Sunday, June 15, 2008
Today began with walking out of a restaurant after waiting for over an hour for food that never came. For some reason we had a suspicion that we were being discriminated against, especially since everyone around us had been receiving prompt service (a little Argentine pride). So we decided to drive through our faithful, fail-proof restaurant: McDonalds. It was very entertaining to watch Daniel and Elizabeth order a dozen hamburgers while walking through the drive-through line without a car (we all waited in the bus). We finally got to eat dinner at about 1:30am.
Laura Frahm was on a flight from Miami to Buenos Aires and someone was going to have to go to the airport at 4am to pick her up. You must understand that the majority of the team is sick and all of us are struggling to keep good health. Any rest at any time is important and necessary.
At 9:30am, we went to the church of the “outside tent.” This church is a ministry to men seeking to be free from drugs and alcohol. There are 90 men on the property, many have already graduated the program and are serving the Lord by ministering to their weaker brothers. Everything on the property is handmade by the men; they cook their own food, build their own buildings, and make their own furniture out of pallet boards. Many of the men live on the streets and are taken in by the “band of brothers.” They are discipled in Christ and held accountable for 30 months. The ministry very much reminds me of Teen Challenge. They all sleep in one large tent. It is so good to hear them sing of how Jesus has redeemed their lives and how His blood gives them power to conquer all addictions.
This is the same church that gave us the warm welcome with drums and singing. Since it was Father’s Day and Sunday, whole families were there to celebrate. (By the way, Happy Father’s Day to all our dads). After sharing with songs and testimonies we began the family conference. Everyone was divided up into four groups: men, women, youth, and children. The purpose of this seminar is to strengthen the family at the heart level – to turn the hearts of children to their fathers and of fathers to their children. Our team was assigned to work with the youth and children. For some reason, there seemed to be a spiritual wall – a barrier in communication that was more then just the language. Please pray for these young people, that the Lord would allow us to build relationships with them and be able to share the life of Christ with them. We will be returning there tomorrow.
Then we went to another church where we presented some of the things we will be doing in the family conference. We gave some short testimonies and Dena played her violin (everyone here really likes it when she plays). After the service we stayed a while and talked with the people there. Today the focus was inviting people to come to the family conference that will be taking place this next week.
I thank the Lord Jesus. I got barely any sleep today and yet, it didn’t bother me at all. I was able to get about a two hour night’s sleep before I woke up to go pick up Laura at the airport – but it felt like a full eight hours of sleep. And the whole rest of the day I was fine. I am learning that the weaker I am, the stronger Jesus is. In our inability, Christ is able. Jesus is giving us all that we need. Everyday we are learning new ways in trusting God.
Throughout this whole trip we have been pushed beyond all that we had ever expected. We have been in circumstances that have stretched us to know Jesus in newer and greater ways. Jesus is mighty, and we have complete fullness in Him.
Tim for the team
Inside the tent church
Playing a game with the teens at the tent church