This week I met a nice Hispanic man name Juan. He came to the US by himself to try to earn money to bring the rest of his family here. Now he has found himself with very little English words and on the street.
When our group met him we were raking up cigarette buts outside. He got on his hands and knees and starting scooping them up with his hands. His attitude and work ethic were amazing. I began talking to him and he just smiled the whole time and kept nodding his head in a way I knew he only understand one out of every five words I was saying. He asked if I spoke Spanish and I told him "un poco" We then proceeded to put together a very rough conversation but he had a great time laughing at me as I kept using the phrase "Como se dice _________" (“How do you say_________”). Then I pointed him to one of our leaders who spoke just a hair more than I did and helped him figure out how to get some new socks.
A little later I sat down with a guy named Derek and we were looking at Hebrews 11 and what faith meant and discussing how to read the Bible. Juan came up and asked me to translate it to Spanish but I couldn't. And it made me sad.
Sometimes you just don't have the skills or means to help someone they way they really need it. I had to remember that God is Sovereign and in control. I have to believe that God can meet the needs of Juan and others that I am not able to fully help. I love it when God uses us to meet the needs of others and in turn glorify Him. And one day I will fully grasp how Big He is and that it's not my job to help everyone. It is my job to be ready to go where He sends me.
Pray for Juan. Pray that he will continue to learn the language and that he will come across Christian resources that are in Spanish.
As for me, I'm off to practice my español skills.
-Jody Glazner, CSM Nashville Summer 2009 City Host