Monday, May 2, 2011

The Former Things

Things continue to go well here! It's finally spring, and even though the city already smells like summer (sweat and B.O.), the flowers and budding trees make each day feel so fresh and new. Ah. I love spring.

Sometimes I forget what it's like to go to a "normal" church where you have your own building, your own baptistry, and the powerpoint projector gets to stay in one place. For the Christians here, baptisms mean setting up a portable baptistry in the Buntings' apartment and connecting it to a hose from their kitchen sink for 45 minutes, and so their kitchen/dining room gets moved into their living room. Crazy, huh?

Here are a few other crazy things as of late:

The other night as Jady began teaching our mid-week study, we heard really loud and distracting noises from the floor above us in the hostel where we meet. One of our members went to check out what was going on and simply reported back, "It's a team of Peruvian dancers. They'll be there all evening." So for the next hour, we got to hear their chaotic drums and dancing.

The church also rents a small office space (a.k.a. a room in a hispanic cultural center) to accomodate additional studies. Last week there happened to be a career fair going on at the same time as one of Jady's group classes. So as we learned about Abraham's faith, we were serenaded (blasted) with full volume Spanish music. Just a little distracting.

And yesterday morning as I sat down with Kiana (a new Christian's teenage daughter) for Bible class, she immediately reported, "One of my classmates got shot. He's dead." So instead of jumping into our lesson, we talked and prayed about the gangs in the city and what that means to a young girl living in the projects. It sure opened my eyes.

Living here is such a learning experience. It also makes me long for Heaven--where there will be no Peruvian dancers distracting me from worshipping my Lord or evil men threatening the lives of those I love. "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."