“Peanut, Peanut Butter, AND JELLY!” I think American’s like their Peanut butter and Jelly. Since we have discovered that Argentine restaurants do not know the definitions of “fast” and “to-go” we decided (on Jamie’s suggestion) that we would make a quick bag lunch: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Doritos (which have become the teams’ official food), and other random foods. This lunch was pretty American. Complete with the efficient assembly line to make the sandwiches. There were jelly people and peanut butter people and then someone would put the bread together and put it back in the bag. Marcello (our bus driver) was very confused about what we were doing. He sat there watching us with this weird and slightly disgusted look on his face. We offered him a piece, but I don’t think he took one ;-P
Today was a rather eclectic day, filled with many different activities. We probably had devotions that morning, but I can’t remember because I’m getting old and my memory is fading. After that, it was off to another market to do some shopping; something that we haven’t done much of since coming here. Our destination was the illegal Bolivian market. It was a very interesting place. Crowded booths packed together with blue tarps and other things forming awnings over some of the shops;
Tin roofs and lots of people walking around. There was this man who was selling these noise makers that sounded like angry cats. He walked around with this ‘cat’ in a bag (actually some sort of stick attached to a contraption in the bag) and walked around throwing it at people’s feet and making weird cat noises with his noisemakers. If one hadn’t been paying attention, one might think that there actually was a cat in the bag. I think he enjoyed making people jump. David bought one of those confounded things 😉
There were a lot of African people there. I really wasn’t looking for very much to buy that day, so I just went from one African’s stand to another’s talking to them. It was neat to be able to meet some of them and ask them where they were from. I met people from Nigeria, Ghana and two other countries. Some people found jackets that said “Argentina”; those were quite the hit.
We finally took team pictures.
We went to a Japanese botanical garden for the event. I think that the Argentine’s that were with us must have thought we were very vain – taking so many pictures of ourselves.
The only problem with the team pictures, it that it looks like we were on a missions trip to Asia, not South America 😉
The rest of the day was spent resting, playing soccer, watching a movie that Daniel was in and getting ready for the last night of the family conference. We split up for the last time and went to our separate churches to wrap up four days of teaching.
I worked with the kids at Pastor Daniel’s church. My team – team #1 – was amazing. John, Kaytra, Adrian, Laura and Lorianne were a great team. They did pretty much everything, from telling stories, to teaching lessons, to doing crafts, to yelling at – I mean correcting – talking children. They all made it really easy to keep things moving! Thanks guys, you were SO great! We finished our time with the kids talking about Genuine love. We sang lots of songs with the kids. They were so cute, they would sing us Spanish songs and then we would sing them English songs. We ended with the story of the good Samaritan. I was the narrator, but I laughed right along with the kids, because the actors were hilarious. Daniel was the man and Amy and Adrian were pretty much everyone else. They kept on doing random funny things that would make me die of laughter – so much for keeping a straight face. It was a very challenging four days with the kids. I know that I was stretched, my whole team was stretched. We all learned to trust the Lord, more then our own abilities. It was great.
The Youth programs at both churches finished up. Both teams said that they thought that God really spoke to the hearts of some of the participants. The team from the other church then joined us and there was a final large assembly. Pastor Salazar had people give testimonies of things that they had learned. It was neat to be able to see Fathers get up with their wives and children and testify about what the Lord had done in their lives. The kids also sang and said their verses. They were pretty cute!
Daniel and Amy did a chalk talk – My Heart, Christ’s Home – for the last time.
They both did an excellent job!
We closed our time with the churches singing our team song for the first time, and sharing a little bit about how they had touched our lives. John spoke about when he had been feeling sick, how people had come up to him and offered him tea and a place to sleep. He was very touched by their kindness. It really was an honor and a privilege to work with these precious people over the past few weeks. We have grown to love them.
It took us a really long time to say goodbye to everyone. There were tears, laughter and lots of pictures. I hope that we can see each other again soon.
The night wasn’t over yet. We went to a steak place for dinner. We’ve eaten a lot of steak here. Dinner and the family conference would have been exciting enough. But, alas, our missions trip was not complete without at least one medical emergency, complements of Laura, who began having extreme trouble breathing. I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say that Daniel and Elizabeth rushed Laura to the emergency room, while the rest of us prayed that everything would be OK. Praise the Lord, she was fine. While the symptoms looked like something very serious, it turned out to be non-life-threatening. They didn’t get back from the hospital until 5-6 in the morning. They did learn one thing that night, though: Pastor Daniel can drive really, really fast!
God has been good to us. He has preserved us and given us stamina over the past three weeks just when we needed it. Our team has really bonded together and become a family. I am so glad that I was a part of this team! We’re here in Argentina for three more days, who knows what will happen next!