New Translator, The Same Old Faithfulness

My prayer going into tonight was, “God I am still all yours. All glory to you for last night. Please, please, please do it again!”

He did.

Tonight was great. Not only was it a lot of fun, but we started to gel as a group. Their participation was more active and they were sharing personal information in the safety of the group. We laughed at each other and at ourselves. God was there.

To begin, I met Tato. Tato was my translator. Immediately we clicked in terms of personality. He was fun and really just brought a great attitude. We went over what we would be covering and talked about some terms that might make things tricky. Before we got started, Tato asked if we could pray. He prayed that God would bless the time, that He would make Tato and I of one mind and one mouth so that it wouldn’t feel like there was translation, rather it would feel like one fluid movement. He prayed that he would have clarity and wisdom to find the right word quickly. Basically, Tato was amazing.

When we got started, we did a quick review and then started right in talking about life purpose. We did a great exercise that Dr. Mulford suggested before I left. I brought up Carla (smallest foot in the class) and Roosevelt (largest foot in the class) and made them switch left shoes. Thankfully, Carla wore tiny black 3-inch heels. They looked RIDICULOUS walking around the classroom. By the time I offered them 50,000 pesos ($25) they were willing to wear them the rest of the night. We used the exercise to talk about how identifying an opportunity is recognizing the right fit. A good business is the right fit. Unfortunately, however, sometimes when we are offered money, reputation, and status we sacrifice the right fit. We aren’t walking in our calling.

From there, they shared about the self, community, and resource assessments I assigned for homework. One student said this exercise was the first time she realized that the only thing that keeps her up at night and wakes her up in the morning is the thought of finding a way to help someone. Another shared from his experience that he felt that the restaurant industry in Colombia lacked vision and drive and that he felt like he was the one who could disrupt that culture. Another talked about a memory she had of a simple life growing up and how when she starts her own business she can create that simple life again. I challenged them to write down their life purpose statement and share it tomorrow at the end of class. We’ll see tomorrow, but I hope I have some great statements to share.

I got to employ my favorite teaching technique today – interactive storytelling. It was so fun! And doing it with a translator (something I was really concerned about) was actually even more fun. Tato would follow me around and do every action, every face. It was like watching myself on repeat. Not only that, but he and I would interact with one another. We involved the students and it created a really powerful and memorable moment. We told the parable of the man who didn’t count the costs from Luke 14. It led us into opportunity cost and the students had a lot to say about what it would cost them and their community not to start a business.

We moved from talking about taking calculated risks, to problem solving, using Philippians 4:6-8 as a guide:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

It was an incredible activity. We walked through the biblical problem solving steps (Do not worry; Pray; Thank God for His Faithfulness; Make your Request; Think Rightly; Ask What the Bible Says; Take Action; Actively Rest in God’s Peace) and really applied each one to our own lives and particular situation.

The last activity we did was group problem solving and it went just as I wanted it to. The students broke into groups and had a case study to come to consensus about. The hitch was that I gave one person in each group a slip of paper that told them which option they were allowed to vote for. The goal was to see how the groups would respond to an incredibly stubborn participant. Two groups came to consensus and two did not. After the session was over, I had one gentleman come up to me to talk about the exercise. He wouldn’t change his opinion, even though the rest of the team had come to side with the plant. He wanted to know if he was right about the problem. I explained that there was no ‘right’ answer, but that in group problem solving situations, you can’t just cater to the most stubborn person. This activity had the groups excited!

Pastor Edgardo, Maru, and I went out to dinner for crepes after the session. We sat and talked for almost two hours about their vision and what God is doing through their organization. There is so much synergy between RCE and Visionet and I am excited to see if God has bigger ideas in mind.

Both Edgardo and Maru said that they didn’t understand why Regent was sending me, but now, after just a couple of days, they realized that Regent didn’t send me – God did. Amen to that. I have been so blessed by my time in Colombia and am just so excited to see what God has in store tomorrow.

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