Throughout my outreach, God has been teaching me that He can use me in more ways than I could have ever imagined. One theme He’s shown me again and again in these past two months is “just being there.”
Prior to my YWAM experience I had been on several short-term mission trips, on each of those we did hands-on labor for what felt like sun-up till sun-down everyday. I was able to serve God by physically doing things for people.
When my team reached our destination, the Solomon Islands, many of us were surprised that a part of their culture is to let their guests be served. Hospitality is a HUGE part of the people of the Solomon Islands. This meant they would prefer to serve us rather than allow us to serve them.
This was especially evident in the Western Province where we spent weeks three through six of outreach. From the time we stepped off the boat, we were all blown away by how eager people were to serve us. This persisted as we moved around from place to place, island to island. Cooking us meals, to sweeping our floors, singing and entertaining us as we eat the food they served, eager to show us the best hospitality, which often meant that they were strongly against us doing things for ourselves and especially for them. With time, we had to simply accept that this is a part of their culture.
As we realized this, our eyes were opened to how God was truly working through us by us “just being there.” The people we spent time with were so moved and touched by the fact that we had come all the way across the world to spend time with them. They were touched that we wanted to experience their culture, to do life with them, to eat their food, to learn their music and dances, and to exchange our culture with them.
As the only white people in the area word spread; it was like the whole town knew why we were there and what we stand for which blessed us with so many more opportunities to speak at different churches and youth groups, to share our hearts and share our passion for God.
God was able to move through our team by us “just being there.”
I am so privileged to have been a part of God moving in this way! God is so powerful and so good, we have loved discovering new ways that He can work in and through us but also in other people for our benefit.
One thing that is often said here in the Solomon Islands in church services is: “God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.”
It is so simple, yet so full of truth, it has been amazing to see it in action throughout our time in the Solomon Islands.
January 2013 Solomon Islands outreach team