Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The internet mice of Manta aren't running quite so fast today

Here's the latest and greatest kiddos. Mark and I are here solo with the Proaños in Quito at the moment, and without internet at the house, so I apologize in advance for the lack of communication for the next 3 weeks, as it will be dodgy. Mark leaves Saturday, and I'll be heading to Guayaquil with him to see him off. I'll try to send updates as I can. Blessings!

Monday, February 9, 2009

This morning D&M and the girls left for Quito, which left Mark and me to fend for ourselves. They left us the truck, and we were able to hit Murciélago for lunch and beach. The blister that I rubbed on my right foot yesterday playing soccer did not really allow me to enjoy the beach experience much...it hurt to walk, especially in salt water. So we didn't stay real long, which was fortunate for Rafa, who was waiting back at the house when we got there. We ran errands with him, dropped him off at his place, and then had dinner, and came home and listened to music up on the terrace. A nice, almost free day.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I am so tired yet again! We had church at Aurora to start with where Mark and I played 2 songs in their service, and we got to talk to the gringo pastor for a bit before we left for Alfa y Omega. Oh my gosh...what a beautiful time! They have outdone themselves in generosity. We got there to the church, and they had us come on stage and they gave all of us gifts for our service during the VBS. These people do not have money, and yet they gave us all individual gifts. Then I got to speak in front of them for a bit as they asked for a 'speech'. It went surprisingly well, I think I was able to express my heart on the fly in Spanish. Hope more ops like that come about. It was cool. Afterwards it turned into a mad rush to get a picture with the gringoes. I hope I can end up getting some copies.

We had lunch at the Pastor's house, which was some yummy viche along with tuna salad. Afterwards, we watched the presentation of the play that Ángel directed the music for. Then, fútbol for 3 hours! It was a blast, although I didn't have shoes other than my church shoes, and my feet are blistered and sore now. I was pretty crappy I think, though they were really encouraging and kind. Afterwards one of the hermanos bought 2 3-liters of cola and we devoured them in a matter of minutes. It was so great. The generosity is a great lesson and example for me. Tonight, we came back and we went out for dinner at the first restaurant David and Mónica ever ate at in Manta. So good! So much food...and some unbelievable milkshakes, huge, for $.90!!! Oh my! I'll be back for shizzle.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

What a joy, that conquers exhaustion beyond exhaustion!

We got up this morning at 5 something. The outing was as both of us had feared: our presence was pointless (at least by all human calculation). I'm not sure what I misunderstood along the way. I could swear Mónica told me we'd be back by like 8am. Not quite. I don't think we even made it to Santa Ana by 8. Not to mention, we picked up 4 other people on the way, which meant there were 7 of us crammed into the truck. Not cool. So Mark and I sat around while they tried to sell clothes at this open market. Even Rafa told me he didn't really feel useful. But he at least was able to drive everyone there and enable the day to happen. Mark and I just made people crammed in. Whatever. I was trying to have a good attitude and try and see our purpose, but I was not stoked about losing our free time to go to Murciélago.

When we actually did get back at like 1:50, we had a mere 40 minutes before we had to put all the equipment back in the truck and head to practice at Alfa y Omega. I checked e-mail real fast, and then went to take a quick, 2 song snooze. I ended up sleeping about 30 minutes, and I'm not sure if that helped things or not.

Practice went well, we got a good bit of the questionable stuff nailed down. Mark and I were sort of shells of people. My voice was a little tired, but poor Mark's fingers were on fire - he's losing his callouses from playing so much. His hands were cramping too. We made like 5 different trips in the truck from the church to the field where the meeting was, taking drums, chairs, equipment, everything from practice. When we were setting up, we had a small crowd compared to before. But as we finally started playing, after tons of technical problems, it finally filled up some. We had about 90 by Rafa's count.

It was a long, tiring day, one that made me run away from people for a bit during the movie, cuz I hadn't been unwound or quiet for the entirety of the day. But the end of the day with the creyentes at Alfa y Omega, tearing down equipment, taking pictures with the kids, praying with eachother, eating hamburgers after the meeting, laughing at bad spanish, bad english, and every possible idiomatic fallacy inbetween, I was so happy, joyful, and even at 11:30pm after the day we had, I was bummed when Rafa said we needed to leave. The pastor and his family are amazing, and they have been amazingly hospitable. The others have been great...they were genuinely disappointed when Mark and I said we couldn't go to Alfa y Omega tomorrow (we promised to play in D&M's church). I think I'd like to go to that church regularly while I'm here. And they've apparently got some gift or something for us. It's too much! I love these people. I'm stoked about getting together with Ángel and doing some music stuff maybe. It works out well with his University being just down the road from D&M's. Anyhoo. Splendid night.

