I have always enjoyed serving others and going on mission trips. However, for some reason I was really hesitant about going to Nicaragua this past summer. At one point I tried to get out of it and told the team leader that I was not going and then he forgot and still ordered me a ticket! Then I told him I could not come up with the money but it came in and at the very last possible day. I was fighting going. My last fear and excuse was that I did not know Spanish and since I was convinced I was not going anymore I had done the little studying that I could have. How on earth was God going to use me when I could not even speak the language?
I tried to push this fear aside the entire plane trip which was not too difficult since flying terrifies me. Still it was hard to shake as we went through orientation the first night upon our arrival in Nicaragua. On top of it I was placed to work with someone that spoke Spanish almost fluently-great. What was God going to do through me-not through me and a translator. At the first site that was all I could think of for the first hour or so. I wanted to speak to the women and children there so badly but I lacked the words and strangely enough the three other women who were fluent were also amidst their own conversations. I could not help but think, “Why am I here, I can’t even speak to these people!” but then the children came…
First it was one little boy probably around two that was fussing and interrupting his mother. I took out some of my notebook paper and made him a paper airplane. We didn’t need words we had an airplane to fly around the entire yard and house with. Then came another little girl, another little boy, and so on and so until we had a group of six children. We proceeded to run around, smile, and laugh a lot for the remaining two hours. They didn’t mind that I knew only a handful of words in Spanish; our smiles and laughter spoke volumes. They even made a game out of teaching me the Spanish words for everything in their yard-what patience! Yet it was so fun for them!
God proceeded to bring more and more children and I proceeded to bring paper to make airplanes. I did not think that it was a big deal-I love children and we were just having fun. I did not realize the significance until my group leader mentioned how little parents or adults in general paid attention to the children. God used me to minister to them. He also taught me that we do not need to speak words in order to show love.
Love can be displayed through actions, through smiles, through laughter. Love needs no translation because you either have love or you don’t. Don’t let lack of knowledge or lack of words keep you from loving others.