March 24, 2012

Day 2: Somewhere, Patagonia

"There are no safe paths in this part of the world.
Remember you are over the Edge of the Wild now,
and in for all sorts of fun wherever you go." 
-The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

After meeting up with everyone who was attending the conference, we left Chos Malal in caravan for the place where the conference actually was - 70 more kilometers up in the mountains. 20 on paved roads...

...then 50km more on gravel.
We turned off the paved road onto the gravel, kicking up a trail of dirt.

We continued across the valley...

and when we lost the caravan , we just followed the trail of dust.
  crossing rickety bridges...
(respecting the plethora of traffic signs and lights and lines painted down the middle of the road, of course - that's a joke.)

We turned at the sanitation post in downtown Cancha Huinganco...
my kind of downtown :) lol

more downtown

saw some parakeets...
 (they are very noisy and social and make all sorts of racket flying around in their little noisy social groups)

stopped to rest at the church...

then continued on down a hill towards the river...

and a into grove of poplars to a rural school.

A little place not on the map, but which the locals call Cajon de Curileuvu. That's Mapuche for something. One day I will know what.

No Internet. No cell phone signal. No TV. No land line. Remote is the perfect word. People communicate by radio if they need a doctor, the police, or the fire department. Or they get on their horse and ride.

Fortunately we did have electricity, running water, flushing toilets, and showers where we stayed. I kept thinking the entire weekend of the Christian conferences back in the States, with their comfy climate-controlled hotels, fun engaging activities, high tech light and sound and video technology, and readily available food and convenience stores to meet your every need. Ah, now that's a retreat!, I thought. This was not like that. If you didn't bring it in, you didn't have it. Even if you did bring it in, it might still be useless. It was about being with those who are doing hard work in hard places, seeking God together, worshipping, learning from His Word, and being reminded that the gospel is about sacrifice, not comfort. I was reminded of that the entire time, then we all were when we lost electricity right at dusk. The testimonies and preaching just kept going, though, even though we could barely see each other. (It did come back on a few hours later.)

The sign says: "Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them." ~Psalm 126:6

1 comment:

Annie said...

Wow! Loved taking that journey into the backlands with you Chris! What a beautiful group of people you ministered to and with!

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