Thinking of the day by day ....
It’s hard to think that we have been in a pandemic for more than ten months. At the same time the months have gone by fast and have been full of so many things. I have lived in Argentina for eight years and this is the first year I have not gone to Bolivia to visit my family and the first year I have spent summer here. To tell the truth it’s really hot and I am a person that prefers a more temperate climate and the cold. The fact that I am here has made me think of what I could do this summer. One thing is to take advantage of all the people that are on vacation and take advantage of the fact that I have permission to be on public transport and so I can visit those who have a stricter schedule due to their work or their routine.
I started January with the goal of visiting one person every day or at least call someone with more than just a hello; I wanted to connect with hearts. So here is what a week or so has looked like:
On the 2nd, three friends came by and we ended up going to the river where we talked about our year and later that night we had dinner at Gaby’s house. She lives in Hurlingham (the city where I live) and lived with me for awhile a few years ago while she got established in Argentina. She was baptized in Venezuela, where she is from, but hasn’t been able to get connected to the church here. It’s been good to bring the church to her by doing things in groups. She is always so encouraged by people visiting her especially because she is a doctor and has hardly any time to be around people. She contracted Covid in November and is still in rehabilitation and is not allowed to go back to work yet. This has made it possible for her to be more present and she has been able to attend church by zoom and I’ve been able to visit her once or twice a week to help and accompany her in anything she needs done.
On Sunday the 3rd, I wrote a former Brazilian student of mine. She knew I attended a church and since she has been in a lonely confinement she had been in contact with me even though we hadn’t seen each other since last February. It’s been nice to be there for her as she is alone in the city. That Sunday we were able to meet as a church with a group of 25 and I invited her to join us. After church we went to a park where others from the church had gathered. She said she wants to continue meeting with us and she has a lot of questions about the church which she knows she can ask openly about.
On Monday the 4th, I and another friend went to visit a Brazilian sister in Christ. She meets with the church in Belgrano. We met in Bolivia while she was doing her missions internship with AME (a missionary internship program in Brazil). She married her husband here. The week before her cat had died and so we went to encourage her and spend some time with her.
Tuesday, I spent the day with my daughter hanging out.
On Wednesday to Thursday my daughter and I went to visit a sister in Christ who meets with us at the same church but who lives far away. It was not easy to visit her as we had to get a transportation permission to travel that far and so we spent the night with her. She is divorced and has a 19 yr. old son who lives here. Three years ago her other son died when he was 19. I hear her talk about God and see how she loves and it’s impressive but I admire her even more after hearing her story and what’s she’s lived through. I lost my father eight years ago and my grandparents who raised me five years ago. Remembering the pain, seeing how we processed it and thinking of how we can go through this time with those who have lived through it also... it makes me want to be a part of a community that listens, cries with those who cry and who wants to be a part of the healing. Right now we’re set up to have a study ever two weeks at her house.
That Thursday night I met with Gaby because she needed some time to talk with someone. She is open to starting a Bible studying and focusing more on God.
Saturday we went to lunch with some members from the Belgrado and Redentor church. One studied at the Ecuador Bible school and is now collaborating with his church here and the other also spent some time helping his church in Colombia. They both encourage me a lot in my walk with Christ.
Sunday and Monday we went to visit my uncle and his family who live far away but whom I hadn't seen since October. My mom has contracted Covid and so I was thinking a lot of my family. I miss my mom and ask you to pray for her.
Tuesday I met with Thomas Banks and we had breakfast and then lunch together. He really encouraged me. We spoke of the church here- he has been here almost 60 years as a missionary- and the changes he has seen. Everything he does to help the community and bring people closer to Christ impacts my life. I think he shows me Jesus in every act and word. I ask God that I can continue learning from him and his walk with Christ.
Even though this month I have had almost daily meetings or visits planned with people, some who I see rarely, I also save some days to spend just with my daughter and be at home. We cook and maybe bake something sweet and watch a movie and enjoy the fact that we have nothing else to do. I am learning to take care and give attention to my own family as I care and give attention to others outside of my family.
As you see, more than setting aside time to visit, share and eat with friends, it is time to learn, to see Jesus at work in others and to be Jesus for others. Something I want to mention also is that culturally we have a meeting time but we don’t have an end time! It is normal to spend three to five hours with someone and view that as normal. This is why it’s important to have time to deepen relationships and connect more with the hearts of others. I would like to have my time with God reflect that. With a meeting time but with no limits on the ending. Time to enjoy His presence and know His heart better. I don’t know how your January has been. I don’t know what your goals are this year, but I pray this for you also: that you get closer to the heart of God and put less boundaries on the time spent with Him.