August 4, 2010
To The End of the World!
We just finished watching Pirates of the Caribbean, so I couldn't help but think we were sailing to the end of the world when we visited Franco Isla last week. Its name means Frank Island, but it's really just a place near the lake, about a trillion miles down long dirt roads. The views of the swampy wetlands and grazing cows are just gorgeous. I kept my eyes peeled for the little crocodiles that are so yummy as nuggets, but I didn't see any on this trip.
We went to Franco Isla to visit two of the members of the Friday night band (see previous post) The fellas live with their mom, their aunt, and their grandmother. We had lunch together, took a long walk around their property, and had a group meeting about ministry. It's such a privilege to watch these young folks take this bull by the horns and get so involved in reaching out to the community.
After the meeting, we noticed a few neighbors walking to the house and realized that it was time for Sunday service. We stayed on, did our best to understand the Guarani, and Saúl was asked to preach. It's so strange to hear him speak in Guarani! I was happy to understand most of his message this time, although it could be because he mixed a good bit of Spanish words in. That's normal, but I think he does it more than most. Either way, it was a happy moment for me, to feel like I was seeing some progress after all this time of studying the native language. After the service, the pastor (the boys' mom) set out bowls of butter cookies and popcorn as a fellowship meal. The ladies who'd come brought fruit for the pastor, and they insisted our family take home a big bag. The way the people share what little they have is so inspiring and humbling. I had never met these women before, but they were thrilled to give us food--something that probably goes lacking at times in their own homes. I have a hard time not saying, "Oh, please, keep this for your family. We have plenty and don't want to take from what you have," but this isn't polite. I've learned after much discomfort to accept it graciously. It was a joy to spend time with the ministry group and the church family at Franco Isla.