While in Cartagena, Colombia, our team had the opportunity to experience so many new things. From new food to crazy traffic. From new friendships to negotiating/bartering for most things. One of the things that was not new but somewhat unexpected was the openness and willingness of people to listen to what we had to say.
Our purpose for going to Cartagena was purely evangelical. We didn’t go to build houses, treat medical conditions, build wells or work in orphanages. We went to share Jesus with children through a series of Vacation Bible School activities, offer football (soccer) and baseball to youth and present the gospel of Jesus during the evening in churches, in the streets and on football courts! Dozens and dozens of people became followers of Christ. Children were told about the love of Jesus. Youth were exposed to the truths of Jesus and what the Bible says. God answered the prayers of hundreds of people who were praying for the people of Cartagena for months before we arrived! Hearts were opened, minds understood despite the language differences and relationships were developed. Conversations took place on football fields, in alleyways, on sidewalks, while sitting on porches and yes, just in the middle of roads. Opportunities were seized by our team as often as they were presented!
One of the strangest events was also perhaps the most meaningful and demonstrated clearly the need for Christ followers to go and tell! Most days we took time during the middle of the day to rest and try to stay out of the heat. On this day, most of our team members were napping. I was returning to the front of the house when I looked up and staring at me from the open window (standing on the outside stairs) were two young men. One was caucasian and the other South American. While I didn’t know them I recognized their dress. White short-sleeved shirts, dark ties, and dark slacks. Here in the middle of a neighborhood in Cartagena were two Mormon missionaries. These two didn’t care there were 14 Christ followers in the house. They were intent on speaking with the woman they came to see.
What shocked me the most was the realization that most of the people I know who are proclaimed Christians don’t understand the urgency of sharing Jesus with others. These mormon missionaries were intent on spreading a false gospel while many Christ followers won’t share the true gospel.
If we won’t go, who will? If we won’t tell others, who will? Jesus’ command was very clear. These issues bother me at night. They bother me during the day. I struggle with the balance between home and another land. I want to do what He commands. I want to be a true Christ follower.