Sunday, September 7, 2008

El Llamado de Dios, Spanish Out Reach attended by Hundreds






My dear friends, Leoncio and Amy Dominguez, sent out an SOS several weeks ago asking for volunteers to help with their Spanish Outreach Ministry. For many years, Leoncio and Amy have been dragon slayers in the Nashville's Spanish speaking community. Working where ever God pulls them. Helping those that hurt silently with love, kindness, and gentleness. Whether it is a family in crisis, immigration issues, help with a husband's job hunt, a wife in need , or child gone astray; they seem to always be there for others to lend a hand, a shoulder to cry on or give wise counsel. It was an honor to volunteer for this event that they have been working on for sometime.

I found myself fretting over my Spanish towards the end of the week until a friend reminded me that it was not my Spanish that was needed. That put an end to my worries instantly. I came with my handshakes, a ready smile, a confident "hola!" and lots of hugs and managed to greet everyone who entered Madison COC. When people know you care, what language you speak does not matter. The two day event, Friday and Saturday, was filled with Latinos and Hispanics from all walks of life and from every country imaginable. Diversity is alive and well in the great land of the USA. The stories of why they came that night was as varied as the dialects and nationalities.

From educators and college students, to cab drivers, business owners, and cooks, they all piled into Bixler Chapel to hear words of encouragement and "God's Calling". The keynote speakers for the event were Magda Basanez originally from Veracruz, Mexico and Nelson Galarragna originally from Venezuela and now leads a ministry with his wife in Atlanta, Georgia.

The children were kept busy with games and activities and MCOC basketball court was turned into an indoor soccer arena. It was amazing watching the teams dribble the soccer ball and shooting in the nets while waiting for their teams to be announced. Kids are funny and watching them transit from one game to the next without hesitation was entertaining. I rooted for my favorite new soccer team and no one seem to mind that my Spanish was not their Spanish. I found a friend in Alma right away. One of two girls on a team with sixteen boys. I was smitten at 'hola!' and seems as if she was too. She smiled all night and I shouted 'girl power' every time she got on the floor. A cheering mom can never stop cheering, even if it is not her kid!

Leoncio and Amy are heroes to so many and it is wonderful seeing the impact they are making in the lives of others.

Amy and Leoncio can be contacted at leoncio@madisoncofc.org
Photos credit www.amberbeckham.com

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