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

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

More refreshment

Did you know that missionaries have bad days?

My recent go to on such days is this drink:
6 pesos of deliciousness. 

I mean, it's not the only thing. I have great family, friends, and a super great boyfriend who are there to listen to me get it all out. It's refreshing.

The other thing that refreshes me is Scripture and really awesomer missionaries who make surprise visits and remind us to pull up our bootstraps and keep going.

Let me explain..

In the morning, the girls at the institute were just plain confusing. I brought all sorts of things for them to do, but none of them were all that interested. Granted, only three were there in the moment (out of 7), but they were simply not enthusiastic. One chose to do another personal project, so I lingered over that and had her teach me how to do it. Which worked for about 5 minutes.

Another girl, one who is often very sad, started a bracelet but then stopped 10 minutes in, murmured to herself, "I GIVE UP!!" and left. She came at the end to sit next to me, show me some of her drawings, and then left again. I texted her after to see what was up, but she didn't respond (very rare).

One, the most recent to move into the institute, had 5 minutes with me in which I was able to teach her the basics. Then she was gone..

Another decided to color. Great, I have those materials. So she started, left for about half an hour and then came back. She was the only one who finished, and then she even gave me her drawing as a gift. So you know, there's always something positive to find I suppose.

Instead of working on the bracelet I had started, I just held one of the babies that was crying. "I know how you feel," I told her, glancing at the child's mom who does not hold her often.

When you come home expecting food on the table, and then it's not ready.. well, now I understand the men and their frustrations better. I just wanted food to comfort me and get the weirdness of the morning over with. The whole walk back I was thinking about how fun last week was teaching in them a new bracelet style, only to find they didn't want to keep going this week!

And yes, despite the morning and food situation, I did have a lovely afternoon teaching English and coming home to a heartwarming conversation with Cristian. Some things just take time to shake off, you know?

So first, read here. Then read below...

For our weekly prayer meeting (something I had to push myself to go to), Andrea had invited a woman who had been in Peru for the last 12 years (as of 3 DAYS ago she arrived back in Argentina) who is now on her way to another country for who knows how long. Her story is incredible. And humbling. It's the kind of story that gives you all sorts of ideas that you know you are capable of doing too, to serve the Father who first loved us.

When she got into the part about where she is going next (can't say, sorry), I was moved to tears. I kept thinking about how thankful I was to NOT listen to that small voice trying to tell me to just lay down instead.

I was also moved to give her a financial gift. She didn't ask for one, and I don't have all that much to give. This verse kept coming up in my head:

A generous man will prosper;
he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
Proverbs 11:25

In a way, the giving was selfish, because I just wanted refreshment for everything that had happened in the day (I spared a couple of details). In the giving, I felt loads better. Such a trite way of putting it, but it is true.

Equally trite, I must close this conversation for now and get all the final preparations for camp week ready. Have a refreshed one! love and chau!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Gospel tracts--the positive side

I'm not one to use them. I don't think they are very popular these days either. They can be seen as intrusive and impersonal. The trend leans toward friendship evangelism in which you start up conversations with someone in the middle of a social activity that may or may not necessarily Christian focused.

For once, I would like to look at the positive side to the gospel tract, because I have recently seen firsthand some of the benefits and would like to give them a chance.

First of all, picture yourself walking a downtown street, where someone hands you a coupon for a free hotdog. At first you think, "Hmm.. I'm not so into hot dogs myself, but hey! Free!"

Exactly.

Of course, then you double and triple- examine the coupon just to be sure that there aren't any strings attached, right? I mean, you don't want to go to the hotdog stand, and find out it's "free" because you have to buy like, 10 hotdogs and a medium coke just to get it.

Assured of the transaction that will take place.. that is, you give 'em the piece of paper, they give you FOOD.. you make your way to the hotdog stand.

Recently, I was challenged by a story of a man named Mr. Jenner, a survivor of one of the great World Wars. Having felt like he'd been through hell, and through the preaching of some of his fellow soldiers, he converted, and committed himself to sharing the gospel to as many as possible. He wanted to make sure that nobody would have to experience the true hell. The story goes that he shared gospel tracts with at least 10 people a day for the rest of his life.

