I’ve heard that our God is a God above all. Above all language, above all nationality. Above time. I suppose I’ve believed that, but it was not made real to me until this week.
If you’ve kept up with our blog you know that earlier in the week we hosted a camp for Guatemalan high schoolers and are currently in the midst of a camp for elementary-age kids (and if you know us Shores staffers, you know we aren’t extremely well-versed in caring for children… Prayers welcome). At our first camp I had 4 guys in my cabin, all fifteen years old. Going into this trip I was pretty anxious to see how ministry would work with a language barrier. I know a little Spanish— enough to communicate— but how do you share the Gospel with someone if you (literally) aren’t speaking their language? What I learned will stick with me for years to come.
The love of our God transcends all language. As I sat across from kids at meals, saying, “como se dice” countless times and asking what their favorite movies were in broken Spanglish, I began to laugh with them at the hilarity that was our language barrier. We found things in common— we all like to use the word “swag” and we all like Justin Bieber’s new album— and it was amazing how we bonded over the tiniest things. One kid came up to me about every 20 minutes, pointed at me and said, “SELFIEE!!!” and we laughed and laughed. It quickly became clear that loving people does not take our words nearly as much as it takes our actions.
We built strong relationships surprisingly quick and by no power of mine, all four of the guys in my cabin left camp having accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. As they were leaving, they turned to me and said, “Eres nuestro amigo para siempre”. You are our friend forever. As I watched them drive away, I was suddenly emotional and I had to try hard to hold back tears. There’s a good chance I’ll never see those guys again, I thought. But as soon as this thought passed, another occurred. Those four guys accepted Christ. Not only are they my amigos forever, they are my hermanos forever. And I will see them again, if not in this life, in the next.
God’s love knows no bounds. It transcends language, it transcends nationality, and it transcends culture. The Gospel is for ALL people, because all people are loved by God. The Gospel can be shared in many ways, from verbally explaining salvation to someone to getting absolutely demolished in soccer for the fifteenth time. Our God is a God above all, and I’m indescribably thankful for that. Because when I get to Heaven, I’ll get to see Javier, Pablo, Moche, and Esteban there and I’ll get to tell them with my own words how much I love them and the impact that they have made in my life.
“Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” – 1 Corinthians 10:17
– Travis Warren