This past Sunday I had the privilege of joining Church of the Open Door's Spanish department for their Father's Day celebration. God blessed us with perfect weather for the services and activities following. Of course, as it was a Latino event, we played a good game of soccer!
In this Spanish ministry, 6 years ago, I began learning real conversational Spanish. I volunteered to play the piano for their services, helped in the nursery, and joined them for every activity I could make, constantly looking for conversational opportunities. Though I was only there for 2 years, God blessed richly, and I developed a great appreciation for the Latino culture, learning volumes about ministry with cultures other than my own.
One particular middle-aged man, Rogelio, has a permit to work in the US for several months every year, and returns to see his family in Mexico for the remaining few months. He is a gentle, devoted, and faithful Christian, and loves to help the Spanish church in anyway he can. I've even caught him quietly watering the English church's flowers when he noticed they looked a little wilted! This man specifically was a huge encouragement to me, as he would, slowly and graciously, talk with me each Sunday, teaching me new Spanish words, and encouraging me to learn more. I recently got to see him again, and, in the Spanish that he helped me learn, express how grateful I am for his availability and weekly conversations. In his typical response, he simply said he was happy to be used for God. Someday I hope to meet the rest of his family, perhaps in Heaven, and thank them for "lending" me their dad!