In my first months of being in Argentina, I said "no" a lot.
Someone had asked if I played guitar, which I do, but I said that I couldn't really. I found myself being asked to serve in a lot of ministries very last minute. The stress of last minute stuff made it so I would say.. you guessed it.. nope.
And in a lot of ways, it was probably healthy for me to do that. One way to look at it is the fact that when we serve, we should give quality sermons, or play quality music, etc. Last minute often means people did not plan well what they should have.
Then you add cultural and language barrier..
The answer is no.
Now that I've been here for.. awhile.. I feel a bit more confident with just going with the flow. There have been countless trips recently where I don't know how I am getting home afterward, and sometimes I'm not quite sure how I will get there. But I always return safely.
Today I played the guitar in church, after only an hour of figuring out which songs that we will play (3 out of 6 I had never played before), and not knowing all the chords. It turned out all right.
As for language, I still say the wrong verb, or at least the wrong form of the verb, all the time. But most get the idea. Partnered with a greater understanding of the culture, and I find the people here accept the fact that you're at least trying.
Maybe it has something to do with faith. Maybe it has something to do with not linking my identity with my performance. Maybe it has something to do with the rather laid back attitude of the culture (which I happen to love).
Just recently, one of the members of the church corrected me for a mistake I had made. I still get it wrong, and will continue to do so. The question is whether we can humble ourselves enough to trust that it's okay. We're human. Called to be holy, but stumbling along the way.
love and chau!