For those of you non-Spanish speakers out there, I would like to take a moment to inform you that this post is titled "The best day of my life." (I have gotten complaints about confusion in reading my blogs because of the extremely cultural titles.)
Today, I awoke around 6 and thought to myself, I do not want to go to campus today. I do not want to mess with Spanish. I do not want to talk to anybody. I went back to sleep and awoke an hour later to take a short run, which helped to bring a little reality into my morning brain. By the time we departed for campus, I had realized that I did want to go to campus, I did want to talk to anybody (really, anybody), and I would consider messing with Spanish. I spent much of the forty minute walk talking with my teammates about Judges, which I am currently reading in my quiet time. "Talking" is probably an overly nice term for what came out of my mouth. I was pretty upset. Judges is a tragically sad book.
When we got to campus, I went sharing with Enrique. We approached some students who were caught up in orthodontic practices. As they made casts of teeth, Enrique shared the Gospel. I felt a bit of deju vu as a student poured white powder into a flimsy plastic bowl, mixed it with water, and stirred it until it was purple and then pink and then light colored again. I used to sincerely love getting molds of my teeth in that gooey stuff. It felt awesome.
One of the friends of the students with whom we were chatting gave us yogurt and cereal cups and then the two girls who had been busy forming soap teeth, cleaning fake teeth, and answering phone calls throughout the duration of the conversation, prayed to receive Christ! After getting contact information, we sat down to pray and eat our yogurt.
I then went out to share with Monce, who is on staff in Quito. We walked and walked and were not coming across any groups of girls, so we sat down and prayed. All of our conversation and prayer was in Spanish, and she was very patient with me. At one point, we approached a girl sitting by herself. Monce introduced us and asked if she had a couple minutes to talk about God. The girl somewhat hesitantly agreed. Then, Monce said she had a phone call and SHE LEFT ME.
I had never shared the Gospel (from a booklet) by myself in my life (bear with me, as I am getting excited, I am fighting to type in all English for you guys) and here I am, by myself, with a girl who speaks Spanish. "Have you heard of the four spiritual laws?" I awkwardly spurted in Spanish. "No." I sat down and opened the booklet to page one and start reading to the best of my ability, inserting an occasional transition word or original thought.
When we got to the part with two circles, one representing a self-centered life and the other a Christ-centered life, she said the self-centered better reflected her life. Upon my questioning, she also said that this circle was what she wanted her life to look like. This was the first time I had gotten this combination of answers, and I was a bit unsure of what to say, given that it probably would not be wisest to tell her she had chosen the wrong answer. So I flipped the page, telling her that I would read the infamous prayer of accepting Jesus and that she could listen. Smooth, right? I then went into a brief Spanish speech about why, and how much, I need Jesus. Then I asked if she wanted to pray and have a personal relationship with Christ.
SHE SAID YES.
I got really excited and was most likely flailing my arms about as I blabbered about the beautiful adventure that it is to know Jesus. We have an appointment to meet back up and talk some more. While I was talking to my new sister, Monce finished her phone conversation, brought another girl to Christ, and began to sit, waiting patiently for me.
After all of that (Yes! I know! There is more!) Ann and I went over to the language department to see our friends who we see everyday. We waved at them and scurried to the bathroom, glad we had brought our own toilet paper. As there is no soap nor paper towels, Ann and I joined wet, yet still germy hands and prayed for help. At this point, we had become comfortable with approaching strangers and diving straight into a spiritual conversation. Now we had a burden to start a conversation about God with people we already knew, and we were terrified.
We sat down with our friends and began talking about our days. They asked if we were going to class there, and that gave us a great opportunity to tell them why we were there and ask them what they thought about the librito that Carlos (CJ) had presented to them. One of the girls expressed that she wasn't even sure if God existed. Ana (Ann) and I then each told a brief testimony of periods of doubt and God's continued faithfulness in our lives. Other questions arose that we would not even be equipped to answer in English arose, over topics such as science v. religion and the mark of the beast, and, just as our conversation started to move into more shallow topics, Enrique showed up!
We redirected their questions to him and Enrique got his preach on. What a blessing to have friends who live here in Ecuador! At this point, me, Ann, Carlos, and Enrique were talking to four students. At one point, one of them asked if going to church was necessary. With Enrique translating, I was able to tell these friends the awesome news through faith alone, we have salvation, but as we get to better know the heart of the Creator, we want to walk in obedience to His commands. Enrique went on and on, directing every question to the heart of the Gospel, and at the end of our campus time today, ALL FOUR of them prayed to receive Christ and to have a personal relationship with Him! Tomorrow, we will meet back up to discuss any questions these brothers and sisters may have.
Friends, does life get any better? On the walk home, I was full of both jugo de guanabana and joy, which are both beautiful things with which to be filled.
"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." (Ephesians 3:20-21)