Friday, February 6, 2009

In the wake of the talk Mark and I had, today has been filled with joy and freedom, both around him and otherwise. The VBS, in spite of the car not starting for D&M and Rafa having to go back and getting them, ended well, albeit with a bit of frustration on my part as we could scarcely get anything done in terms of practice for our little gig tomorrow night. We had a nice lunch at an hermana's house down the road from the church, and then packed in the truck as we took like 10 people back including Ángel and Brenda to their classes. They ended up coming over for a bit after class to go over music, and it went quite well, we made progress even though none of us really had our instruments, nor did we have a full band. Then Mark and I went down to the pool to hang out with Mónica, and the place was packed. She told us that she'd just had an 'encounter' with a lady in the neighborhood who did not pay for the pool, but was bound and determined to let her kids use it. M explained that it was for those who paid for it ($7 per month - and she was ready to fight Mónica over it), that the fees they paid for the neighborhood didn't cover it. The lady, who didn't get the keys from Mónica, proceeded to lift her children over the fence, and they tumbled down the steep grass hill on the other side onto the tile by the pool. She stood at the top of the hill for a bit, watching her kids even now as the pool had come to be quite full of people (who do pay). We all had a good laugh looking at her watching from afar, probably scared of Mónica coming and opening a can on her. All my money would've been on Mónica for sure.

Mónica went shopping with one of her friends, and we stayed and looked after Micaela. Anita came and sat with Mark and me for a bit as we talked music, snobby people, and humility. Against her will, she's begun speaking more English and has actually proven to be quite good at it...which has pleased Mark since he can now participate in the conversations, but which also has me and Mark a little worried about the English comments we unwarily made around her before we realized how good her English actually is. Eventually Anita left, and Mark went back inside, and I stayed by the pool to watch Mica with my iPod and lots of mosquitoes to keep me company. As I sat listening to the new Anberlin record, just sitting by the pool not really doing any great spiritual feats, simply watching my friends' daughter swim in the pool with her friends, it occurred to me how joyful I felt. It was a quiet, beautiful, transcendent moment of clarity. I'm still frustrated when my plans get interrupted, which seems to be a frequent occurrence here, but I feel more and more detached from firm and solid plans for my time, and more and more willing to jump when told to jump. Even as I type, I fear making firm conclusions about changes in character as I write from the perspective of the very cage of flesh I reference. Nevertheless, here I am, and this is where God has me, with some of my favorite people on earth, making dents in the Spanish language, and peering wide-eyed into the days ahead that may hold any number of destinations and people I do not yet know.

One such departure from plans is in a mere 4 hours, when I get to wake up on a Saturday morning at 5:15 to go and help a guy at their church have a garage sale so he can get back off the ground and raise money to start his own fish business. Yeah, I'd rather be asleep. But I also feel like I wouldn't want to miss it for the world, and I couldn't turn it down when Mónica told me about it. And then, hopefully, Murciélago! And then, practice, and the 'gig' in Cuba tomorrow night with Ángel and everyone.

I should've been asleep hours ago. But me Mark and Rafa watched Walk to Remember (of all movies - I still really like it, especially all the Switchfoot songs and late 90s rock stuff...) and drank coffee as we did, and then I got to a part in Return of the King when I couldn't put the book down. Éowyn is so awesome.

And to think, just months ago, I was seriously considering sticking with my job for its consistency, occasional bright spots, travel (to exotic destinations such as Alabama), and weekly paycheck. Praise God that He finally shined the flashlight on the next step.

"She woke in the morning, she knew that her life had passed her by. She called out a warning: 'Warning! Don't ever let life pass you by!" Incubus - "Warning"

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"We are all lost in the sound of separation...oh Lord, have mercy, have mercy on us all." - Underoath "We Are The Involuntary"

First day of VBS today at Alfa y Omega. Great turnout! The kids did very well, well-behaved and all. We played music to start with, David did the ¡Señor Sálvanos! message and it went well. The games portion went well, they played that sitting version of soccer and flung their shoes around after that.

We tore down, had lunch at the house, and I found Mom on Skype...finally...that was great. The camera works at the house which is pretty awesome. Hope the internet keeps working when the Proaños head for the States.

After that was our 5th and final EuroFish meeting. Good experiences there (except for them fumigating right before our meeting today - my eyes were burning). It is cool how open they've been to us being there. I told David today afterwards that I think the openness of the culture here to the gospel is one of the main reasons I'm here right now. While I realize that it is the Spirit that draws people, it's also feels pretty foolish to not take advantage of the openness of the people and culture, since there is so much receptivity. All the same, I want to try someplace like Little 5 when I get home, just to see what the reaction would be. I always wuss out when I get home, so we'll see if this trip is any different for me.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Had our 2nd to last EuroFish meeting this afternoon, and had a warmup to VBS tonight in Cuba. Tons of kids came out, maybe 150-200 people in all. Angel the worship leader was there, and it sounds like we're going to have a full band to play this Saturday on the same futbol court. I'm stoked!

VBS in the morning...and EuroFish...alarm is set for 7am...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tonight we had a campaign in El Palmar. It was aight...we had about 40 people, and from the looks of everything, they were all believers. No harm there for sure, but it was funny how last night in Porvenir 2 we had 300+ in a church of maybe 20. I felt really judgmental tonight of the church in Palmar, and I probably shouldn't have.

No comments:

Post a Comment