By Diana Gonzalez
A few days ago I had the blessing to be a part of Third Wave 2019 in Hyderabad, India. I will never be the same after this experience. I found new perspectives – new ways of seeing life. I was also challenged to hear the needs that exist, and what the Church of the Nazarene is doing to meet them in the name of Jesus.
People from more than 60 nations met to worship God. We shared our experiences, strategies, and ways of doing youth ministry in different contexts, just to share a few examples. It was indescribable to be among so many nations, languages, cultures and flavors, but all with the same passion for the Lord. I experienced a small taste of what it will be like after Jesus’ return. On top of that, in some way, the world became smaller for me, because now I have friends all the way on the other side!
The most significant thing for me in all of it was hearing the testimonies of the missionaries that work in Creative Access Areas. In those areas, patience is part of their strategy, and what we understand in our contexts as “good results” must be reconsidered and valued in a different way. In countries where they do not have the freedom to meet together for a service or the people are simply not interested in hearing about Jesus, the Word of God is “restricted, but not silenced,” as the Eurasia Regional Director shared.
I have learned about relational evangelism in a Youth Ministry class, and how Jesus established his kingdom through friendship and paying attention to important details. In Creative Access Areas, relational evangelism is crucial. It is through years of friendship that someone is able to share the Good News.
It is difficult to express how grateful I am for this experience. It was a time in which God reminded us that this is our moment, this is our place, but it is also our decision to act!
*Diana Gonzalez is a youth leader and the Global Mission Coordinator in El Salvador.