Let's be for real, I could never do that...I had to have one of our translators help me with how to even say that. Haha
The Power of ONE (translation of the title)-- This is our TORCH theme for the summer.
Have you ever thought about the power of ONE? At 33 degrees Fahrenheit water is really cold, but that's it. It's just cold. But at 32 degrees, just ONE degree colder, it freezes. Such a small change can make a drastic difference. ONE point on my PRAXIS test can keep me from passing or failing, being licensed to teach or not. ONE can make a difference. Whether it be ONE bible study, ONE encouraging word, ONE welcoming smile, ONE comforting hug, ONE voice heard, or ONE compassionate heart. In the long run, it all makes a difference. Many times you may have heard the phrase, "don't sweat the small stuff." Which is true, you shouldn't worry about it, but you can't forget about it either. You, yes you sitting there staring at your computer I'm not talking to everyone else reading the blog, I'm talking to you, that ONE person. You can make a difference. Honestly, you probably already have made a difference in more than ONE way. So the next time you get that thought in the back of your head that says "Oh, it doesn't matter" or "ONE ______ won't make a difference." Tell that thought it's stupid because we have ONE GOD. ONE omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent God. That ONE God created you and He expects you to be that ONE who makes a difference. It took a lot of ONEs to get this group down here for this mission work. ONE TORCH leader interested in going to Costa Rica. ONE shady Costa Rican who found the church in Buenos Aires. ONE initial trip to begin which has now led to 3 campaigns here for the past 3 summers. Let us be incredibly thankful for the power of ONE.
2 days down already, can you believe it? We sure can! Today was a long day for some because it consisted of organizing and preparing for the days to come. We began with our delicious breakfast of eggs, bread, bananas, and of course rice and beans (see picture #1). Afterwards, Daniel welcomed us with a short devotional about how thankful he was for us being here and to be campaigning with his family, both physical and spiritual. For those of you who don't know much about Daniel, I'll try to go through some highlights. He has a beautiful wife, Meribel, who is in charge of the kitchen. They have 3 daughters, two of which I know, Jennifer and Daniela. Daniela is married to Videl, who is in charge of the door knocking portion of our campaign. She is also pregnant with Daniel and Meribel's first grandson, Santiago, who is due very soon. Cristian, Daniel's other son-in-law, has joined us as well. He has been our song leader and we are blessed to have him and his family with us. Jennifer is currently a student at a university in San Jose, and we are glad she was able to join us for the campaign this year. She is such a blessing to have to work with the children from leading songs to teaching bible class. If you can't already tell, Daniel's family does some amazing work for the Lord here in Costa Rica.
I was blessed to be a part of a door knocking group today. Personally, I love door knocking. While I am lacking in the communication skills, there's just something about it that I yearn to be a part of. My group consisted of 2 gringos (Tyler Gist and myself), a Panamanian (Jose), and a tica (Kimberly, a native Costa Rican). Our path today led us to two great bible studies. The first was with a woman who had some knowledge of the Bible from a Catholic past, but did not agree with everything that is a part of catholicism. I was surprised at how much I was able to pick up from their discussions about various topics like speaking in tongues and the Old Testament vs the New Testament. The second woman we met with said this was the first time she had a group to come into her home to talk about the Bible. She said how she felt ashamed because of her poor living conditions and that when she had visited other churches people had looked down upon her. After speaking with her, she agreed to have another bible study tomorrow afternoon. I was very excited to hear this and I hope that she continues to be receptive to the word of God. More than anything, I hope that she will see that true Christians will never judge her and that the brothers and sisters here in Buenos Aires would love to welcome her into their Christian family. From what I heard from the other groups, two other bible studies were set up for tomorrow.
This is where you people come in: Prayer. All we can ask for our loved ones at home is to pray. Pray for our safety, and the work we are doing. But most of all, pray that the hearts of these people be opened to receive the living water that only Jesus can provide. We are only God's instruments, it is He that causes the increase. Pray that He leads us to those who need and want to hear His word and believe in His love and everlasting life.
The Old Hickory group and a few others spent much of their morning organizing skits and activities for our Vacation Bible School that starts tomorrow. They have some great things planned and the children at the schools tomorrow are going to love learning about Paul! The Old Hickory group is doing well. They send their love and miss everyone!
Tonight was concluded with the first lesson in our gospel meeting. John's lesson was brought to us via translation by Diego. "El evangelic poder de Dios para cambiar de amo" which means "The gospel power of God to change owner." He used the story of the demon-possessed man in Luke 8 to illustrate that Jesus had the power to change the man's owner from Satan to the Lord. He reminded us that everyone needs to humble themselves and know their condition in front of God.
Tomorrow we go into the full swing of things with the men's class and the ladies' class beginning in the morning. Then the afternoons will be divided between the VBS group going to a school and door knocking. Lastly, we'll have another lesson brought to us for the gospel meeting that takes it's theme from Romans 1:16. Our fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ has been heart warming and I look forward to more time spent in worship and study with them.
"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever, amen."
PS-- Kennedy, Brandy, or anyone else coming to Hondo who may understand the love of Despicable Me, there is minion duct tape at Walmart...just thought you should know that.