While Gran Canaria is a very beautiful island, my goal while I was living there wasn’t to rest on the beach all day long. That gets pretty boring for me after a while. For those of you who don’t know, Gran Canaria has an unemployment rate of over 30%, and for young adults, the unemployment rate is a staggering 56%. The island is catered to tourists, but for local people, Gran Canaria operates like a typical 3rd world developing country.
No Pain, No Gain
With all that being said, I wasn’t in Gran Canaria for a vacation, but to share the love of Jesus with those who are poor and have no hope. While I was living in Gran Canaria, Spain, I experienced many challenges, but the last two weeks were the most intense moments of my life as a missionary.
I’ve been to the Middle East, South Africa, Mozambique, and even America for missionary work, but I learned more about being a missionary in my last two weeks in Spain than I ever learned in my entire life living anywhere else.
One thing that made my last few weeks in Gran Canaria challenging was that I needed to get a Visa before my current Visa-free time ended. I didn’t worry too much about getting my Visa because I assumed it would be a simple and easy process. Obviously, I was wrong.
Obtaining my Visa was so extremely difficult that I drove almost all over the island with some missionary friends trying to figure out how I can gain residency by getting a Spanish Visa, but all my attempts were unsuccessful.
Another thing that made my time very stressful was that the Director of the missions organization I was working with needed to take a leave of absence for personal business, and a friend and I were left in charge on the organization for those two weeks.
Prior to that time, I had been in charge of leadership teams at my local church and a worship night at my house, but to co-lead an entire missions organization in a foreign country for two weeks was the toughest missions experience of my life! Everything that could go wrong, did.
One problem during those two weeks is that a local family we were helping kept coming to our house and asking for food, but we only had so much food to give away, and we were running out of money.
Another problem was that two of the people we were doing street outreach with decided to disappear without telling the rest of us and smoke cigarettes together. If people want to smoke cigarettes, that’s up to them, but not while we’re trying to help the poor and be a positive example! lol
Many other frustrating things happened during those two weeks that made my head almost explode since I was the one who had to find a solution to all these problems. I eventually got to a point where I needed to be alone and pray about all the chaos.
When I sat on top of the roof of the house I was living in, I shook my head while I was thinking about all that was going on. Then I heard God speak to me in a still small voice. he said, “Do you want to see a revival?” And I answered, “Yes! absolutely.”
Then the Lord said, “Well, this is what it looks like.” When I heard that, my eyes widened, and a light bulb turned on in my head. Revival isn’t when people go to a church building to sing songs and go home, revival happens when we’re willing to be the church by reaching out to a lost and dying world, and that process is really messy.
What I experienced in Spain was the real Christian life. There’s nothing cookie cutter or goody two shoes about it. It was messy, people didn’t behave the way they should have, there were disagreements, etc, but at the end of the day, peoples lives were radically transformed by the love of Jesus.
I’m so thankful that my missions director allowed me to co-lead her organization while I was in Spain for those two weeks because now I know a small part of what it takes to build a Godly legacy on the earth.
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