Hey everyone, I'm happy to say that we are here, and everything is going very well thus far. Crossing the border was fairly quick and painless. Getting to the church and connecting with our brothers and sisters was amazing, as always. The connection that our church has formed with the people and leaders of Iglesia Del Redentor is truly inspiring. The students for whom this was their first year even commented on how crazy it was that everyone who has gone before seemed to have friends here waiting for them. For me it goes far beyond friendship. It's a family reunion. I know that's becoming true for some of our other students and staff as well. Some of the students are already trying to convince me to let them stay and live here. Don't worry, none have convinced me...yet!
After getting unloaded we had dinner and then set out for our first outreach. This is always a great experience, but last night was especially cool. It was oddly different than years past. Usually, as we gather and someone from Redentor presents the Gospel, people at the end will respond by going forward for prayer. Last night it instead sparked multiple conversations that our team and people from Redentor were able to have all over the park, many of which resulted in prayers for salvation and changed lives, requests for Bibles, connections and plans for Sunday church attendance being made. It was so cool to see.
When we got back to the church I introduced our theme for the week. We will be focusing on Unity, which I believe is a central, if not THE central, unifying theme of the whole Bible. I spoke of the pervasive, unbroken unity that existed in all things and in all relationships--with God amongst himself, God with creation, creation with itself, God with humanity, humanity within itself, humanity and creation. From Genesis 3, throughout the rest of the Bible, all the way to Revelation 21, there's brokenness and disunity. The turning point of human history is Jesus providing a way for all of that brokenness to be brought back to unity by becoming broken himself on the cross, even subjecting the Trinity to brokenness, for the first and only time in history. He did this to provide a path back to unity, even though we won't fully arrive until the time described in Revelation 21 and following. It's going to be a great week diving deeper into what that unity looks like and how we, as ministers of reconcilliation, can step into that mission.
Thank you for your continued prayers. This week is going to be very hot, so pray no one gets dehydrated, and everyone stays healthy.