The trip itinerary keeps morphing as God reveals more and more of what He wants to do with our team in Argentina. The latest twists include Mike speaking at 2 different youth conferences to hundreds of young people, including one event for 350 people with a 4 hour teaching block. That's a long time to speak cross-culturally from a platform!
The itinerary as currently understood (we're obviously not in control) is: Thursday land and drive from Cordoba to Rafaela;
Friday meet with area pastors, interact with people in town, prepare for conferece; Friday night launch of Love & Respect (amor y respeto) conference for about 500 people;
Saturday meet with pastors, couples, then split for round 2 of L&R conference and Mike speaks at youth rally for 350 kids at a nearby school;
Sunday counsel couples, disciple local pastors, then split up to go preach in area churches;
Monday leave early for Santa Fe; arrive and launch church planting couples retreat for 43 regional native pastors and their wives; pour into them with discipleship training, spiritual leadership devotionals, marriage enrichment and then intentional time of renewal for these folks who have NEVER had a weekend away from kids and ministry since starting while usually working 2-3 jobs to support themselves;
Tuesday wrap up retreat, transition to town center for a 1 night Love & Respect Conference;
Wednesday another Love & Respect conference and Mike speaks at another nearby youth rally for young adults;
Thursday travel back to Cordoba for return flight.
What's exciting and overwhelming is that itinerary is tiring and it's just the things we currently know will happen...who knows what else God has in store!
On a related but different note, I was talking with a friend about his life in Christ...his spiritual walk with God and growing through trust/faith issues. Previously we had discussed marriage through lens of "Love & Respect" principles, but as we waded into the issues he was having with God it struck me...a glimpse of the "profound mystery" behind marriage in God's reality: I asked if he believed God had "goodwill" and if knowing God was worth working to "decode" those things he did not immediately understand about God?
Think about it...we have friends and loved ones who strive for years to understand us and get closer but never fully "get us" at the core. Isn't God at least as complex? David cried out "who can fathom the depths of His ways," so I'm thinking we're a silly comparison. In male-female relationships we read books, attend seminars/retreats, and apply effort to "decode" what things mean that are not naturally or intuitively grasped so we can experience the fullness of relationship. Will we "decode" for God? When His written Word does not immediately make sense - will we strive to piece it together and hear what is being said? When we don't understand why God lets something happen...will we believe in the cosmically ultimate "goodwill" of the Father and in faith seek understanding?
Biblically, when a prophecy has multiple and escalating fulfillments it's called "telescoping." It's like a prophet sees a truth on a distant hill not knowing there are succeeding silouhettes of even bigger event hills behind the one he's describing each equally and more grandly fulfilling the prophecy revealed by God. The truths of God's plan for marriage and human relationship have always been intended as a "greatly profound, deep mystery" in their ability to provide fractal like glimpses into the cosmic relationship of God to His people. Isn't that an amazing treasure to behold?
Do you decode? Do you operate under a framework of the God-Goodwill?