Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Precious Event

On the Seminary grounds, there are many transient, temporary groups. In fact, for a person to stay 1-3 months, they are semi-long term and you get used to having them around. The Nazarene Church has a common mission group called "Work and Witness" where people come down for a week (or more) and do physical work for a church or community, as well as do witnessing activities.

Last night, the ladies of the current Work & Witness team went to a local church to encourage and serve the women of the church. It was epic. There were a dozen or so American women serving slightly over a dozen Costa Rican women. After introductions, there was a short homily in Spanish about feet being beautiful when they are tired/calloused/blistered/wounded/etc. in the service of the Lord. I had a really good comprehension of the message. (My theory is it is easier to under an American speaking Spanish than a native Spanish speaker, because the American's Spanish is more similar to my Spanish.) We did a craft together, an American paired with a Costa Rican. We found their shoe size & got them flip flops. We then tied balloons around the straps & snipped off the ends to make them pretty.

The best part for me was getting to facilitate communication. (Most of the time, as I work with native Spanish speakers or missionaries who have been here for 4-7 years, my Spanish is not at the high end. I typically need help with words or grammar, but last night, I got to be the translator.) I translated English messages into Spanish. I translated Spanish messages into English. I helped the women communicate with their partner & it was delightful. I loved the craft we did and I loved the work I got to do.

Our goal was to encourage & uplift the women of the church. Sometimes, after several years of hard work, it is easy to get tired and discouraged. So we had a women's event to encourage these precious women. While several ladies mentioned how much they needed that time together & how they would always remember that night, somehow, I think they blessed me more than I blessed them. Somehow I think, although I came to serve, encourage, & uplift, that I was the one who left feeling blessed and encouraged.

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