As we unloaded off the bus I could see the multi colored umbrellas lined up along the sandy beach. The smell of carne asada grilling from the taco cart on the boardwalk with kids running around in the streets. A few elderly women approached me, “Se vende?” they said as they flashed their array of handmade bracelets and necklaces hung from a board they carried, “Quieres comprar?” they asked.
I was leading the charge with five teenagers in tow, the Spanish I learned in high school and a real brave face as we headed out to walk the beach on mission to share the love of Christ with those who might want to hear.
I was scared. I am putting myself out here to let you know that sometimes, I doubt. I was unsure of my ability to connect with another in a language I’m not well versed in, with a people I love but uncertain my presence would be meaningful to them. It had been a while since I walked the streets of Mexico to share the gospel, and I admit the discomfort required a lot of self talk. I doubted my service. Would I know what to say? Would I communicate well? Do these teens that are following me think I’m crazy—oh God, please just show up.
I am passionate about seeing people find Jesus. And I am committed to His love being shared around the world. I have also decided that my children will get to experience His presence and power on foreign soil with people of other cultures on mission so all people might be saved. But sometimes I really don’t know how.
And so I take a step. Both figuratively and literally. On that day we just started to walk. And as we made our way through the people covered by colorful umbrellas, I saw him. I turned to my sixteen year old daughter and said, “Look!” She replied, “I know mom, I saw him, too.” A young man with Down Syndrome seated in a beach chair next to his mom who was having her hair braided by a local vendor. The dad stood near pacing as he talked with a small group that was gathered. “Let’s go over there and talk with them. I want to connect with him and his family,” I said.