Well we are here, and Nicaragua is a Spanish speaking country. “Hola” is about the extent of my Spanish so I tend to use the word over 100 times a day. My life has quickly become a never-ending game of charades, and this charades life is a challenging life. Thinking before you speak is a necessity here. How important is this five minute skit I am about to put on to ask where I should dump the trash? Ministry is definitely about seeing what needs to be done and doing it with as little words as possible.
One of my favorite memories from this week happened the second full day I was here. I was cleaning the school cafeteria with part of my team and two girls from CIRCN (the orphanage). We were just sweeping and moping and saying “Hola” over and over again. We had already learned each other’s names and ages so we had hit a wall in Michale’s Spanish vocabulary. I would sing some High School Musical in English and they sang along in Spanish, but their facial expressions told me what their voices couldn’t… They thought I was “loco”. I love to make people laugh and I just couldn’t crake the code with these girls. I moved on to the kitchen when I looked back and saw the girls giggling and pushing each other on the slippery tile floor covered with soap and water. Then it hit me. It is possible to show love without using words. I looked down and saw the wet, tiled floor covered with soap and water and I knew I was about to have some serious fun. I decided to see if I could run across it without falling. Of course I was unsuccessful, but the two girls started laughing their heads off (GOAL ACCOMPLISHED). So then we made a slipping slide and threw bubbles and water at each other and in that moment our language barrier wasn’t a barrier at all. Laughing is my favorite way to show love and while we were cleaning the kitchen I felt that I was able to love and be loved without speaking any words. Which was such a revival for my soul. Maybe I could connect with these new people after all.
Learning to speak less is not only an issue for me here in Nicaragua it is also a lesson that I am learning in my relationship with Christ. It may not only be how to speak less, but how to communicate to make the relationship healthy and beneficial. As ADD as I am it is so hard for me to sit and listen to God, however, I know that a relationship is being able to love and to receive love. It is so important that we quit talking and take the time to listen to what God has for us. We serve a good God that loves His people and wants good for them.