As we unloaded off the bus I could see the multi colored umbrellas lined up along the sandy beach. The smell of carne asada grilling from the taco cart on the boardwalk with kids running around in the streets. A few elderly women approached me, “Se vende?” they said as they flashed their array of handmade bracelets and necklaces hung from a board they carried, “Quieres comprar?” they asked.
I was leading the charge with five teenagers in tow, the Spanish I learned in high school and a real brave face as we headed out to walk the beach on mission to share the love of Christ with those who might want to hear.
I was scared. I am putting myself out here to let you know that sometimes, I doubt. I was unsure of my ability to connect with another in a language I’m not well versed in, with a people I love but uncertain my presence would be meaningful to them. It had been a while since I walked the streets of Mexico to share the gospel, and I admit the discomfort required a lot of self talk. I doubted my service. Would I know what to say? Would I communicate well? Do these teens that are following me think I’m crazy—oh God, please just show up.
Being obedient and walking out what God asks of you can be challenging. In fact, it probably should me. Hard helps me depend on Him. And that is exactly what we did two days ago on the sandy strand of Ensenada.
I am passionate about seeing people find Jesus. And I am committed to His love being shared around the world. I have also decided that my children will get to experience His presence and power on foreign soil with people of other cultures on mission so all people might be saved. But sometimes I really don’t know how.
And so I take a step. Both figuratively and literally. On that day we just started to walk. And as we made our way through the people covered by colorful umbrellas, I saw him. I turned to my sixteen year old daughter and said, “Look!” She replied, “I know mom, I saw him, too.” A young man with Down Syndrome seated in a beach chair next to his mom who was having her hair braided by a local vendor. The dad stood near pacing as he talked with a small group that was gathered. “Let’s go over there and talk with them. I want to connect with him and his family,” I said.
As I began to communicate in my broken Spanish I learned his name, Marcos Antonio. I understood he could comprehend both Spanish and English but was unable to speak. And I listened to the heart of a mom and a dad who desperately loved their son and only desired to work less and have more time to give their young boy all that he needs. We laughed a little and then cried a lot as we gathered around and asked the Lord to enable Marcos to speak.
He was the first of three young people I met with Down Syndrome that day. And the beginning of something new stirring in my heart. The vision I have for the “lucky few” around the world is not fully clear to me yet. But, I do have my next step. It's a little unexpected but here's what I know-- I can do hard things, because I already have. God is for me, and He does not need me to perform for His love or favor. He simply needs me to just take a step.
Where do you need to walk today? Who do you need to approach? What has crossed your path and you need to stop for a minute to see what the Lord might do?
It takes courage to boldly go where God has directed you. But there is a crew of people behind you that need to see how it’s done. And there is a Marcos Antonio waiting for you to pray for his healing, and a mom and dad that need to be seen and feel the love of God through you.
The Lucky Few Foundation is a global storytelling movement, shifting narratives to create a more inclusive world where everyone belongs. The Foundation ensures that family members, friends and loved ones of a person with Down syndrome have the opportunity to share what it means to be part of “the lucky few,” and everyone else has the opportunity to access it. You can give to the work being done here in the United States through LOVE OUT LOUD here.