I had a small breakthrough during our Christmas holiday that was probably the most significant thing that happened the whole time we were away.
Being able to express something that you believe, something that is very important to you, often requires an entirely different set of Spanish verbs that we have just begun to learn and can be extremely difficult. So, while we’ve had dozens of really fascinating conversations and been able to listen to what our friends believe, many of our responses so far have been limited to very concrete topics. But, we’ve been trying to patiently remember that God will prepare our minds when He has guided us to a place where He wants us share something deeper.
Driving down a beach road, we turned off onto a small path to look for better surf. When we all piled out of the truck, we went to the shore, only to be disappointed with what we found. We were starting to head back to the truck when I heard a man in the nearby shack whistling a tune. The old man eagerly came over, introduced himself as “Alberto,” the keeper of the dock, and enlightened us on his opinion of the best surfing spots around.
Then, seeming anxious to not lose his audience (and presumably a conversation with another person, as he didn’t seem to have much company in these parts) he reached into his pocket to show us “something special.” He pulled out a brown soggy and withered leaf of tobacco and began to tell us that he and we were brothers, that he was brothers with everyone he ever met, never had an enemy and would like to offer us a “peace pipe” as his friends. This opened up a great conversation with him about what he meant by us being brothers, and he explained that we were all going to be together in Heaven, as long as we were good, so why would we not be friends here on earth? And, for the first time in my life, God gave me just a little bit more reach into my Spanish vocabulary to be able to talk further with this man about my beliefs of eternity! We had a really great conversation for awhile about why Jesus came to earth, what God requires of man, and how we can know what will happen after death.
When we left that day, I didn’t realize what had just happened until Joel said, “Is that the first time you’ve ever been able to speak like that in Spanish?”
“I guess so.”
I guess we never know what is in store down the next little path and whether or not we will be given the words to have conversations with our new friends, but I hope that we will be ready when the time comes.