Volunteering and traveling in Argentina to proclaim God's great love, and hopefully not getting sick along the way.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Day 107 and 106

Saturday is officially my free day. I was supposed to meet with a friend, but unfortunately, that didn't work out. Nevertheless, I took advantage of the moment to buy certain things for the house. Carrying a few grocery bags home however, proved to be an intolerable task.

Then God blessed me with a woman who offered me a seat on the overcrowded bus. But then, a woman and her child got on board and while I was ready to offer my seat (as is the culturally appropriate, and just straight up nice thing to do), a man stopped me and offered his. I rested comfortably the rest of the way home.

Got to thoroughly clean part of the house that has been abandoned in the past couple months. And as the motto of "Leave things better than how you found them" was repeated several times this week, I felt like it was my way of helping out.

Talked with the parents, then Cristian..

Started watching The Wolf of Wall Street, but as it was way too inappropriate, I switched it off. Some things in life are best left alone. I did read about the protagonist's real life, and it seems the movie was spot on when it comes to his endeavors. "Can't serve God and Mammon," kept coming to mind...

Sleep.

Today, the "good deeds" come to dropping off all the recyclables that have been accumulating in the house as well as paying the latest cell phone bill for everyone. We plan on switching services this week, therefore the earlier to pay off the debt, the better. Oh, and there was washing the house linens.

Why do these details count? On Friday, the team talked about being stewards of our time. The teammate from Belgium talked about how he feels it appropriate to treat the mission work like a job; as if we need to clock in 30 or 40 hours a week in order to be faithful to those who are supporting us. The Argentine teammate talked about her busy schedule being her life, and not compartmentalized for things which are God's time, and things that aren't.

First, let's recognize the cultural differences in the treatment of time between the two. In a sense, both are right. In a sense, there are human fallibilities within them as well.

In the first one, we should consider how much time we are working. But our focus is not our supporters, our focus is God. We need to be faithful to him. At the same time, we are to be people of integrity, and recognize that money is helping us be here in the first place.

Personally, I lean toward the other perspective, but I see how some might take that in the wrong direction. One might give themselves too much personal time (free time), without feeling the urgency for the gospel.

And the final comment is to remember that certain everyday tasks from the States take longer here. Drying clothes depends on the weather. There is no dishwasher. No microwave. No carpet for which to use a vacuum. No car to get you to the shops/ministry locations/etc.

The temptation is to say that one way is better than the other. I even caught an Argentine complaining about "our" way of handling time. Rather, we should look at the advantages and disadvantages of both.

I just got back from mentor time with Andrea. Next comes church. I am continually trying to be fully present in these moments (and not distracted by work, wedding planning, etc.) to best utilize the time here.

love and chau!

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