By Daniela Santiago
A few weeks ago I had the chance to be part of Third Wave 2019 in India. I am grateful that the Lord allowed me to be a part of this experience.
It’s natural for people to limit their vision of life to what is around them. We know there is a bigger world out there, but it’s difficult to understand it. Beyond our borders there are different ways of living and different ways of understanding what it means to be a follower of Christ. Many times it means losing your life, and sometimes it means losing your freedom. Still, none of these risks compare to the love we have and the commitment we have to extend the Kingdom of God to the ends of the earth.
It was incredible to be able to get to know and experience what the Church of the Nazarene does around the world. What a blessing to know the gospel of Jesus extends to the furthest reaches of the earth, and that our Nazarene family is willing to go.
One of the moments during Third Wave that most affected me was hearing the testimonies of people who live and serve in Creative Access Areas. They are places where sharing the Good News of Jesus requires great commitment, patience, wisdom and perseverance. They shared in India that they felt free to yell and praise God in that moment, but that in their countries, they must do it in silence, hidden away. The realization that the harvest is still plentiful, and that God still needs people to respond by saying, “Send me,” brought tears to my eyes and a burning desire to my heart.
I am used to getting quick results, so it was challenging for me to hear how they work in those countries. At the same time my heart kept filling with joy to know that the fire the Holy Spirit has placed in the hearts of our brothers and sisters to serve in those places is the same fire that burns inside of me. I learned that God is a God of order and processes. My response to his call is valid, and despite my feelings of limitation to serve at this moment, I’m exactly where He wants me to be. The gifts of God are irrevocable, as is his call.
Having a chance to spend time and exchange ideas with people from more than 60 different countries truly changed my perspective of the world. We exchanged ideas and talked about strategies, points of view and creative evangelism resources. I learned about culture and how much influence it has when the time comes to create and plan strategies to share the gospel.
I learned so many things on this trip. I learned patience is a reward from the Lord and that everything begins with prayer. But I also realized the profound importance of going to those who we do not know in order to share the love we have for Jesus and his gospel.
*Daniela Santiago is a youth leader in the Northwest Oaxaca District of Mexico.