Tuesday night we met as a team and spent a lot of time really wrestling with how to plan for the retreat we'll be putting on in Argentina for 40 church planting/pastoring couples. It's a unique opportunity. These are 40 leadership couples living an "all chips in" intense faith walk on the frontiers of missions. Many of them are in their mid-20s, who just a few years ago were lost in darkness and are now running in faith with the life of Christ and little else. How do we minister to them? What's their greatest need(s) and how do we drip the right volume of truth balm within the time frame we've got to work with?
Take Adrian. He's 26 and leads a church plant in the ranchlands. To provide for his family he bakes bread in an outside oven, delivering the bread personally because it presents an opportunity to share the love and truth of Christ. For a voluntary job he goes downtown each day to the government office buildings and washes the cars of the officials to demonstrate the "free gift" of Jesus. He also works in a bicycle shop where he home-delivers repaired bicycles, again so he can share the illustration of how Jesus can repair broken lives in the course of doing a "job." For Adrian, his 3 jobs in addition to pastoring a small church are all part of the same ministry fabric. A job is a ministry opportunity. He does all of this in a town that is terribly resistant to the truth of the Gospel - a crowd that when outreach conferences have special music many of the people will refuse to even clap or sing along and just stare in cold-heartedness. He continues in joy. Wow.
We're thinking about a combination of planned renewal time, teaching on Life in Christ as a framework for ministry, keys to maintaining spiritual health as leaders and some ministering as a couple topics. What a privilege to pour into these great warriors of the faith!
We're also hoping to raise some funds and find some donated items to give some encouraging gifts to each of them. Perhaps some cosmetics/toiletry items for the wives they don't normally spend money on, and maybe Bible covers or some practical gifts for the men. Tokens that Americans take for granted but that can truly bless the heart of field workers for the Kingdom.
Tonight we're in the throws of a marathon. We're watching all 6 hours of the Love & Respect Video Conference at once. From a translation perspective this helps our team anticipate some of the idioms that will need cultural and linguistic preparation and also for us to focus on distilling which key nuggets of truth are truly needed in Argentina. Due to time needed for translation and breaks, we somehow have to boil a 6 hour English conference into about 2 hours of net English speaking in Argentina...that's tough!
Exciting times. Worthwhile wrestling. Thanks for partnering in this great endeavor! Sol gloria Dei!
Update on Funds: praise God, we're nearing the 1/2 way mark - and have received $2,500 of the $5,600 needed!