I had been on African soil for three days. To conclude a week of training in Botswana, my teammate and I were dropped off at a traditional village home for the weekend.
We learned to adapt to what I would consider a slow, laborious lifestyle. The nationals we resided with laughed at our efforts to pluck a chicken, take a bath in a bucket and speak the native language.
On Sunday morning, we put on our long skirts and began the trek toward the village church. We followed the lead of our hostess, who faithfully walked half a mile on the dirt road to church every week in her well-worn, red high heels.
The small church building was filled with about 20 women and 30 children. Aside from the pastor, no native men attended the service, which I was later informed was the norm.
A woman sitting in the middle of the congregation led the crowd in song. The only instrument used was a tambourine by a young girl on the front row. Even though I did not know the language, an overwhelming sense of joy flooded my heart as I listened to the nationals sing praises to God.
Anyone who knows me personally knows it takes a lot for me to cry, but hearing the voices echo simultaneously off the concrete walls brought tears to my eyes. I felt God's presence without even knowing the lyrics.
This feeling, I thought, is why we share the Gospel all across the globe. This is why people set aside their comfortable livelihoods and settle among indigenous people groups in foreign nations.
"Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations…" Matthew 28:19
God does not speak one language. He is perfectly capable of revealing His presence to any human being, no matter their culture, color or dialect. It is our calling to share the truth of His Word with all peoples.
As that insight came to my mind during the village church service, I became even more grateful for those serving on the mission field as a career. While my mission right now is in Texas, I hope to stay consistent in being a lifetime supporter of cross-cultural missionaries through prayer and monetary donations.
I will never forget the beautiful sound of praises echoing off those concrete walls of that simple church building. It is an incredible honor to serve a God whose presence can be just as evident in a poverty-stricken African people group as in any American congregation.
Our God is not limited.
Prior to joining the Texas Baptists communications team, I served as a Go Now Missions semester missionary in Johannesburg, South Africa.