April 4, 2009

The "Been There Done That" Crowd

Our local church back home in Greenville, SC has a Hispanic congregation as well. Being a part of their goings-on, becoming friends with their people, and generally hanging out with them were all big stepping stones in finding our call into cross-cultural missions abroad. We ministered with them and to them when possible, and before we left, they certainly ministered to us.

Pastor Cediel, a wonderful, Godly, family-oriented man from Colombia, invited us to be a part of their Wednesday night service just before we left the country. We had no idea we were actually the guests of honor, as was evidenced by our lack of getting "all dressed up" for the occasion. (How embarrassing!) I posted a blog previously about that special night--Click here to read it).

What really happened a few years back is that the Cediel family moved to South Carolina to begin a ministry to the influx of immigrants in our area. I knew how this was needed and was already feeling a pull toward the Latino culture, so I was more than excited to meet and befriend them. Not having a "day job" and knowing a little Spanish meant I was able to spend time with them during the week, when other people were occupied. I had the privilege of accompanying them to schools, appointments, government offices, and even taught la Senora Cediel (aka Martha) how to drive (okay, we had to go to the DMV several times before finally passing ALL the sections of the test, but she didn't know I wasn't the best person to be giving her driving lessons, and I didn't tell). It was such a joy for our family to spend time with them and other families from their congregation. We learned a ton and were thrilled to be included in their special occasions and activities.

So back to the service... we were called up front and anointed, and I remember the fervency of the prayers. I've thought about that service and the prayers they offered us many times recently, as I glance over at the Bible they gave us, or the Paraguayan flag, or the wall hanging of Psalm 91 in Spanish. I remember the looks on their faces when they advised me that God would be there even if we couldn't always feel Him, or that He would stick close to us so not to give in to fear. Little did I REALLY UNDERSTAND then that those words came because they'd been through what we were on the edge of facing, and that they spoke with the voice of experience. How I really value those prayers and their advice now that we've joined the "been there, done that" club!


  1. Wow i have read every blog you have wrote and i think this is my favorite. I cried. :) That night was awesome! We miss yall like CRAZY

  2. I don't know if I have ever told you that I lived in Greenville for several years. my Dad attended Bob Jones University,


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