Where do we go from here?
This is an important question in the life of every person. When I (Daniel) was working in campus ministry, this was the question he dealt with most often. What am I going to be when I grow up? What will I do if I fail this class? Now that my relationship with someone has ended, what will I do now? Now that I am graduating, do I have to grow up? And how do I do that? During times of change, it is natural to ask, “Where do I go from here?”
This question has been really important for us as we begin to wrap up our ministry here in Buenos Aires. We have been blessed by eleven months of great ministry. It has been full of joys and challenges, happiness and disappointment. We have watched some readers grow closer to the LORD; we’ve seen others take steps back or dis-appear entirely. We’ve developed great friendships with people here at the church and within our ministry, yet we also know it is possible that we won’t see any of them again. Where do we go from here? How do we proceed?
One of the most important things to us is telling people that we are thankful for them. Recently, our Sunday Morning English class studied the passage of the ten leprous men. All ten had been healed, all ten had their lives changed and were infinitely thankful. But only one returned to tell Jesus he was thankful. We were challenged to let people know that we were thankful for them and to be specific. We are so thankful for each of our friends and readers. Each one has taught us so much spiritually, culturally, and personally, and we are truly blessed by our time together.
Our friends at church have been our second family, accepting us in, inviting us for meals, celebrating Christmas and birthdays with us, traveling with us, laughing with us. They put up with our bad Spanish, and they encourage us when our Spanish improves. They listen as we ramble in a second language and fumble for words. They build us up and encourage us daily. We are blessed by such an amazing family of God.
We have also been blessed by the Youth Group here at church. (Youth are anywhere from 14 to 35, depending!) We have developed some amazing friendships, and it will be hard to not see these individuals every week (or sometimes every day!) We have traveled with these people, around the city and around the country. We’ve laughed and cried together, encouraged them and been encouraged by them, prayed with them and prayed for them. We’ve watched them grow in their faith, and we’ve rejoiced as some of them have chosen to follow Christ this year.
So, where do we go from here? As we pack up and head home in two and a half weeks, how do we build on what we already have? How do we continue to help our friends, brothers and sisters, and readers continue to grow from afar? How do we continue growing in our Spanish? How do we keep blessing the church, and being blessed, when we return to the US?
We have some plans on all of those things. (Check out stories on page 2 about upcoming transitions.) We don’t know what God has in store, but we plan on facing our future with the joy brought on by our present and past. Thanks be to God for our time here in Argentina, and blessings on our future.
(Published from our Missions Bulletin, June 2012)