April 12, 2012

busyness, drunkeness, and other general weirdness

Life is busy here. And sometimes a whole lot of weird. I feel like my head's going to explode trying to process it all sometimes.

Good Friday, Tony spent all day in the slums while I took the kids on a nature walk - our first "official" nature walk in Patagonia - complete with list of things to look for. Since I had spent the entire week with visions of public school dancing in my head, I figured it was time to get out before somebody {Mommy} lost it.

Tony came home from a draining day, hoping to rest and eat something before we quickly headed out again to a meeting then a movie showing, only to get a call from the slums about an altercation with a drunk. Someone (we know) had shown up to "help" one of the families rebuild, but he showed up so drunk he could barely talk. He claims he's a Christian, he was insisting he was there to help, proceeded to walk around the site "praying" in a loud voice, continuing to insist he was there to help and to "do the Lord's work". All he succeeded in doing was making the families really, really mad. One of the dads called Tony asking him to come back and remove the guy before he killed him. We didn't put it past him, so back Tony went. One incident like that, someone showing up wearing the name "Christian" but acting really not, could completely ruin everything we've been trying to build for months.

drunk guy {in the red hat} - sometimes he's sober, like here

That's another new thing for us... flagrantly alcoholic church-goers. Slaves to alcohol who have no self control, but claim to know and love Jesus while getting rip-roaring drunk, all the while not seeming to think this is anything to really be alarmed about. The next day after a binge, they are "doing well, all is well, I'm well, God is good, and Praise the Lord!". It's kinda weird, definately new. At least people in the States who go to church and claim to know Christ but who are really raging drunks know better than to shout it from the mountaintops, at least in my experience. A certain level of shame is a good thing - it means you might have a clue that something is not. quite. right.

We have not-so-infrequent run-ins with inebriated people. It's the nature of the beast. I'm nobody's judge, but I am certainly learning to not answer my cell phone depending on who it is - and definately not after midnight {always bad news}, because then I can never get off the phone. Drunk people just go on and on and on in usually beligerent drunken stupors. There's no reasoning with them. I have better things to do with my time than to talk to someone who isn't listening anyway. Tony's really good with drunks, though. He keeps his calm and is able to take control of the situation; I just get annoyed and kick myself for answering the phone, vowing not to next time I see the number. The last time Pedro called I just told him the truth - You are a slave to alcohol and you need Jesus to set you free. He's the only One who can help you. I must have said goodbye and told him Tony would call him at least ten times. All he wanted to do was ask me how I was doing over and over again and put me on the phone with his grandmother (sweet lady that she is). Six months ago that would have been really awkward. I still think it's weird. But now, it's just kinda normal.

Pedro, Tony, Raul, and Alberto [Pedro was let go for drinking on the job, so returned to his little town up north. He still calls us.]

Fast forward Easter morning. As I was in the bathroom getting ready for church, I heard a gunshot. I heard Tony from the other room, "Did you just hear that?" Uh, yeah. Sure did. The weird thing is, everyone here says we live in a "nice" neighborhood. That wasn't my impression when we first arrived here. But, all things being relative, it is a "nice" neighborhood. For here. A nice neighborhood with gunshots. Yeah... 

Gunshots were just never on my radar, but hey, I guess they are now.

Easter afternoon we spent at the children's home.

But let me preface this with a little rant first- may I? Just humor me.

PARENTS: Don't leave your kids with anybody. Let me repeat myself... DON'T LEAVE YOUR CHILDREN WITH ANYONE. If you heard some of these stories we hear, if you knew... REALLY KNEW... that 90% of sexual abuse cases are perpetrated by someone who knows the victim... you wouldn't ever leave your kids with anyone. Family, friends, your trusted church friends. An.y.one.

Okay, I'm done. Ignore me if you want. It's just some statistics with a suggestion. I'm sure there are people in the world we can trust, surely.

So, I was finally able to go to the Children's Home {where all the kids have a story like above}, now that visitations are up and running again after summer break. We had a great time with the kids - we played Duck, Duck, Goose; Red Light, Green Light; and Freeze Tag - Argentinian versions, of course. Some of the young adults from church shared the Resurrection story as we sat around an outside table talking with the kids. I was amazed that most of the kids had never even heard of the Resurrection before. They thought Easter was about eggs. I took my daughter with me on our visit; she loved it and asks me all the time when we are going back.

my friend Keren with one of the sweeties from the children's home

There's more that's been going on, some that makes me nervous. Like Tony beginning a new ministry in another home for older kids... 13 and up. Kids aging out of the other home with nowhere to go. No one visiting them. No one sharing love and the gospel with them. I asked Tony if he really thinks this is a good idea. I mean, people get knifed in homes for older kids; they are bigger and they have bigger problems. Kids are extremely street smart here, more than most adults I know. A guy that used to work in one of these homes recently showed Tony his scars. So, really, Tony... don't you think maybe we should just forget this one? He doesn't think so.

And there are other things that are happening that are weird, well, more like extremely disturbing. Things that are just unbloggable. Things that remind me why I don't like having neighbors, and why I don't trust anyone. Things that make me shudder and remember that this is a yucky, fallen world. Things that remind me that yes, indeed, this is a battle. A WAR (Ephesians 6). Things that remind me of the very reason we are here. Things that, once you begin to fight them, wake up the someone who doesn't want to lose any ground. Not an inch.

I've been reminded, uncomfortably, this Resurrection week of the Truth in 1 Peter 5:8...

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion,
seeking whom he may devour."

Feelin' it. Hoping next week is better.


Deb said...

Hi Chris,
Praying that the power that raised Jesus from the dead would be yours! Praying that as you experiance life in the War Zone, you would also see ALL the in-roads and cracks you guys have already made into the enemy's dark turf, thru your prayers and your love and thru you bringing the very Presence of God on to the scene, because He lives in you.

The light IS shining thru Chris! The enemy is mad, BUT God is bigger. Praying that there would be a team of mighty intercessors onsite who would join together in a regular way to physically walk the boundaries of your town and take back the ground thru your prayers and declarations, Kind of like Joshua and the Walls of Jerico. Jesus has All authority over this earth, and He has given it to us. Praying for much strength and wisdom and a supernatural shift in the atmosphere from darkness to light. Praying for you tonight my friend!


Christy said...

Believe it or not I do know a couple of those drunk christian even here in the states. It's really mind boggling that they think it is o.k. to keep living that lifestyle. Their thinking is that God will change them in his timing and they can't work for their salvation. Or God loves the drunks and druggies and what about the woman at the well and all that. It is amazing how you can twist scripture. All talk of being a new creation in Christ goes in one ear and out the other. It's frustrating but I do understand a little bit of what you are dealing with there.

Christy said...

And also, it was good to get an update on Pedro. The kids pray for him specifically and ask what the latest is so now I can tell them to keep praying!

Related Posts with Thumbnails