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Summer 2019 is coming to a close and the first WLM international summer mission projects are in the books.

The inaugural international project was a Discovery English Camp in Granada, Spain. Team Expansion had been hosting an English only camp for several years, but this year they wanted to add a Biblical component to it.

That’s where WLM came in. Our partnership provided the Bible classes, ESL classes, large group curriculum, and of course some wonderful volunteers.

Through the theme “The Greatest Mystery,” the kids discovered how God’s salvation plan is woven through the Bible. They studied creation, the fall, the foretelling of a Savior, and then the fulfillment of God’s plan through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

The kids hunted for “clues” each day to solve the mystery. When all the clues where put together it revealed a picture of Jesus. A sweet reminder that He plants “clues” each day to show us the depth of his love for us.

The 51 campers, ranging in age from 6 to 14 years old, experienced a large group praise time, a Bible class, an English class, basketball, and an activity class each day.
What a joyous experience seeing the kids learning and singing praise songs. You could see the seeds being planted as the kids read and talked about the Bible story.
WLM volunteer Alex Poole taught the Bible class during camp. She had graduated with her Bachelors degree in teaching in May and started a graduate class for her master’s degree the day after returning from Granada. Allowing herself to be guided and used by Jesus, she was able to plant many seeds for the Kingdom.

Below Alex shares her thoughts on her experience in Granada.

“Teaching the Gospel can be SCARY!!! Especially when you are teaching in a country that is majority non-practicing Catholics, Muslims, and atheists. I knew that my students would not all be receptive to what I had to say. Day four of camp was the day that we moved from Old Testament stories of creation, Abraham, and Jonah, and began digging into this idea of Jesus. Who is Jesus? How do we know His story to be true? Is this REALLY God’s word? My goodness.

Y’all, the questions get INTENSE. My younger students seemed to be the most receptive of our earlier lessons, so I was not as nervous about teaching them the Gospel.

The older group of students had been giving me the most pushback up until this point. In the moments before they walked into the classroom, I circled that room in prayer. I took a deep breath, collected my thoughts, and invited the Lord to join me in this very important lesson. The students entered, the chatty and energized 12, 13, and 14 year olds that they are, and took a seat.

I began by holding up my Bible. This is what I said. ‘This book is very important to me. It is the Bible, and I believe that it is the Word of God. It may not be important to you. And that’s okay. But I want you to respect what I believe, just like I respect what you believe. And even if you don’t agree with me, pay attention, because you can still learn some pretty cool things.’

The room was silent, y’all. Silent. That had never happened with this group before. They listened to the lesson about Jesus intently. They asked questions, answered questions, and had meaningful discussions in their small groups.

As they worked through their workbooks with their small group leaders, I did the only thing I knew I could do at that point. I kicked off my shoes (for I knew I was standing on Holy ground) and walked around the room and prayed.

I placed my hand on the back of each student’s chair, and silently prayed the same thing over and over, ‘Lord, plant a seed. Please just plant a seed.’ I did this over and over, for each group of students that came through my Bible class that day. In two of my classes, I even had to step out of the room so that no one would see my tears, because I was so overwhelmed by the presence of the Holy Spirit that had taken over the classroom.

Our lessons for the rest of camp continued to go well, and the Holy Spirit continued to intercede.

There was one little boy, Ivan, who really latched onto me as camp progressed. I believe Ivan is six years old, and he doesn’t speak very much English at all. But he insisted I sit next to him every day as he worked through his workbook after each lesson. He is incredibly smart, and he wanted to make sure I saw that he understood the lesson and could answer the questions.

On the second to last day of lessons, when we learned about the resurrection of Jesus, I sat next to Ivan and he started talking very intently. The translator in the room looked up at me with wide eyes and said, ‘he just repeated the whole story back to me, word for word.’ He then looked at me and began talking. I don’t understand any Spanish, and he realized that I looked confused. He finally just threw his hands up in the air and loudly declared, ‘UP! Tomb!’ And I knew that he understood just what had happened, that Jesus, our sweet Savior, arose from the grave. I laughed and nearly had tears in my eyes again.

I don’t know just how much of what I was able to teach these kiddos will stick with them, but I do know that the Lord was present, and that the Lord planted a seed in each one of them. I may not get to see the fruit of the harvest, but I know that during those two weeks, I did exactly what God called me to do to further His Kingdom.

Thank you to all of our amazing WLM volunteers and Team Expansion for not only listening, but obeying God’s calling to be a light for Jesus in Granada.

Written by Shannon Plog

Check out this video highlight from English Discovery Camp.
WLM’s focus is to provide mission opportunities for youth and families to serve together using their unique gifts. Each project is tailored to the needs of the site and the gifts of the volunteers.

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