recovering and CCC

kitchen counter turned pharmacy; all the meds we’ve been on for weeks – bye-bye meds! we’re through with you. for now.

We are finally almost fully recovered from our most recent battle with these brutal Patagonia viruses. Agressive, like the wind here.

Perfect timing, because our friends from Campus Crusade for Christ just rolled into town on Sunday.

They’re a great group and this is their first time in Neuquen, coming from the city of Mendoza 12 hours away. Last minute their contacts, both cars, place to stay, and conference location all fell through, leaving us as their only contact and help. After Skyping with them several times, trying to put this all together amidst sickeness and half a dozen hospital visits, they rolled into town by bus at 6am Sunday morning. Tony has been on call 24/7 since then – playing the roll of host, chauffeur, liason, organizer, and friend.  I wish I could count the number of ways God has shown himself all over this trip, honoring their faith to come, providing every last thing for them down to the very last detail, but there are just too many.

Monday, when the kids were feeling somewhat better, we all went over to the house where they are staying (another perfect timing thing – friends were out of town at exactly the time they were coming in and opened their house for the whole team to stay, whew!). We sat around the table catching up – we have not seen them in 11 years. Mauricio, CCC staff for twenty years, remembers praying for Tony’s salvation back when we all lived in Buenos Aires. He jokes how half of Buenos Aires was praying for him. Now here we all find ourselves, in Patagonia, reaching out to others, working together.

Their visit has been such an encouragement to us, a link to our past, a window to the present, a reminder that God is in the Big Picture.

I have a real admiration for CCC and a special place for them in my heart. I first heard the gospel through them at college in the US. It was through them I found a church in Buenos Aires when I was a baby Christian. Campus Crusade is a fantastic ministry, and they are not only strong in evangelism, but in discipleship and leadership training. They took the time to come to my little apartment in Buenos Aires over a decade ago just to disciple me as a new believer. I wasn’t even a university student – just some poor gringa lost in a big, bad city. They had no obligation to come or to help me, but they did, not bound by the limits of their ministry, but looking always after the work that God is doing.  I have never forgotten their kindness and their friendship.

Tomorow their 3-day seminar and leadership workshops begin. The church we attend here has been so gracious to host this last minute, not charging them a thing.  Tony has been going around visiting churches and talking to youth in the city, telling them about the 3-day (FREE) seminar, and the response has been a hearty, “That is EXACTLY what we need!“.

At this very moment they are all downtown at a radio station, having been given a 20-minute space on air to advertise the event. We are praying that God hooks them up, the beginnings of a much needed ministry here in the city, equipping the next generation to reach their country for Christ.

Amidst all the chaos and illness of the past two weeks, God has sent not just one, but two people to come physically to us with encouragement. It makes me tear up and smile at the same time.

Last night we had the pleasure of meeting the son and grandson of American missionaries. Juan’s parents came from the US in 1947 with two young children. Juan was born here in Argentina. His parents never returned to the US, all their children growing up here. Juan is still here, having married and had all his own children in Argentina. He is a pastor and leader of missionary objectives here in Patagonia, just like his parents.

He called us last night – a strange mix of American and fluent English and Argentinian and perfect Spanish. He had driven almost four hours with his son to pick up someone at the airport here, and wanted to stop in and meet us. While they were waiting for the plane and their guest to arrive, we fed them dinner (at the norm of 10pm), thoroughly enjoying their company. Our impressions of Juan were one of dedication, peace, and eternal perspective. He reminded us {when we have most needed it} that our life here on earth is temporary, coming to a definitive end. Eternity if forever. Why do we, as Christians, often live as if life here on Earth is the most important, and do not live for Eternity? In discussing the comfortable life in America {that all five of us greatly miss!} as opposed to the difficult life we all live here, he reminded us that Christ NEVER thought of nor pursued his own comfort. He lived with Eternity in view. Always. He came to do what his Father had for him to do, a life marked by obedience. Why do we Christians live any different? We do not allow our lives to be led by the Spirit, yet chose to seek after our own desires and goals, living for comfort and economic status and following hard after the material things of this world? As Christians we are constantly tempted to do this. We do not live for others, for Christ, we live for ourselves [and I include myself here], telling ourselves that this pleases God, that this is what God wants me to do. We do not read the Bible and do it, we explain it away saying we are called to this and that, we are not called to actually DO what is written there. No, not me.

I can relate. I feel this way often. I don’t want to care about sacrficing for Christ, I don’t want to obey, I want to relax. Life’s just too hard, Lord, can’t we just pull back and chillax for a bit?

We look forward to the rest of the week of improved health, fellowship, and training. Tony will be attending the seminars and CCC will also be giving us our own personalized training on how to use the 2 1/2 hour JESUS film in ministry and evangelism. Hooked up. Feeling a little better this week. Thanks for all the prayers – I mean, THANK YOU. Many days we feel like giving up. Then there are days like today when encouragement rolls into town, someone donates the next two month’s rent, and we look at each other with relief and renewed hope.

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.” Psalm62:1

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