It is no secret that speaking Spanish has not come naturally to me. Some days are better than others, but in general, everyday is a battle. Living in Peru has made me appreciate all the more the gift of conversation, especially dialogue about the Truth that has set me free.
Over a year ago, I accepted the fact that the Spirit of God had given me an extraordinary passion for the Holy Bible, a desire to give my life to God's Word and to be, God willing, anchored in its propositions, subject to its convictions, and submitted to its exhortations. This zeal was not new, but the recognition of its uniqueness and its purpose were.
Last year, I was convicted that this compulsion to immerse myself in God's special revelation(i.e., His inspired Word given to us in the Bible)is not for me alone, nor even primarily, but this gift is for the church. Raechel can testify to the fact that I did not come to this conclusion quickly, nor comfortably, but with much fear and trepidation. Yet, I have never been more sure of my calling to proclaim the glories of God the Father in the face of His Son by the power of His Spirit.
It is this calling that makes weeks like the last one extremely challenging. This week was one of those weeks when my tongue seemed to utterly fail me and all attempts at sharing the hope that I have in Christ felt undermined by the language barrier that constantly mocks me (cursed be the leaders at Babel!). Convinced of the gift I have received and burdened with a desire to share it, my inability to communicate the Truth that has so captivated and transformed me is a great struggle. This burden is made endurable by the obvious ways in which God is working through my Peruvian brothers and sisters.
(Allow me to emphasize this last point. The burden that I feel to preach and teach the truths of Scripture is not born out of an absence of such proclamation here and now in Lima. I have been greatly encouraged by the gracious gifts that the Spirit has showered upon my friends in Palabra Hecha Hombre and in the church in Santa Rosa. My Peruvian brothers and sisters who are laboring for the Lord here are equally burdened to see God the Father glorified by people loving and honoring His Son through the Spirit. They work tirelessly to this end, and I am humbled by their faithfulness and zeal. I pray that God allows me to be as passionate and bold as my Peruvian friends when I return to the States.)
Even now, my burden to proclaim the only Name under heaven by which people can be saved (i.e., Jesus, the Son of God) is being translated into action. I have spent the last year spending my free time taking seminary classes in preparation for my calling to be a pastor. In sports fitness terms (recall that I used to be a personal trainer), I am in preseason, training my heart, soul, and mind for the task that lies before me.
Finally, since the very beginning of my time here I have found that one of the ways that I can best support my ministry partners is by entertaining kids. Most of the youth we minister to have children, and crying kids are not conducive to effective discourse. Therefore, I employ my natural childishness in the service of the Gospel. Below are various pictures documenting one of my "jobs," i.e., playing with kids. It is tough work, but somebody has to do it.