Facing fears is one of the hardest things in the world, but it is so vital to life.
For the past 4 days we have been in Bani, a city about an hour away from the Capital of the DR. We stayed in the pastor’s house the whole time, which was such a wonderful experience. Let me tell you how much I now appreciate the (mostly) reliable plumbing that we have at SCORE Headquarters! Our ministry included working with the pastor, having activities, songs, and testimonies ready whenever needed at the church, and working with a Bilingual School to help teach the students English. Even though we never stopped moving the whole time we were there, it was a really nice time to both relax and stretch myself in my faith. Hearing the Gospel shared multiple times a day was refreshing, and I loved being able to get to know the people of Bani.
My fears were definitely tested this week, and it’s not surprising that God used some of my greatest fears to display His glory. I have a major fear of speaking and playing my violin in public. The first night that we were there, a group of GAP students and I played 10,000 Reasons (in Spanish, of course!), and I was extremely nervous, and did not play as well as I would have liked. Yet God used my playing; after the service, I was able to connect with some of the kids and let them try out the violin. As the days went by, I became more and more comfortable playing in front of people, whether it be the church or a big youth group event Saturday night (300 plus!). During those times, God let me enjoy playing my violin for Him as a fragrant offering. I love that God is not a boring God; He does not want us to be bored and He wants us to be able to glorify Him using every talent that He has given us! I definitely want to invest in using my violin more for worshipping God and somehow preaching the Gospel.
Not only that, but I was also able to use my Spanish more than ever before. I had blindly volunteered to share my testimony this mission trip, in complete Spanish, and as I walked on stage Sunday morning, my hand was shaking and I couldn’t concentrate. No joke, while I was speaking, I thought that my voice was quivering, but I knew that what the words meant were powerful. God is SO wonderful. And when I am weak, it’s an opportunity for God to show His strength (Y cuando soy débil, es una oportunidad para Dios a mostrar su fuerza). I was told later on that it didn’t seem like I was nervous at all; Praise God that He can use a timid person like me for His glory!
I also was given the opportunity to translate my roommate’s testimony from English to Spanish for some of the students at the Bilingual school. I remember last May when I was taking the AP Spanish test, stressing about the tough passages, the rough accents, and the fact that I couldn’t understand a single thing that the recording was saying. And just a couple of days ago, I was stretched to translate! I am still in shock. It’s totally not because of me, though. It had to have been from the Holy Spirit. For it being my first time translating to a group like that, I didn’t make too many mistakes and the testimony was generally understood. Praise God for all that He’s done!
I also confronted someone about something that has been on my heart for a while. I absolutely hate confronting, but I had been praying about it for a while and knew that it was a wise thing to do. And through that conversation, I really was challenged and brought to my knees yet once again. As these different layers, prides, and sins keep getting exposed, I keep realizing how long I was deceived and how much I need God. Thank God for His son, that carried our burdens and took our punishment. Thank you, Jesus for giving us the opportunity to have a relationship with God as close as we can. I can’t wait until everything is fully restored again in Heaven, but for now, I am so grateful for the times that I get to learn more about Him on Earth.
-That God calmed my fears about sharing my testimony and playing violin!
-That God gave me rest this past week!
-The awaited Christmas break is just around the corner! I come back home on the 17th of December and leave again on the 4th of January. Please pray that as my mind keeps wandering towards home, that I would refocus on all that is happening and what God is doing in my life here in the DR.
-Please continue to pray for wisdom for my friend and I on how to most effectively minister at our ministry site.