Last night at about this time I was lying in bed unable to sleep. I spent some time talking to God, reminding Him that He gave me a clear call to come to Colombia. Through John chapter 9 He gave me confirmation through several avenues that He had something for me to see here, but as of last night I didn't feel I'd seen it...whatever it was. Tears leaked out of my eyes as I told Him I didn't want to leave Colombia without the vision He had for me.
This morning we traveled to a Wesleyan church (Wesleyan Mantantial de Vida) to be there as 70 children graduated from La Gran Adventura--the Spanish edition of Operation Christmas Child's discipleship course--The Greatest Journey.
How sweet the children looked in their miniature blue caps and gowns, and their parents proudly adjusted those caps and snapped pictures as they waited to process down the aisle. I couldn't stop the tears as each pair of children marched solemnly to take their places at the front of the church.
After a greeting, the worship team came to the platform. I was blown away when they opened with "Open The Eyes of My Heart" sung in English. God was confirming His promise to open my heart and let me see.
Following that we sang "Revelation Song" in Spanish followed by a rousing rendition of "God's Not Dead" alternating between Spanish and English. Wow! How moving to worship together with people we'd never met before yet felt we knew.
Pastor Fernando said the church was founded six years ago. They have been trying to start a children's ministry but as of last year they had only four children. Now, after a shoe box distribution, they are graduating 70 children from La Gran Adventura. These 70 children are trained and ready to change lives in their homes and community.
Many of the children brought their families to the service, and when Pastor Fernando gave an invitation at the end of his gospel message there were about 25 people who raised their hands to give their lives to Jesus. My eyes were being opened.
After the sermon they began the graduation and several children shared testimonies. Thirteen-year-old Julianna Fernandez preached an amazing message of her own. She said, in part, "The emptiness of my heart has been filled...I wish you could be children again so you can see how wonderful this is...You can trust Him. Thanks to God I am here. Jesus is here with all of us. Close your eyes. It's the prettiest of sensations...Jesus made a fingerprint in our hearts." Ah-mazing.
We were able to rejoice with the families as each child received a diploma and a New Testament. And, at the end, there was another count of "uno, dos, tres" followed by little caps flying into the air.
I thought of the OCC motto "We Make Disciples" and realized that isn't truly accurate. Honestly, it's GOD who makes disciples.
He is making a disciple of me and He's making disciples of my team. He's making disciples of children around the world and He's making disciples in their families and their communities.
Pastor Fernando and his wife told us, "We've been here for six years, but today was the first time the community came to us."
Because of simple shoe box gifts. Because of prayer. Because we have a God who is good.
My eyes were being opened. Finally, I was starting to see.