This being my second trip to Argentina, nothing thus far has come as a surprise. Instead what I have observed most are the people. It is not because they are more or less beautiful, better dressed, more or less intellectual. In fact they are very similar to citizens in the United States.
What instead I have noticed is the hurt in their eyes, teenagers and adults alike. People are no more lost here in Argentina than they are in the suburban streets of Boise. The political and social atmosphere might be more dire, the streets and little more heart pounding to drive on and the food tasting different (even though it looks almost the same), but the need for God’s Spirit to break down walls of apathy and brokenness are very familiar.
That is why I firmly believe God has intentional and strategically planted Centro Crecer here in Córdoba to reach out to the people and simply give them an opportunity for hope and healing. Sam Masters, the head pastor here at the church, along with Sasha Rasmussen, our urban youth missionary contact, with the blessing of God’s Spirit, have effectively constructed a sustainable and growing culture of authentic community and worship that draws people’s hearts and minds to the Good News. They are a mission-minded, Gospel focused center of God’s grace and peace.
So far the team has experienced so much in the ways of another culture and worldview. Community is essential here, while tasks and clock managing are not. Conversation has been challenging, yet extremely rewarding when common ground is established. We pray God will continue to use the simple act of conversing to change our hearts as well as the people we interact with.