Oct 25, 2023 Surprised by Kindness

“The ratio of non-Christians to Christians in South America is 180:1—but here in Uruguay it’s 540:1,” said Pr. Wily, as he introduced the QHM mission team to their unique mission field.

In preparation for the evangelistic meetings and other mission trip activities, team leader David had much to coordinate on the pre-trip to Rivera, Uruguay. During the pre-trip, transportation, hotel accommodations, meals and other details were prayerfully decided upon. But little did David and the team realize how God was also coordinating.

Throughout the mission trip, every morning and evening, the team would meet to have worship and pray together in a private conference room of the hotel. Daily, prayers were offered asking for Divine appointments, for the indwelling of the Spirit, and the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, etc., to shine forth through the team.

There was one hotel staff member that team leader David felt drawn to connect with. Luca was a receptionist, who was fluent in English, and David would frequently talk with him about the needs of the team, their rooms, meals etc. As David and Luca got to know each other more, and what the team was doing in Uruguay, Luca opened up.

With the topics of faith and lifestyle naturally brought up, Luca shared about his past and current life. Luca talked about how he used to be in a heavy metal band, showing David photos of him and his girlfriend dressed up at a show. Luca shared how he had reflected on his past life and the things he observed and wanted to change, and how he had changed and become more spiritual. When Luca shared this, David sensed that God was impressing Luca. David started to lift Luca up by name in daily prayer.

The time passed quickly for the team, serving and sharing in Rivera. And, day by day, the friendships with Luca and other staff grew, built up by with these small conversations and interactions. The mission trip team members were delighted with how understanding the chef and staff were about the dietary needs. And, interestingly, towards the end of the mission trip Luca pulled David aside to talk with him.

“David, I have something interesting to share with you,” said Luca. “Ever since your team has come, they’ve had an impact in our hotel, and in the neighborhood. They’ve changed people’s perceptions of Americans, and even Christians.” Luca went on to tell David that people were talking about how surprised they were that the Americans were so friendly and kind. In the market, in the neighborhood, the team seemed to bring positivity and light wherever they went. Praise God for this testimony!

When the time came for the team to say goodbye to Rivera and the hotel staff, David made it a point to talk with Luca personally. David shared how happy he was to have met Luca, how much he and the team appreciated him—and how he would continue praying for Luca as he grows in his spiritual journey. Before the team left, they made sure to give Luca a copy of “The Great Controversy,” saying they hoped he would be inspired and blessed by it.

Praise God for how He coordinated all the details of this mission trip! What a testimony of how even in our small interactions, our friendliness and kindness, the Lord can work to bring His light and hope.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 NASB

Team Leader David and Receptionist Luca
David with Ana and Tamara, whom Luca was helping practice English with.

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