April 3, 2012

living the dream

Living the Dream Part I

Saturday night my boyz showed the JESUS film and a few Torchlighters movies in the rough neighborhood next door (this one). I am so proud of them. We're actually doing what we set out to do. God has really brought it to pass. I feel like Francis Chan who said, upon leaving the States to pursue missions in the third world, "Living the dream!".

Setting up. The screen hung on a wire between two posts of a soccer goal.
 Tony with some of the neighborhood kids

 The boy in the camoflage shirt's dad is in prison for double homicide. It's that kind of neighborhood.
 watching a Torchlighters movie
the JESUS film

Some of the kids scoffed at the movies to be shown, saying they had better movies at home. Action movies, horror movies. Some threatened to go home and watch their movies which were "better". They were riveted, of course, watching the Torchlighters series. Everybody always is. They later didn't want to leave and asked when we were coming back to show more movies.

Living the Dream Part II

In other somewhat selfish news, I finally started zampoÑa [sahm-pohn-nyah] lessons. [My computer is being weird about ALT commands - they're not working for me here. The least of my problems.]. I finally made it to the weekly practice of a group of Christian guys that play Andean music. It was heaven. It was even more wonderful because my kids didn't come with me. Translation: it was relaxing. I almost felt young again: childless, able to finish adult conversations, glorious. If God is merciful, maybe I'll even learn to play.

Miguel teaching me how to play the zampoÑa

Living the Dream: The Flip Side

But, life isn't all rosey here. Not at all. There is another side (as another soldier on the forefront has noted) - "the inevitable spiritual attack that meets the coming of the Kingdom". It is ever present. We have had bad dreams, nightmares, all of us, since we've been here, often. Impatience, tension, pressures, trials, misunderstandings, criticism, fightings, tears.

But there is grace, the same grace that we all have access to through Christ. The same grace that upholds us who hope and believe in Him. Being here, fighting dirt, has brought all our dirt to the surface like nothing else. Missions is messy. Daily we come face to face with our failings, our weakness, our filth. It's ugly. The only thing that separates us from those we are trying to reach is forgiveness, nothing else. Because of Christ, we are forgiven. Because of the forgiveness he has extended to us, we are able to extend forgiveness, be forgiven. So we forgive, we kiss and make up and hug and talk, and we move on, praying we get it someday. Sometimes limping, sometimes swiftly and with strength, daily reminded that we are not qualified for this. For any of this.

Which is exactly why we are qualified for this.


Stevie Jo said...

Is there any way I could email you? I have so many questions!

Chris said...

You can ask here...

Stepahnie Schultze said...

Well my husband and I have been thinking for a while that God wants us to serve somewhere over seas and the Patagonia region has really been on my mind! But honestly I have no idea how to get going... I haven't really had any luck finding an organization to get involved with... Really my main question is do you have any advice as to where to begin this process?

Chris said...

Stephanie, thanks for your comment.

I think the best place to start is God's Word - what does it say about what you are wanting to do? Are you and your husband in agreement? I would start there. Then talk to your Christian friends, former or current missionaries, family, your church (almost all missions organizations require you have a church behind you). But be prepared for opposition, and from the people you least expect. Getting to the mission field is actually quite hard, esp. when you leave a life in the States. Talk to some missions orgs, if just on the phone - we found that very helpful and encouraging even though we ended up not going with one. Pray, a lot. God takes people to the mission field in many different ways... be open to how He would have you do it.

Here in Patagonia there is tons to do. Try to go with as much support (financial, moral, prayer) as possible. Missions is HARD, but remember, God does bless obedience!

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