Today I have been here five weeks and have officially made it to the halfway point. Time is a weird thing. It feels like I haven’t been here for very long at all and yet it feels like I have been here for forever. I sometimes wonder how I am going to make it five more weeks and then I wonder how there can only be five weeks left. One thing that is fast approaching is the ‘Around the Globe’ mission project. It is four weeks away and we don’t have anyone signed up, we don’t know many of the details, and all we can really do is wait.
The challenge is that projects like this are typically started six months to a year in advance and we got started only two months in advance. Another challenge is that we don’t know any of the churches here and so a lot of times our emails and attempts to communicate fall on deaf ears. But I am learning to trust God. He knows who is going to come, and what is going to take place, and most importantly what lives are going to be impacted for the Kingdom. Pray that we will have wisdom as we work out all the details for the project. Pray that we will be able to get things accomplished even under the time constraint. Pray for the people that will be involved that week–both for the missionaries to develop a heart for local missions and for the people we will be ministering to to be open to the gospel.
Another challenge has been learning to work on the Hispanic time table. Hispanic culture revolves around the moment right now, and not so much the moment tomorrow. It has been a test for my structured, organized, scheduling brain to relax and trust that things will happen as they happen. We had an event on Saturday called the “Summer Splash”. It was for the youth and children at church, but it was also for the surrounding neighborhood. We had about 50 people come, which wasn’t as big as I was hoping, but it was still a good turnout of both church members and neighborhood families. Marianna and I had organized eight stations with different water games and then we had a homemade slip-n-slide and a water balloon toss. It was difficult to get volunteers to help with the stations and so several of the stations went untouched. But, the slip ‘n slide and the water balloons saved the day. And in the end, despite the last minute, unorganized chaos of the day, it turned out to be a fun time of outreach and fellowship. Now we have a sleepover and service project to plan this Friday that we just started on today. I know it will come together like the Summer Splash did, and everything will be alright Last Tuesday, we had a movie night with the youth. We introduced them to the Emperor’s New Groove, and despite it being a “white person” movie (as they called it), I think everyone enjoyed it.
Tomorrow we are having Bible study with them. Please pray that their hearts will be open as we learn from Francis Chan how to “surrender”. Pray that the sleepover and service project will come together and that more youth will come. Pray that the power of God’s love will surpass all boundaries and that we will be able to build relationships with them.
Thank you again for your continued prayers. Despite the difficulties and frustrations, God has shown himself to be faithful again and again. No matter how much planning we are able to do (or not do), God is using your prayers to multiply our efforts more than we could ever do alone.
Written by Samantha Burgess