Today was very very very busy, i.e. nonstop… in good ways 🙂
First, woke up at 7, then promptly fell back asleep until 7:30. Was slightly exhausted. Breakfast with team, then left with translators for our church around 8:45. The morning was going to be evangelism, but there were Jehovah’s Witnesses walking the streets at that exact time, so Pastor Fernando had us switch around our schedule. Interesting to remember that other religions/cults also do evangelism globally.
Instead, we did training with the 12-or-so people that showed up. PG gave a blurb about our purpose for the week, and a basic run-down on how to handle an encounter. Step 1) give your personal testimony, because no one can argue with your own experience. Step 2) share the Gospel, using materials (evangecube, e-folds) if you like, and discuss any questions they might have. Step 3) go over the Gospel again with the tract. Then PG handed it over to me for Step 1—I gave my testimony as an example, then people practiced in groups (life before Jesus, how you accepted Jesus, life afterwards). Then PG asked if 1 or 2 people wanted to share their testimonies, and my first interesting observation—people genuinely wanted to share their stories. Where usually, people I’m around at church avoid sharing or praying like the plague, here, people stood up to share even after the fourth person had gone. And these were incredible stories, involving things like incredible peace after challenging and eventually strengthening faith. More than one person cried in the middle of telling.
Tina did Evangecube demonstrations. Then it was already time for lunch…! Delicious xifan-type stuff. The afternoon, we were split into 4 groups and each went to the house of one of the group members. My group arrived to talk to the daughter of one of my group members, and there I had the most genuine and difficult-in-a-good-way conversation ever in Bolivia. She’d been reading the Bible, and asked us questions like how the Trinity works (she believed that Jesus and God were separate Gods since Jesus prays to God on Mount Olive, and also that God created Jesus somehow). She also talked about the church nearby where the pastor treats people very badly, and she asked how come God let such a man lead His church? This to her was proof that there was no such thing as this religion. I talked with her (through Carmen), and Anabelle and another man (part of our group) talked a lot with her too. Eventually, she said she still wasn’t ready, and that was okay—we prayed with her and left.
Another thing I learned here was that I still have a pride thing. Carmen suggested halfway through that we call PG to get him to come talk with her, but part of me was a little hurt and wanted to be able to handle this on my own. It turned out that there wasn’t data anyway, but still—I wanted to consider myself 100% spiritually capable, even as I struggled to answer some of her questions and discuss things I’ve been questioning for years. Praying for humbleness.
Church service was from 5-6:30-ish, and Mario (one of the lead singers) was absolutely joyful, as in jumping-up-and-down-to-the-beat-and-dancing joyful, which made me super happy, since I’m also used to restraint/embarrassment to do what no one else is doing. PG gave a short message, translated into Spanish and then into Quechua. It was Mario and Pablo’s birthday, so we sang and it was SO CUTE because they’re both super hyper and happy. Mario and his wife pulled us aside after the service and gave us hand-made super-warm jackets, and I was super touched.
Dinner was fried chicken at Tropical Chicken, and now I’m getting ready to go to bed 🙂
One thing you can also pray for me is has to do with this being my second trip. I’m not seeing thins for the first time, and so have found myself to be less alert, since I have expectations and memories. I need to work on seeing things anew and experiencing everything fully 🙂
Isabella – 7/10/17