The wonder of God using me, in spite of me.
“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And the base things of the world, and the things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and the things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.” I Corinthians 1:26-29
I sat squished between a rickety kitchen table and a makeshift bed, staring at cracked, grey concrete walls, waiting for Vanessa. There wasn’t much in those two tiny rooms that four people called home. I noticed a burner and a handful of dishes in one corner. That was the kitchen. Past a small division was another bed, with a sheet draped over some hanging clothes. That was the bedroom that the parents and child shared. The grandfather slept on the make-do bed that was next to me.
When Vanessa entered the room from using the “pila”, their water source across the way, she greeted us with a smile. I was waiting to talk to her about salvation. Her husband had recently given his life to the Lord, and we wanted to speak to her and see if she would like to do the same. The church ladies that came with me started small talk.
I heard each of them say things like, “What a nice place you have, I remember when we started out, we only had one room.” The other lady piped up and said “Yes, our home growing up was only big enough for us to lay across to sleep, our head touching one wall, our feet touching the other.” As I listened to these three ladies talk about their living conditions, I felt myself gulp for air. I could not participate in this conversation. I could not relate to these precious ladies. I grew up in the States and lived in an average American home, one that these ladies would have considered a mansion. So I sat and smiled, while I thought “How can I possibly help these ladies? I cannot relate to them in hardly any areas.” My feelings of inadequacy were strong. Not to mention, I still butcher their language when I open my mouth, even after 8 years of living here.
As I prepared to talk to Vanessa about her spiritual condition, I remembered something very important. It is not at all about me, my abilities with the language, or my ability to relate to people. God chose me because of my lack of ability. I can only rely on Him to use me, in spite of my many shortcomings.
So I began to ask Vanessa questions to understand what she knew and where she was spiritually. The two ladies from our church sat quietly, observing how to witness. At one point, I asked her a question about what I was explaining. After I formed the question, I realized I did not use the proper grammer. Would she understand? I paused, wondering if I should repeat the question, correcting my Spanish grammar. But, miraculously, she answered the question correctly and we continued.
Soon after, Vanessa bowed her head and asked Jesus into her heart. I am so thankful that I get to be part of this, bad Spanish grammar and all!