1,095th Anniversary

That’s days. I like calling it that because it sounds like sooooo long. Actually, to you out there, that’s three years. Three years ago today we landed in Paraguay to start what we thought was a Christian mission. It turns out it was training strategy God wanted to do with us.

God has been so good to us these years. He has allowed us to meet some of the nicest people in the world. He has opened doors in front of us to forge relationships that will stand a lifetime. He expanded our family by one and we didn’t even have to change a diaper. I have lived a wealth of experience since landing here and learned so much.

I learned:

-that 45 degrees isn’t cool when it’s celsius.

-that I could live without air conditioning.

-that raining and 38 degrees  Fahrenheit may as well be 100 below zero in a house with no heat.

-that I could breathe while sleeping under the weight of 4 layers of clothes and 5 blankets.

-that I liked my weight in kilos much better than pounds.

-that when I could no longer get spoon-fed at church, my walk is all on me.

-that my Christianity was tied to tradition and my spiritual life was very culturally-specific to my home country.

-to grow beyond the language barrier and speak the universal language of service.

-what true poverty looks like.

-that these impoverished were not  void of joy.

-that you don’t have to be a follower of Christ or rich to feel the spiritual high of giving.

-that my children are incredible. They learned the languages and the culture and never seemed to notice there was a difference.

-that my wife has a true gift to encourage and bless those around her. She just makes everyone else better.

-that God has the liberty to leave the confines of the church building.

-that true, loving friendship buys the right to speak into the life of others. Sharing my life gave me more opportunities than anything.

-that family isn’t necessarily a blood connection. My neighbors adopted us into their family and we took another into ours.

-to rely on God instead of Mom and Dad or friends or the loan office or the yard sale or logic. We are flying high without the net.

-that just because the man has a police uniform on doesn’t mean I can automatically trust him.

-what it really means not to trust your government.

-that true justice only comes from the true Just One, and to place my trust in Him and rest.

-to deal with the fear of living on the donations of others, and to rest in the PEACE that God gives each month through His provision.

-there are exceptional people all around me–Paraguayans, missionaries, and other ex-pats working here.

-the tranquility of support from family and friends,Paraguayans and Americans, live and virtual.

-that I am not immortal and neither is my wife. I learned they have brilliant cardiac and orthopedic surgeons here.

-that death is both farther and closer than I expected.

I learned a part of what Christ must have felt coming to this foreign land, Earth. 

Everything totally different and no one like you around to connect with. I guess it’s a type of  loneliness until you fully join the culture you’re in–be it Paraguay or the Earth.

What have you learned in the last 3 years?

6 thoughts on “1,095th Anniversary

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  1. Its been an amazing 3 yrs! We arrived a few months before you all but i think you have managed to squeeze 20 yrs of experience and into 3 yrs!

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  2. “…that I liked my weight in kilos much better than pounds.” This I know!!

    “…that my Christianity was tied to tradition and my spiritual life was very culturally-specific to my home country.” This I know, but only intellectually. I imagine this can be a particularly difficult reality to impart to folks back home.

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    1. You are so right. It’s hard to make people understand the “American Jesus” concept, and how much of our Christian life is Americanized and how much is truly biblical. You have to get outside of it to see well and many times I still don’t.

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  3. Keep up the good work. What I have learned in the last 3 years could not fit in this comment section, but to sum up I have REALLY learned to trust in God.

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