Volunteering and traveling in Argentina to proclaim God's great love, and hopefully not getting sick along the way.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Talking about money... again

The whole reason I had even thought about $ was because of this cool moment that had nothing to do with me. Well maybe I was some small, middle man, minutia character that some people like, but no. Not really.

It happened when 5 cool kids from the OM Chile team arrived and I had the privilege to cook some pizza for them. A couple from our team was also there to get to know the internationals. A great couple who has been serving humbly in the finances area, an area I have come to realize that is hardly recognized among missionary teams. Thus making it hard for them to raise support; thus leading to the conversation we had at this lunch time.

"While we have been able to get more support in lately, we have had to think about our most important costs and concentrate on paying for those things," said the wife. "Which means, we haven't even been to the supermarket yet."

My heart sunk. Sure, we have a finance issues when it comes to money of the house for example, but God always provides. And yet here is a faithful couple, with their kid, and they may or may not have much to eat this month.

I began to think about any extra money we might have and I realized we weren't able to give at this time. 'God, what do I do?' I thought.

The doorbell rings.

I swear. In this very moment, the doorbell would ring.

A pastor from a local church came by to drop off a couple of offerings. One for one of our missionaries serving in Thailand. One for a trip that a few of our teammates participated in this past January. The gift for the trip would be extra, perhaps something to serve for the next potential trip to the same location (to maintain a working relationship).

I talked with the woman in charge of this trip to see if we could divide the money, and give a percentage to the family. She quickly agreed and there we were, able to provide for our brother and sister! Not my money. Nor would any of the people who had given to the church know the difference they would make.

Oh to see the joy on their faces when they realized they could go to the supermarket.

After all, we ask for bread. He's not going to give us a rock! love and chau.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I feel like talking about money

But guarda, eh? I am all over the place with this one tonight.

After all, it's the week of taxes. We ought to make mention of it. I read a great article about it here on Relevant Magazine's website in fact, and it got me thinking even more.

For one, how great it is to be too poor to even do taxes in the first place. All the money I technically earn goes straight to paying for my student loans. And yet, I'm not technically clergy either, so that makes some sort of difference I will probably never understand. Ah, but the fact that I am paying off my student loans means I am in debt, which is just a fancy way of saying that I am a...

Slave.

(this is what I mean by being all over the place)

I am currently in the process of praying for my slavery to end. God has been doing some cool things to make this happen, but I pray for more. And done with this part of the rabbit trail.

So.. money, and getting places, or getting back from places. That is to say, I find myself, as often mentioned, en route to various parts of this country, or even to the city center, without knowing how I'll get home. I always get home intact. But it's more than this. I've had people--people I met that very week--pay for my bus home from the middle-of-nowhere-Buenos-Aires-(province) to Córdoba. Someone paid for my entire vacation's stay in Puerto Madryn. Various people pay for taxis, or let me spend the night in their homes. People who donate materials I just so happen to need that week for the girls' institute.

Argentina, or perhaps all of Latin America, is a "I know a guy who.." and this week I got to experience it with my dentist-slash-husband of my English camp's boss. We were able to take care of the much needed root canal right away (by the way, I definitely cried from the pain. Do your best to avoid the devil known as the RC!!). And when I warily came forth to pay my bill, I was surprised to see a lot less zeroes.

To think I almost had to pay, or try to help pay, over a thousand dollars to get that done in the States.

Rabbit trail numero dos: how do you feel about surgery in another country? The woman (dentist assistant) would ask me how I was feeling, but with the anesthetic I kept answering in English. Add to that the lack of vocabulary on my part for some things she was trying to explain to me.. one can only laugh about this sorts of things.

All this to try and talk about faith. This verse I keep coming back to in Proverbs asks to be middle class. That is (Message version):
Give me enough food to live on,
neither too much nor too little.
If I'm too full, I might get independent
and say 'God? Who needs him?'
If I'm poor, I might steal,
and dishonor the name of my God.

When we trust God to provide just what we need, we might get a little restless, because we don't see it until we absolutely need it.

Like when I bought my plane ticket to get here for one. The money had entered my bank account the very day that I had awakened with the sensation (Holy Spirit?) to buy the ticket.

