Well this place is certainly a mix of people. I am becoming confused in my languages now. Not that I know Portuguese, but when talking with people to buy food and the shops I am trying to speak something that resembles it. This means that when I go to speak to somebody I have to decide which language to try and use. It does not take too long to find out which language however, but then the difficulty is to remain in that language.
Many times I have found myself starting in Spanish and finishing in English, or thinking I was speaking Portuguese (my version of it) but realised that it was only a slightly different accent on my Spanish. There are many multi-lingual people here and that is not such a problem, but if they only know the one language then they just look at me with a quizzical expression on their face. This has happened to me more than one, especially when turning from one person in one language to another person with a different language. The quizzical face tells me quickly that I am speaking gibberish to them.
The conference itself has been in many ways just like any other conference, but with many testimonies of what people have been doing through YWAM throughout the world. One story involved a man asking the NATO team to stop a bombing raid in Haiti so he could go in an speak to them about Jesus and the Gospel. The stopped the raid long enough for him to go in there and speak to the drug dealers and malitia groups that were there. Some of them accepted Christ. He became the first white man to actually go into that place and then come back out again alive. After he returned, NATO continued with their raid and wiped them all out. Only those who had recently accepted Christ survived.
Another story involved a lady from Brazil who has started working in a very Catholic country. Here the church dominates the place (I am not sure if it is wise to share where it is so I will refrain from doing so in the interests of her safety), and yet she has been able to do some amazing things with her ever growing team of people. They have built many houses for the poor and are in the process of building a school right now. She has been involved in many discussions with the government and the president of the nation, talking about how Biblical principles in leadership. A mutual friend that is a reporter has remarked to her that now, in every single meeting that he is in, the President is talking about YWAM and what they are doing. There is a great deal of influence here.
Well, there are many more stories too… and some are just amazing. But time prevents me from continuing to tell more. Needless to say that the even has been very inspiring and meeting so many people has been great. Tomorrow is a rest day, so I will be taking a break too.
Unless of course there is something that I just have to tell you about.