Monday, September 19, 2011

It's All about Relationship

What do you envision when you hear the word "missionary?" Or the phrase "missionary work?"
My guess is that your first thought is not of a group of high school boys hanging around the dining room table eating delicious, messy tacos and playing a game of Blokus.

It's probably not of a missionary wife whipping up a batch of frosting for a baby shower cake, either.
Yet that's just where Pedro and I find ourselves today. And, its exactly where we need to be. If there is one thing we have learned over this first term on the mission field, it is that "it's all about relationship."

The four boys hanging around our table are the guys Pedro meets with each week for personal discipleship. They are like a "band of brothers" (well, two are actually brothers) united first in friendship and now in their common faith in Jesus. But no one else in their family believes, so the encouragement of one another and the discipleship with Pedro is very important in their spiritual walk. Today is the second "Dia del Burrito" to which Pedro has invited them and for which he has labored over the stove to prepare a delicious Mexican meal unlike anything they had ever tasted before! It is our hope that as we eat together and play together they are able to see a more relaxed side to their pastor and Lord willing, witness the healthy family life that God enables us to have.

And the cake? It was a favor asked of me from our Peruvian friend Martha. She knows a young couple who are immigrants here and experiencing financial and familial hardship, and she and her friends prepared a special baby shower to celebrate their first child and encourage them. Martha herself is very familiar with hardship, and while she wished to make a cake herself she has no refrigerator or stove in the shabby one room she rents alone in a rough part of downtown Iquique. She offered to purchase the ingredients if I could help her bake the cake, but I assured her I was glad to do it. Her generosity humbles me, and I learn from it even as I try to reflect Jesus with her through this small act of service.

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