Or taken from a comment from my roommate Eva, who just found out that she is going to Europe this winter (for most of you, it's summer), "Once again, I'm in a position where I need to trust God for a lot of money in a short amount of time!"

As the saying goes, if God wants you there, he'll get you there. Besides, as the other saying goes, it's not so much about the destination as it is knowing Him.

When we trust in God, sometimes we don't need to go on a faith trip to prove it, because everyday should be a faith journey. We ought to be ready (perhaps this is what Paul was talking about) for any and every opportunity. To open our eyes in the morning and say, "Whatchya got next, Pops?"

Nope. Not easy. Not by a long shot. Nor is it very safe. Perhaps we have to spend money to see God provide in other ways. I don't really know because it is not formulaic. But up to this point, I have never had to skip a meal because I didn't have food.

Ah! Beware of short rabbit trail. It killed me to see one former student write about not having internet or cable and thus her day was ruined (yeah, I also don't know how she was able to post this to the internet required facebook).

First world problems. Here's to selling all you have and following Him. 

Here's to taking up your cross.

Here's to, at the same time, recognizing that your call may be very different from another's, so no room for judgment on who's call is "better." But um.. the cross usually requires sacrifice. Just sayin..

love and chau (another late night crazy talk from yours truly)...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

La pinta misionera

In Russia, the monk-priest-dude (official title) said that I had a certain glow about me. He asked me to return some day and be a monk-priest-dude helper. Whatever that means.

When I went to the M church (better to write it like this), everyone looked at me and said, "You have the look of a missionary."

What does this mean? I still have no clue.

Especially when the appropriately named "Great Commission" is meant for anyone who says they are a Christ follower. As mentioned in a sermon I watched on Friday, there are 3 responses to the GC:

1. To go
2. To support others who go
3. To disobey

Not really room for anything else.

I am convinced that the quote attributed to Francis of Assisi is now wrong though. He said something about preaching the gospel, and if necessary to use words. As I study more of the Scripture and how much Jesus had to explain everything he did (i.e. Road to Emmaus), all the miraculous signs and symbols of Bible times and our times, require, well words.

Maybe that's what it is. I talk a lot. So it makes me more missionary-like. Heck. I dunno. But it was cool to attend church tonight, as it was the renewing of the vows of a humble couple from Las Violetas. I was so inspired by the meeting, feeling such love from my Father above, that I had this weird inner itch to share the gospel with someone. Does that ever happen to you?

I met a couple, related to the re-married one, who is Catholic. So I talked about Jesus with them.

That's all I have to say about that I suppose. It's late and I should go to bed. I'll probably re-read this tomorrow and think, "who is this crazy girl?" haha

love and chau!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pay attention

The other night, I had a dream. If you read my blog often, you know how much I pay attention, or try to at least, to dreams.

We of the OM household were all minding our own business when a storm started to brew. Granted, it was actually raining outside, but in the dream it was mainly the clouds that startled me. They were dark, green.. the kind of clouds that one would expect a tornado to come down any minute (thanks to all my years of living and Texas, and too many viewings of Twister).

My inner Bear Grylls began thinking of where we would hide ourselves, to avoid the storm. No place in the house seemed suitable. I finally sat down in a corner in my room, and watched as the darkness, the black clouds themselves, entered through the windows of our house. While I tried to cry out a prayer, a faint whisper of "Jesus we need you" was all that could escape my lips. And then I woke up. Giving thanks that God saved me from that darkness.

Today, Eva mentioned that she had a bad dream as well. She was in an unknown building with her parents. Some hooligans from the street busted in, and she intervened between one of them and her mom. The burly man addressed her, "Do you know what I can do to your mom?" Then she woke up.

So I shared with her my dream, and we were both a little startled.

After lunch, I was reading a devotional. About Pharoah's dreams. Then there was a short story about a woman's dream. One in which she felt God was telling her to prepare for the times ahead.

So I began to wonder. Is there a storm brewing?

Looks like I need to be praying, at the very least! The good news is, the verse at the end of the part I read from Genesis explains that God will give the answer he desires for us. In this I can trust, because He is good. love and chau!