V leaned toward me, her phone in the palm of her hand, showing me pictures and videos of her recent church short term missions trip to Guatemala. She shared deeply what God had done in her through the trip and how her team members were right by her side at a crisis moment. It so reminded me of Honduras.
Short term trips do as much for the people of the country as they do for the team. When you go on a short term trip, you return home different. The people leave footprints in your life that never go away. V wanted to keep in touch with some of the leadership and team, and had collected a few email addresses while in Guatemala. At this point, the conversation went from friend-to-friend to a social media class to learn how to use her seldom-used Facebook in a global way.
Privacy is an issue for V for reasons I won’t go into, and as the afternoon sunshine gave way to monsoonal wind, rain, and lightening, we nearly closed down Starbucks. V had both her tablet and phone as I taught her how to copy and paste links, create statuses, edit photos, and share her faith without revealing personal information. She even shared her story in a Facebook Live video, being okay with it being public.
The next step was walking her through inviting her Guatemalan friends to “friend” her on Facebook. She used Google translate to type out her message to them and copied and pasted the Spanish text into the body of the email. While Google translate is wonderful, it is always best to learn the language of the culture you wish to reach.
V is not just a dear friend, but an avid prayer support. You read my story about P, and now you are learning about V. Both attend the same church. Imagine if every church member shared their faith with their “Oikos” online, took the time to mentor people online, and shared statuses that reflect their face-to-face personality, inviting further conversation? The church would be powerful, indeed. This is partly what I do. I am a trainer of those who wish to be more than spectator Christians.
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