This past summer my church youth group went on a mission trip to Managua, Nicaragua. It was an incredible experience to say the least. The majority of the citizens in Nicaragua speak Spanish, so we were all expecting a major language barrier.
We got there late Saturday night and went to a church service that next morning. It was one of the best experiences of my life. All the songs were in Spanish, so we couldn’t necessarily sing along, but we could still worship our God together in unity. And there was no doubt the presence of the Lord was in that little open aired room. It was raining and when things would quiet down you could hear the trickling of the rainwater fall on the tin roof. Peace totally surrounded us. Towards the end of the service they sang a song that we knew in english. It was “Open the Eyes of My Heart,” and it was truly something I will never forget. I remember in the midst of the song, I stopped singing to get a better sound on the congregation as a whole, and it was one of the most extraordinary sound I had ever heard. It was the sound of two extremely different languages, that had one meaning and that was worshiping the one true God. So that was the first sign to our crew that language wasn’t going to be as big of an issue as we thought.
That Monday we started working at a children’s camp. This camp was run by missionaries from America that had moved to Nicaragua to start up this organization called Centro ABEM.
As the kiddos came in, we started to communicate instantly through facial expressions and hand gestures. We had multiple translators working with us so that if we did need help communicating we had the help close by. But honestly it was really amazing how God worked through that barrier. In fact as the week went on our group knew a lot more Spanish and the kids learned lots of english as well.
This experience yet again revealed to me the character of God, that he will use anything and everything to bring glory to himself.