You can research the man on George St in Ausralia, and you find that Mr. Jenner had also invited a lot of people to his house, especially soldiers, so they could have a good meal, and converse a bit more about Jesus. He made sure his wife sent a postcard to the soldier's parents, since back then it wasn't that easy to know where your kid was serving.

Some say that over 100,000 people converted through the faithful day-to-day gospel-tract-sharing of that "old man on George Street."

Fascinating. And it gives me pause, because another essential part of the story is that Mr. Jenner had never experienced the moment itself, the one in which someone said, "Yes, I now believe in this!" But whenever someone shared their testimony, they would give him credit as being there for the start of the softening of their hearts.

I decided to start carrying a few tracts with me just in case. I still would prefer talking about it. But what if I don't have time? What if this is all I can give in the moment? In the city center, I became even more aware of how many people are passing out advertisements for the local Tarot Card readers, or the classes on Metaphysics, where you can find "true happiness". So the enemy can pass them out, but we cower at the thought?

To be honest, so far, I have only given them to my girls in the institute, and it has opened up several conversations recently. We've gotten a lot deeper these weeks, and I am all the more encouraged to give them out to someone else. Some stranger.

Certainly I can't expect the reaction to always be positive. Even Mr. Jenner talked about the bouts of rejection he encountered. Like the coupon, not everyone likes hotdogs.

But they do like free. So maybe we should give the tracts another shot. See what happens.

love and chau!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Rest part 2

Technically, it's "Salud part 2" but I didn't have more to say about being sick. I do, on the other hand, have more to say about rest, something I had mentioned in the previous post.

And that is, yesterday, for my off day, I made a list of about half a dozen things I have to do.

On the other side, I wrote down things I actually did.

Like, other than going to the movies two weeks ago with two of my gal friends, it was the first time, in house, that I was able to watch a full 1 hour and 40 minute movie in one day! At least, I haven't watched a full one in months because of craziness (or internet problems, but that's a minor detail. ha.).

I got to talk with my dad while I slowly made some pita bread, just because I could!
yum!!!
I walked. Listened to a sermon. Did all my laundry before the sun went down (which is saying a lot when your dryer is the sun! Thanks God for the nicer weather today!!). Read from the latest, recommended by Bill R. from Metrocrest, Almost Heaven. I.. gasp..

went to bed at 10:00!!!!!!!

Of course, the meat guy came at 10:30 and I had to wake up to take care of that, since we're now two in the house and I'm the only one that speaks enough Spanish for transactions such as these. Whew.. long sentence.

Any way, all this to say. Then I woke up at 7am and was able to do about half of the things on my list of work stuff without batting an eye. I was even able to go lay down a bit before our 11am Bible Study today! I can't explain it, but I like it. Rest is more necessary than we believe. So take it. Trust it.

And obviously, know that loving God and people come first, so if you are called for an emergency on your day off, it's okay. There's a reason for that too!

love and chau!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Salud

About my tagline of not getting sick..

I got sick. The last couple days of my vacation until about two days go I have been dealing with a Sinus Infection and Bronchitis. Ironically, I noticed that one of my aunt's was dealing with the same combination. Bummer. The good news was at least that I could have my pills for free because of our team doctor. The bad news is that these sorts of sicknesses take their time to heal.

In order to truly recover, I also find the need to rest.

Which led me to a new discovery of how I'm not all that good at resting. Sleeping all day makes me restless, even if I feel better in the end. I want to be able, by the end of the day, to say that I have done something, anything, productive. And it made me feel better, that is, not so alone, when I heard a pastor talk about the same thing. He said that on his rest days, he usually ends up doing more than his non-rest days.

But God calls us to rest. What's more, He set the precedence for rest by doing so in the very beginning of our known history.

I took a personal challenge last week to really, truly, not do any of the work that I have to do on my rest day. I read the emails (I can't help that!), but I didn't respond to them. I thought about the work, but I took no responsibility over it. Turned out to be a beautiful day; I played the guitar; I spent time organizing the room so that it's not so cluttered. Simple things. Non-strenuous things.

Then I thought maybe I should write about it so that I could remember this peace, as well as encourage any fellow readers out there to not be afraid of rest. Because I can also say that the following day, I was more productive, and less tired, than I had ever been.

So like.. in that valley girl sorta way.. I'm like trying to say.. God totally knew what He was doing when he set apart a day of rest.

love and chau!