The end of the day was nearing as I sat underneath the bamboo trees, our designated “recording studio” in northwest Guyana, listening and praying while my translation group practiced. Warau words floated on the breeze as they prepared to record their final Bible story. Alex Santos, one of the student trainers working with us, approached me quietly, “I am going to walk down the way and will return shortly. There is a family nearby I’d like to visit.” I agreed to stay with the group and Alex quickly headed down the path and out of sight. I chuckled to myself as he walked away—this was not the first time that I stayed with the group so he could be free to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
During the course of our six week training, Alex was often found talking with the youth in the area, inviting them to learn the Bible stories, asking hard questions, and sharing with them what true Christ-followers are like. He was always on a mission, taking every opportunity to lead people to God and talk with them about His story. I marveled at the determination of all of the students we served with in Guyana. Every one of them used the gifts and talents God gave them to teach, care for and serve the Warau. They had been taught, trained, and discipled in the ways of Christ at a Frontline-sponsored Bible training center and when given any opportunity, they taught, trained, and discipled others.
Through the students, God taught me how reaching the world for Christ is a realistic goal within the scope of true discipleship. I never quite understood how Jesus, with only three years to train His followers, could have impacted the world the way He did. I often let myself off the hook by thinking, “Well, that is only because He was the Son of God,” and therefore not replicable. What I saw in the students, however, was that same level of discipleship replicated with Indigenous young people.
Many of the students have been followers of Christ for only a short time, and yet they taught the Word of God, spoke with conviction, and modeled a lifestyle of advancing God’s Kingdom. The students practice an important principle of discipleship: simply to teach others what the Holy Spirit has taught them. After only a few years of discipleship and training at the Bible school, they overflow with vision for the calling God has on their lives for expanding His Kingdom. I enjoyed talking with them about their dreams and hearing of their desire to continue in the vision of impacting young people to change the world. And the best part? They will change the world. They have already impacted people in their communities and their impact is expanding to a regional and even national level.
Thinking of how these young people will change their communities and nations for Christ makes my heart burn with excitement. I see that not only is God opening doors in Guyana and Brazil for the Gospel, but that a similar expansion and vision is possible in the United States. I left Guyana excited for what God is doing through these students but also eager to share these stories with family and friends in the States who have a heart to see the Kingdom of God expanded in and through young people. The relationships I formed while serving with the students in Guyana have taught me an important lesson. Changing the world and expanding the Kingdom of God is not an unattainable, unrealistic goal. It is happening around the world through willing hearts. We are each—myself included—called to join the expansion of God’s Kingdom by simply sharing and teaching others as we have been taught.