Short-term missionaries may not be able to speak a local language, but acting can build relationships beyond words.
It’s a fact Jimmy D’Agosta, Corban’s Director of Student Life, has discovered during three missions to Colombia. During his last mission trip, May 10 to 24, 2011, with five Corban students and a Baptist pastor, the group was able to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through drama and, in the process, build their own faith.
Students Noel Griggs, Jen Hague, Rachel Hargreaves, Katie Dolan and Amy Valentine joined D’Agosta and Grace Baptist Church pastor Ken Bass on the evangelistic outreach. The mission took them to Bogota, where they worked with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism, ABWE.
“For three of the five women, it was their first mission trip,” D’Agosta said. “The culture was a shock to some of them, especially the traffic.”
The team traveled to private and public schools, an orphanage, a school for street kids and other locations throughout their stay. At each place, they performed dramas and gave “Wordless Book” presentations. Several of the missionaries had to overcome their fear of speaking in public, and, by the end of the mission, D’Agosta said they were presenting their personal testimonies openly and honestly.
“Everywhere we went, the adults and children were very excited to have us,” D’Agosta said. “The Colombian people are among the most hospitable you will meet.” The group also spent time playing with the children and building relationships with everyone they came in contact with.
For D’Agosta, spreading the gospel message in Colombia is important because he wants people to know the joy he has through a relationship with his Savior. Despite a hectic schedule, he made sure that part of each evening was spent with team members reflecting on their day and how God spoke to them.
“We wanted to let them know it is OK for some things in your life to change from the experience and for some things to stay as they are,” D’Agosta said. “It opened their eyes to the world and gave them a better perspective. Maybe full-time missions aren’t in their future, but it showed them what they could do at home.”