So I'm going to Spain. Next month actually. Just over a month from now I'll land in Madrid only to travel to someplace near the Portuguese border to being a 5 day hike on The Camino. I'm not actually sure which stretch of the pilgrimage journey I'll be on so don't bother asking. My Spanish skills are lacking which is just fine. Most of my time will be spent speaking English on our hike as we are going to help people practice their English.
This summer I started Spanish lessons for state side reasons but it turns out to be convenient for my upcoming travels. In preparation of this grand adventure (and because my teacher knows I want to share the Gospel with Spanish speakers here), I've been commissioned to work on my testimony en Español. At this very moment that seems to be a daunting task. It isn't that I have not shared my story before. Rather, how do I condense it into something I can manage in Spanish? How does one share that in their culture? What is the best way to communicate ideas that I have known since childhood but one with no religious background of this culture would? I have no idea. Simple is always good. There I will begin.
"My parents are both Christians. They love Jesus and they love His church. My parents believe that sharing the good news of Jesus by word and deed with their children is one of the very most important things in life. From the time I was very young I was taught the Gospel. They explained how that when God made the world and all that was in it it was very good. Yet man decided to disobey God and how God must punish disobedience. They explained that disobedience is called sin and this sin affects every human, even me. Because of my sin I deserve punishment in hell. My parents also taught me sweet things. How it is that God "who is rich in mercy" sent His Son Jesus to take the punishment for this sin of His people. They told me the true story of how Jesus lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and rose again so that anyone who trusts in Him can have eternal life instead of eternal punishment in hell. One day when I was about 7 years old my sin felt heavy on my heart. I began to realize how sinful and ugly my heart really was. I knew I could not be good no matter how hard I tried. Not that it would matter because God says you can't make up for your sin with good deeds. No one can earn God's favor. I came to my mom and we knelt down in the kitchen floor to pray. In my 7year old way, I asked for forgiveness for my sin and for Jesus to save me. And Jesus did. My life was changed because my heart was changed. Jesus gave me a heart that wanted to be like Him. One that wanted to read the Bible and to know God. The change was permanent. I want to know Him and read His word more than ever before. I want others to know Him and to be freed from their sinful hearts too. Life is not easy. It is difficult to walk in obedience sometimes but I know that if I sin God is there to forgive when I repent. I am not earning His love. I am favored by God because Jesus took my sin away and made me clean."