I must say that this “Life’s Lesson” is one that is hard for me to learn. It is a “Life’s Lesson” that has been hard to me in every area of life, but has taken a new approach since being on the mission field. “Life’s Lesson” #8 is the lesson of patience.
Since God has made every person different and unique, patience may come easy to some whereas difficult to others. I can not blame on God that he “geared” me different from another person, rather I must learn to be more like Christ and learn to become patient.
Since my life has very much to do with serving people, I regularly meet with people at church, coffee shops, my house, in town, etc. But when I ask to meet with someone, I like to keep a schedule. Not only in Argentina, but globally, many people do not arrive exactly on time … therefore trying my patience. To wait for them and practice patience, many times makes my blood boil. Going to customs and waiting on paperwork, trying to pay bills, waiting for a phone company to fix your phone, trying to buy a simple house-hold article, etc., truly requires patience. Continue reading “Life’s Lessons on the Mission Field – Part VIII”
There is a very important “Life’s Lesson” that I have learned or am learning on the mission field and that is What is a missionary really supposed to do?
When I was 16 years old, the Lord clearly put it upon my heart to serve Him – and more specifically I felt He was directing me to the mission field. I desired to be a missionary, but did not know exactly was a missionary really was. Finally getting to college and then language school, the Lord began forming me more and more to what He would have for my life. I was very fortunate to have met a veteran missionary, Austin Gardner, who took me under his wing and began teaching me what missions really was.
When I finally arrived to Argentina in 2004, we started up and within a short amount of time the Lord sent us great young people who became pillars and leaders in the churches. I thought I was doing what a missionary really is supposed to do. I thought by leaving the United States and starting a church on foreign soil, that this was enough, but it really wasn’t what I was supposed to do. I was taught that anyone can cross a border – military, army, tourist, business men, etc … and I was no more spiritual than any of these men by simply living on foreign soil. So what was I supposed to do? Continue reading “Life’s Lessons on the Mission Field – Part VII”
There is one “Life’s Lesson” that I believe we have all seen and could unanimously cry out – that our God finishes what He starts.
When I was 15 years old, God brought me under conviction and I accepted Christ as my Savior. The next year, at the age of 16, God called me to serve Him with my life at a youth missions trip. I went back to high school and decided to study and serve Him. When I finished high school, I headed for college to prepare for the ministry of missions. I arrived and after hearing of the requirements, home work, classes, etc, I thought I would never be able to graduate – it would take a miracle for me to pass the courses! The years passed quickly and soon the God that called me, allowed me to finish!
I never thought I would be able to get married because I was not the best-looking nor the most talented person … but once again, the God that called me allowed me to get married! Continue reading “Life’s Lessons on the Mission Field – Part VI”
The fifth “Life’s Lesson” I have learned on the mission field is one that everyone knows, but one that has been an important lesson for me – learning to Love People.
Before coming to Argentina, I remember reading and studying about Argentina. I looked at videos of Argentina, read books, looked at pictures, listened to how they talked, etc. I thought I loved the people, but to be honest I think it was an emotional high without reality.
When we arrived to Argentina, I put my Argentine flag up, marked every holiday, tried to talk and act like them, etc. I wanted to be one of them. But as time passed by, I found they had in common certain characteristics such as people I knew in the United States, people I met in Peru, and everywhere else in the world….. they were just people. Although this seems so simple, it is still very complex. Continue reading “Life’s Lessons on the Mission Field – Part V”
The fourth “Life’s Lesson” I have learned on the mission field is how short life is.
A few years ago I was having chest pain and my wrist was hurting. I saw a few doctors and the majority told me that they did not know the problem and it seemed to be only a pulled muscle. The pain continued and so I continued looking for help. I finally arrived to a hand doctor where they did extensive studies and eventually made an appointment to see a specialist. I remember sitting at his desk and the doctor looking at my blood work and other studies – he looked at me and said, “it looks like you have rheumatoid arthritis.” I looked at him and remember saying, “I’m 28 years old, do you mean that I am going to have to take medication every day until the day I die?” It was at that moment the reality hit me that life is short. Continue reading “Life’s Lessons on the Mission Field – Part IV”
The third “Life’s Lessons” I have learned on the mission field is that every person is a volunteer.
When we arrived to Argentina we started the church and between my wife and I, we divided the church – everyone from 12 and under was her category and everyone from 13 and above was in my category. I did the singing, anouncements, offering, preaching, praying, etc while my wife did the nursery, kids club, SS classes, etc. It was quite funny now that I look back. Within a short amount of time, the Lord began to send us young men and women who are today great leaders in the church. One by one, people began to volunteer to help clean, help in a class, help in the nursery, be a greeter, pray in church, be an usher, etc. I knew that the teachers and leaders were to be the examples and therefore little by little began to put rules. Time passed and the Lord had given us a good group of teachers and workers, so I thought it was time for “the list”. I sat down and wrote a list of requirements and jobs that these teachers and workers had to do in the church – after all I thought, isn’t it a privilege to be in the Lord’s work. I presented my list to a group of teachers with requirements that I now see were not so necessary. Later I had a few looks and visits to my office with statements such as, “I don’t think I can complete all these requirements”. I was shattered, all of a sudden these hard workers that the Lord had placed in the church, were possibly not going to continue – what would I do. Continue reading “Life’s Lessons on the Mission Field – Part III”
The second “Life’s Lessons” I would like to share is the simple fact that God will provide.
When my wife and I were on deputation, we saw the Lord provide in mysterious ways and it was obvious to us that the Lord was taking care of us. Our life’s story on deputation was a clear testimony of how God works and provides. But it seems that sometimes we see God work and then we head back off the mountain and into the valley – where we do not see God provide for another long time. The amazing thing about our God is that he has continued to provide through the entire journey – He still provides as I sit and write this entry.
I have to admit that when we preparing to come to Argentina, we were excited, but very nervous at the same time. I was not sure of the exact city or location where God wanted us, I was nervous to start from zero, etc. But probably one of the greatest events that stick out in my mind about coming to Argentina was what began years before we arrived to Argentina. My wife and I would pray on deputation and in language school that God would prepare the hearts of the Argentine people. When we finally arrived to Argentina and was living in a hotel before finding a house and church building, our prayer began to change. We began to pray that Continue reading “Life’s Lessons on the Mission Field – Part II”
I wanted to share some personal thoughts from these 5 years the Lord has allowed us to be missionaries here in Argentina. The next few blogs I will be posting will be specifically addressing “Life’s Lessons on the Mission Field”.
This first lesson is the freshest on my mind as well as a very recent incident that happened. Just days ago, on Saturday, Mindy was in the hospital because of the loss of our baby. To make the story brief, she was bleeding a lot and if they would not have taken her to surgery, she could of died. Most of the nurses and hospital workers were on vacation and/or out of the office. It seemed that no one was attending us and Mindy was getting worse and worse. I began to pray with her and then in my heart, “Lord, please let her live, I need her, I will be different, please give her back to me.” This big scare that happened, brings me to my first “Life’s Lessons on the Mission Field” – the need of your spouse. Continue reading “Life’s Lessons on the Mission Field – Part I”