Beep, beep. Beep, beep. Beep, beep.
It was a bittersweet sound that broke the stillness of the brisk morning air. On the one hand it heralded the arrival of another exciting day. But at the same time reality struck each one of us – it would be the last time we woke up in Argentina. The Argentina ’08 trip was coming to a close… *sniff*
We began the morning with team devotions in Daniel’s room, where he shared some good wrap-up thoughts about the trip, what God had done, and about the awesome experiences we had been blessed to be a part of. He also talked about switching from trip mode to home ministry mode, and encouraged us to recognize that our ministry didn’t stop when we left Argentina, but simply changed.
I was reminded of this wise advice – “wherever you are, be all there.” Whether it’s ministering on an international trip, doing school work, or going to your “real” job, it all has purpose. Always live in today, and let yesterday’s memories spur you on in your faith, rather than clinging to yesterday’s memories wishing you could repeat the experience. Seize the day and glorify God in whatever He’s given you to do.
After team devotions, we all climbed on our bus for one last trip to Clamor en el Barrio. We had a great time of fellowship with the men there, praying for them, and encouraging them with a few final testimonies and scriptures the Lord had given different members of our team to share.
We happened to arrive while they were in the middle of laying brick for their new dining hall, and they asked several of the team guys to each lay a brick as a lasting sign of the friendships that had been built during our time there.
A batch of fresh, hot rolls, some Argentine wooden drum lessons, and lots of hugs completed the time there, and we reluctantly said good-bye to our friends.
The afternoon was busy with lunch (which takes a long time) and packing (which takes even longer 🙂 ). Finally, ready or not, we started lugging our still-heavy suitcases out of the rooms toward the bus. It always amazes me that with all the craft and team supplies we bring and leave behind, that our bags are still weight-limit heavy when we leave! Go figure… 🙂
Dinner consisted of leftover pb’n’j on the bus. Unfortunately however, we didn’t have any plates or knives to make the sandwiches. Adrian acted as our top chef, using her long fingers to spread peanut butter and jelly on the slices of bread handed to her by David, while Tim held all the containers at particular angles. It was a humorous sight to watch, with the occasional “oh no, where’d that glob of jelly fall” and Pastor Roberto laughing at us from the front while being slightly disgusted by the weird ingredients we were eating (the process didn’t bother him at all 🙂 ). Finally Elizabeth helped Adrian wash her hands by pouring water from a water bottle over them as she held them out the bus window. With our stomachs full of food, and our hearts bursting with happy memories, we arrived at the airport where we were sent off with lots of hugs and tears by Pastor Daniel’s youth group.
Nine hours later, and already short one team member (Josue had a direct flight to Mexico from Argentina), we arrived in Florida to begin another ministry trip – this time to our own families, churches, neighbors, and co-workers. “Seize the day” has become our team motto, reminding us to live every day for Jesus, glorifying Him, and spreading His light to all places of the world – north or south, hot or cold, big jobs or little.
Amy, for the team