Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Tacos and a great conversation

We've been busy paying school bills, paying the rent, paying the phone bill and trying to see the floor in some of the kids bedrooms. But relational ministry is picking up. Tuesday was a good day, with a great prayer meeting at Jose and Adriana's house with about 15 of us present.

After the prayer meeting, Samuel and I went to visit Mardonio. Mardonio is my mechanic, sort of. I met him at the church after an English class and before a music class. He brought his son and daughter, but was looking for something else in music, and didn't bring them back. But through that contact, I later visited him. The first work he did for me was to tune up my van. He charged me $10 to do that. He told me that he didn't charge me because of our friendship.

Anyway, we went out for tacos. It was tag-team evangelism, with Samuel and I both speaking to him about the Lord. But most of all it was a lot of listening. Mardonio has an incredible life story. He is really a humble man, repeatedly saying how he has sensed God's presence in very clear ways in the past. He's a mechanic with uncanny ability; he can fix just about anything. Mixing rather crude language with genuine emotion, he told of how God helped him several times in the past fix impossible mechanical problems. "I haven't told this to many people, most people wouldn't understand." Samuel and I listened, ate and talked until 11:20. Tacos de suadero and tripa. Tasty! We are convinced that Mardonio is just a step away from opening up his heart to Christ. Pray for him please.

It was great to catch up with Jose and Adriana yesterday, part of our church planting team. They are excited, a little scared (so are we) and eager to see what God does in the months and years ahead. Today we ate breakfast with Martin and Laura (good time!), and then were able to counsel Claudia.

So much of ministry is just that...being open to the needs and God-given vision of people. Sometimes people know what they need, other times they maybe don't. Sometimes what they think they need is not really what they need! Overall, the most valuable gift we can give to anyone is love. Love can be expressed as acceptance, as welcoming, as listening, as a kind word or as reproof, even rebuke (that sort of love is more complicated). Sometimes all people need to know is that someone cares, and to be reminded that God cares too.

Finally, pray for Jim and Shari Cottrill, as they are on their last leg of a LONG trip, returning from Canada via New York state and all points south.

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