Worship Has No Language Barrier

Worship Has No Language Barrier

As I stood in the back of the room, I became so overwhelmed by the love of God that I couldn’t hold it in. My eyes started to water, and my heart had never felt so full. I was witnessing the power of worship in a way many people would never understand. My students were worshipping wholeheartedly in English as we stood in an all-Spanish service in Ensenada, Mexico, and in that moment, I realized that worship has no language barrier.

When the day started, you could feel the anticipation at breakfast. As a leadership team we were bombarded with questions of what it was going to be like, if outfits were modest enough, if anyone would be speaking English, what the correct way to greet someone was, and many more.

Watching a group of students who were so comfortable on a construction site get ready for their first church service in a foreign country was exciting. We had trained for relational ministry, and we had talked about how it may be different from what they were used to, but today they were going to get to act on being the hands and feet of Jesus. We loaded into the vans and took off for different churches throughout Ensenada. As someone who has had the opportunity to lead various trips, I knew how much God was going to be doing in and through the group during this time, but watching these students who had put so much into being here experience it for themselves is a feeling I will never get tired of.

Once we got to the church we would be worshipping at, the students jumped right in. They started speaking to different people in the congregation. They were greeted by the local pastor, presented the gifts, and then took their seats. Worship started and while our students weren’t fluent enough in Spanish to sing along they recognized the music and started singing in English. There we were a, room full of people thinking about nothing more than praising God, some in English some in Spanish, and it was beautiful.


After the service, we got to have lunch with the pastor and his friends, and it was a time of sharing stories and talking about Jesus. I wish I could relive this day, and thanks to our ministry partners at Agua Viva I can!

Most people would be overwhelmed by hearing that a group of 110 people were driving over the border in 12 vans and that they would be hosting this group made up of mostly high school students, but at Agua Viva, they welcomed us. They filled our days with everything from construction projects to medical site visits. We had students leading vacation Bible schools and fixing bikes for people who relied on them for transportation. At night, we got to hear more about what God was doing in the area, and got to hang out with the people who called Ensenada home. As if this wasn’t exciting enough, the students left excited, knowing that they could come back the next year and keep the relationships going.

God has given me the opportunity to lead trips all over the world, and it is always fun to watch students who are used to living on technology be so far out of their comfort zones. It is always a joy to see how much God does not just in the community we are working in, but also in the lives of the students I get to work with every day. We are four and a half months away from getting to go back to Ensenada, and I feel like a little girl counting down to Christmas morning. As a leader, there is no better feeling than knowing that we are taking our kids to work alongside an organization that not only does so much within the local community but also does such a great job of taking care of our group. I could easily spend hours telling stories from last year’s trip, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us this year.

I invite you to join me in praying for our students and Agua Viva. Pray for God to prepare everyone in the best way possible and use us a tool of His kingdom as we get ready to go back.

Thank you all for your continued support of our students and ministry!

Taylor Shipley

Assistant Director of Student Ministries