I’m having a great time in Huancayo so far. Its friggin’ cold, though. I didn’t bring me a sweater. Thankfully, the pastor here lent me his.
I just now got back to my room. I’ve been gone all day (it’s 11pm here). I had a good day, though. I’m very excited for you to meet these new friends. Juan Jose is from Lima (Los Olivos), but has lived in Buenos Aires for the last 24 years. His wife is Argentina and his kids have been raised there.
I’m a little nervous about tomorrow because I think very few will “get it”, but it’s too late to change my message even if I thought that was the right thing to do (which I don’t). I spoke tonight to the youth group about Matthew 25, how Jesus identifies himself with his disciples and promises them protection through the generosity and mercy of others who don’t even realize that they’ve done anything special. I told them that God gives grace in the same way and that they should be on the look out for “hermanos” that have needs because they will encounter Jesus there. Afterwards, a young man introduced himself to me and told me that he had just recently come to Huancayo as well. He was abandoned by his parents at a young age and has been living on his own in Lima since around 13. He told me he came to Huancayo to find his parents and reunite with them. He told me that the message I preached spoke to him in some way. I’m hoping he comes back tomorrow.
Pray that I don’t get sick. Right before we got here I ate a bowl of soup with the pastor and his family in a small restaurant. It was going to be very awkward to say no, even though I’m pretty sure the food had been sitting out for a long time. Now I’m hoping my stomach gets some protection from God too.
We definitely have to come back here at some point, all of us, to see the beauty and all the culture they have here. It’s very much worth the travel.
Say hi to the kids and give them a big hug and kiss for me. I love you and miss you a ton!!!
I facilitated a 3-hour workshop on Jesus’ way of building community: “in weakness” (poverty, small numbers, vulnerability to persecution, nonviolence, etc.) and yet with power in the gift of the Holy Spirit (love for enemies, generosity, abundance, signs and wonders, prophetic critique, prophetic energizing, etc.). I think the overall piece went a lot better than I expected, though I had some insecurities about a few parts toward the end. Anyway, like I said, I’m anxious to write more about it but that will have to wait.