On my SOMD outreach in Nicaragua, we were hosting youth groups for their YWAM missions trips. Between teams, we did some ministry on our own. I don’t know why, but this part of our trip to Nicaragua was the hardest for me.
For one thing, we had only been there for a few weeks. On top of that, I had never taken a Spanish class in my life, so I couldn’t actually communicate with anyone by myself. Everyone else on my team was always talking to people with their varying levels of Spanish, sharing the gospel, telling their testimony, but I simply wasn’t able to. Earlier I’d enjoyed leading a group of teenagers on their mission trip. Now, I felt like I had nothing to offer.
I felt like I had nothing to offer.
One day were in the city of Masatepe, performing dramas, telling testimonies, making friends, and sharing the gospel. As before, I was stuck in a position where I couldn’t carry on a conversation, standing there helplessly like a third wheel. Disappointed in myself, I started to get angry that this kept happening.
Out of nowhere, a Nicaraguan man whom I’d never met pedaled up on a silver bicycle, slammed on his brakes right in front of me, and looked me straight in the eye. He pointed at me and said in perfect English, “Sir! I want to hear your testimony!”
I was stunned. But I introduced myself and told him my story and why I was there in Nicaragua. He said he was a Christian, too, and had been an English teacher for 20 years. At first he assured me that everything in his life was great, but by the end of our conversation he began to open up. He shared that he was a struggling alcoholic who was cheating on his wife and stealing things. He finally confessed that he really had no clue what a relationship with Jesus actually looked like. Of course, I was excited to share with him! I prayed for him and showed him from the Bible how Jesus is the answer.
He and I are Facebook friends now, and we message each other frequently. I laugh looking back on that story because God showed me that he will always provide opportunities to minister, no matter where we are or what our limitations may be. God didn’t offer me an opportunity like that on a silver platter; he brought that man to me on a silver bicycle.
Ian Ebler recently graduated from his YWAM DTS and SOMD. Ian grew up in Wisconsin, loves rugby and hockey and ministering to kids. Ian loves to tell a good story. Maybe that’s why he goes on so many adventures.