7/6/10 Manuel, about 35
At the park this afternoon a man (Manuel) was enjoying a siesta so I went to talk with him. He spoke very little English and I told him I'd like to practice Espanol and we spent some time getting to know each other in Spanish. Manuel moved to Chicago from Mexico three years ago, leaving behind his wife and two teenage kids. He couldn't find work in Mexico and Chicago isn't much better as he waits for day jobs at a Home Depot parking lot and gets work only once in a while. I went on to ask him about his religious background and beliefs. Like so many people he believes religious activity is what saves a person so I tried as best as I could to explain the Gospel in what little Spanish I know. As I talked it was hard to distinguish between his agreement with what I was saying and the affirmation he gave me as I simply tried to communicate. I used to think sharing the Gospel in English was a huge act of faith - one very rarely finds out what will happen to the Gospel seeds one plants - but now as I begin to share in Spanish I see I will need to rely on faith even more. I will not only wonder about the person's reaction to the message but whether I adequately shared the message itself with my language limitations. I gave Manuel a Spanish New Testament and gospel tract and said "buenas tardes!"