Today during our ESL (English as a Second Language) school at YWAM (JOCUM in Portuguese acronyms) Goiânia we split up into our one on ones and played phase 10. Neither my partner Gabriel nor myself could shuffle. We settled on our own way of shuffling where he took half of the deck and I took half the deck. We hilariously “shuffled”, swapped cards, “shuffled” again, cut the deck, and “shuffled” again. After we stopped laughing about how ridiculously we must look Gabriel looked at his hand and realized he had a terrible hand! I had a much better hand, so I won that round. Luckily we both still found this very funny as we continued to laugh through the whole game. Unfortunately for him, lucky for me. throughout all of the phases he had a hard time getting good cards.
It may seem kinda silly, but it has been really cool getting to learn about relational connection and communication. Staying in a nation where I cannot speak their native tongue and they cannot speak mine is quite the challenge. I realize how much I take being able to have conversation with people that speak English for granted. However hard it may be, this language barrier is worth pushing through. God has been teaching me the importance of being intentional with my relationships here and not just standing by and seeing if anything happens. Taking time to work through communication, and learning to speak with simpler words and more slowly, though not natural, is so worth it. When I do this it shows the Brazilians that I care about them and that they are worth getting to know. I am not only learning about the importance of being intentional with relationships and communication, but I am also helping Gabriel learn English so that he can go do what God is calling him to do as well. It’s a privilege partnering with God as a small part in Gabriel’s story. I’m excited to see what God will do with Gabriel as he follows God’s call for him into the mission field. It’s an honor to see missionaries prepare and go from the nations to the nations.
By Alayna, DTS student in Goiânia, Brazil
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