Generosity and Love

June 18 2012 / ShareHim in Colombia, May. 18 - Jun. 2 '12 #552
by Haruka Mori

Campaign Site Narrative from Bethel, Barranquilla in Colombia. The speaker assigned to this site was Haruka Mori.

I had an amazing opportunity to go on a mission trip to Barranquilla, Colombia from May 16th to June 2nd, 2012. I applied to go on to this trip because I wanted to serve God. I thought this trip would help me to step up closer to God. However, when I first applied to this trip, I was not fully committed. The deadline for the down payment came and I realized I needed to pay a hundred dollars. I thought “I would not have a hundred dollars! If I could not find it, I will not go. But, Lord, if it is Your will, let me find a hundred dollars somehow.” Then, I opened my drawer. There was an envelope from Asian club, which I forgot was there. I was a food manager for the Asian Night last year and I paid for the food with my money, and the club paid me back the money at the beginning of the week. I opened the envelope and there was enough money for the down payment! I thought this was the sign from God, and decided to go on to this trip.

The experiences I had in Colombia are unforgettable. God has blessed me so much with this trip. I had a dream when I was 15 years old. I told my English teacher, Ms. Helena that I wanted to make friends from all over the world. I forgot about this dream, but right before I left for Colombia, I recalled this dream.

While I was in Barranquilla, Colombia, God allowed me to meet wonderful people, like Pastor Joel and his family, my translator, Josias, many children from church, visitors, and elders, and we became friends. It was so neat to realize that God has been fulfilling my dream, which I had long time ago. I asked them to write down their names on my notebook so that I would not forget. I tried to learn short phrases and Bible verses in Spanish, and they learned short phrases in English and Japanese too. One thing my translator Josias told me was to say at the beginning of every meeting was, “God is good” and congregation will respond by saying “All the time.” Then, I would say “Dios es bueno” and they say “Todo el tiempo”, which means “God is good, all the time” in Spanish. In this way, we all were learning and all were teaching.

I learned so many valuable lessons in Colombia, but one of the most important lessons was what it really means to love others as Jesus did. Proverbs 3:27,28 says, “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow’—when you now have it with you.” I did not deserve anything from them—I was a stranger who cannot even speak Spanish and only was going to be there for 2 weeks. However, the church members, pastor, and translator gave me so much of their time, effort, and love. I was amazed how self-less they were and how they do not withhold any goods, but freely gave. For example, our pastor came to pick us up at the hotel every day, carried our computer cases, and was always asking us if there was anything we needed. Also, church members took a turn to cook for me and my translator, Josias, delicious meal every night. At the church, brothers and sisters in the church shook hands gave me hugs and kisses with beautiful smiles.

During the meetings, the congregation was singing hymns by memory, but I did not know the songs or the Spanish lyrics. My translator realized it, and he pulled out his computer and found the lyrics and showed them to me so that I could also sing. My birthday happened to be during this trip, and somehow, my translator and pastor found out that it was my birthday, and told the church and they celebrated me with hugs, kisses and smiles. A 13-years-old- boy, Nelson gave me an absolutely beautiful painting of the river in the forest, saying “for your birthday!” A lady from church gave me mangos and the tropical fruit called mamon one night at the end of the meeting saying “God bless you.”

On the very last day, I received so many gifts. I was so grateful and touched by their willingness to give. I learned that it is important to be satisfied with whatever we have, and it is so beautiful to give and share with others; the act of giving can touch the heart.

It is easy to say “love others.” But, this experience made me wonder that what it truly means to love others. I am learning the whole another deeper level of love and I want to love others, give others as these people in Colombia did to me.
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