…and doesn’t just wait until we’re qualified to call us.
Our church does Backyard Bible Clubs instead of Vacation Bible School. For the BYBC, the youth break up into teams and learn a set of curriculum. Then they go to various places in town, assemble a bunch of kids from the neighborhood, and love on them and play games and teach them the curriculum for four days. This year, they are doing two, two-and-a-half hour clubs each day (in the past, they’ve done up to four, one-and-a-half hour clubs everyday). It sounds fairly simple as I write it, but it’s really not. The youth have been preparing for this week since May, and the whole church gets involved in one way or another.
Last year, I helped my mom cook two meals a day for 65+ people. That was actually kind of neat; I’ve had 25 or so years of practice in the kitchen with my mom . We work well together. Plus, it was fun to spend time with my mom.
This year, they’re doing things a bit differently, so they don’t need people in the kitchen full-time. So, I was hit up to go to the Spanish-speaking club and help translate for the youth. (See, Dad! I DO use that major, at least once a year!) I speak textbook-Spanish. It’s great, but I feel like I sound like a dweeb. Ever met someone from a foreign country who only learned English in class? They speak differently – kind of stilted, difficult to understand at times. I’m a bit slow at first, but can catch on quickly when I’m using the language. For example, we go to Mexico to shop sometimes… it comes in handy, there. I’ve been known to translate a bit for people in stores or at the pharmacy or a restaurant or whatever. It’s also handy for eavesdropping. 🙂
This situation is different, though. It’s kids. Little kids, as in 6-10 years old. I have never felt so stupid as when listening to a 6-year-old rattle off a question in a language in which I struggle so hard to communicate the basics. You know how sometimes kids have their own words for things? Yeah, throw in some of those and a ton of slang while you’re at it, and I feel like a total moron because I’m trying to talk to a little kid, for pete’s sake, and he’s looking at me like I grew a third eyeball in the middle of my face.
Oh yeah, and there’s the added stress of holy-crap-what-if-I-mess-up-and-tell-this-kid-that-God-is-a-cow or some other such nonsense. Maybe that’s what the Bible refers to when it talks about the Holy Spirit as an intercessor. I don’t really think so, in fact, I’m pretty sure that’s referring to a prayer, but … I’m sure He’s working hard as I trip through explaining the gospel to these adorable children. Fortunately, I’m not the only translator. We also have this wonderful woman from our church who’s a native speaker. That helps a ton, because I can always turn to her and ask, ?Como se dice fill-in-the-blank?.
You know what, though? It’s amazing what has happened to me in the last couple of days. By merely making myself available to God, and telling Him that I’m willing to be used, I’m more at peace, despite the blows to my pride. It’s very difficult to put into words…
One of the things we’ve been struggling with lately is budgeting. We went though the period of absolutely no money because Knight was looking for a job (God took care of us, though, through odd jobs for Knight and the generosity of my family). Then he got a contract (hallelujah!) and the first couple of paychecks gave us this kind of heady feeling of Hey! We have some money! Yay! and maybe we let go of a little control and spent a bit too much. So then we were back to broke. In the last week or two, though, we’ve come back around and are better.
I’ve still struggled with contentment, though. Maybe part of this peaceful feeling has been brought about by a realization that I am grateful for what God has blessed us with, after working with these kids in a poorer part of town.
Maybe it’s also a letting go of pride as I struggle to communicate with these kids. I’m not all that all by myself. The only way I can be the best I can be is to let God work through me. It’s so freeing to come to that realization. Again. To just let go of my ridiculous expectations in the various areas of my life, and remember that God will provide. All He needs from me is surrender.