“When I was studying at University I started to study Japanese. As I started to study the language I started to know more about Japan and His people. Since then, God put in my heart to pray for them, without knowing that years later He would take me to Japan.”
That’s the case of *Raquel whose desire was to learn a new language for fun. She grew up in a Christian family, but it wasn’t until she was 18 that she received Jesus Christ as her Lord and Saviour. Every year since then she has been growing in her faith; serving in her church for 14 years before God confirmed her call to cross-cultural missions.
God called Raquel multple times to missions in different ways. When she was a little girl, she had a dream where she saw a land ready for the harvest. When she was a teenager, she watched a documentary about Jim Elliot who was a missionary and martyr and felt something stir in her heart for missions so she started to ask God where to serve Him. Her brother was invited to a dinner organised by OM El Salvador, but he couldn’t go so instead Raquel took his place. It was at that dinner that she heard of an outreach in Guatemala, which she would later go on, and it wasn’t till there that: “I understood what I have to do, and it was to continue serving Him and training me to work for His kingdom," Raquel shared.
In 2016, years later after participating on different outreaches with OM, she decided to join OM El Salvador's volunteer programme and her journey in doing everything by faith officially started.
2016 was a hard year for Raquel's family, but in the midst of the difficulty, God surprised her by sending an invitation from her church to go to Indonesia for the youth leadership conference “LAUSANA.” She accepted the invitation to go, and asked one of the leaders of OM El Salvador to pray for her. They prayed and the OMer shared about an opportunity to serve in Japan through a programme called OCZ – Out of the Comfort Zone. As she was going to be in Asia, this would be a good opportunity for Raquel. She accepted the challenge to go to Japan for a three-week outreach, and to Indonesia. The process of walking by faith started, and after more than two months of raising the finances, and even though there were difficult situations happening around her, she did everything by faith with the support of God and her church.
Japan is a beautiful country with a big need of the gospel. Raquel was there for three weeks for OCZ, teaching English to children, youth and adults, as well as evangelising and sharing about her home country and culture. "It was a great time of personal growth and in faith. God showed me His care and provision in many ways. I am still surprised by it." Raquel stated.
When Raquel returned to El Salvador, her vision and thoughts were different. She didn't want to return to her comfort zone. Leaving her job as an English teacher, she decided to leave everything behind and follow God's call to be a missionary so she can mobilise her church to missions. To do this, she joined as a full-time missionary with OM El Salvador.
Currently Raquel is training and encouraging other people to go to the least reached while she is serving in OM El Salvador. Her future plan is to return to Japan and serve there full-time.
Raquel reflected, "As Latinos we might probably think that we have many limitations or obstacles to go the least reached, but in the light of the Bible there is no obstacle that God can't overcome. The nations are waiting for the message of hope, and we can share it. We must have to do it as soon as possible. It is time to write our story."
*Name changed for security