory; the kind that makes my tummy flop and my throat go dry. But it's in those moments that I can understand God's goodness best.
I cling to Him, knowing that He never has, and never will, let me down. It's a joy to walk in that confidence!
Would you like to join me on this journey? I'd love to hear from you.
Lots of hugs to all,