Few in Number, Little Flock…
¡Hola from Argentina! It’s hard to believe that I’ve been living here for the last month and a bit. Everything seems almost familiar and just a little bit strange, and I find myself saying, “Am I really in Argentina, almost 5000 miles from everywhere I’ve ever lived?” Even harder to believe how it’s beginning to feel not quite so strange to talk in Spanish, a language which I barely knew 2 months ago.
The people in Argentina are passionate. I mean, extraordinarily passionate. Almost every greeting, every day you see them it is as though you had been away for years.You are as likely to discuss religion and politics as the weather, and every person will have a vociferous opinion, well-reasoned or not.
Phrases in Spanish carry so much more emotional weight than the exact same phrases in English, and the city here is vibrant, teeming with life, music and a very active pedestrian culture. The small ecclesia here has welcomed me with open hands and open hearts, and I am continually reminded that Christ is in the midst of us, even when only two or three are gathered together. We meet simply in houses, participating in the same readings as brethren the world over, breaking bread and drinking wine, praying as I know we all do, that perhaps this memorial supper, this remembrance would be the last reunion before we eat again at the marriage supper of the Lamb.
One of the highlights of the last month has been the gathering last week in Mendoza, a city in Argentina near the border of Chile, where we had a beautiful little weekend ‘convivencia’ (literally meaning ‘living together’, a lovely concept) at a facility nearby. Though every person had to travel at least 10 hours by bus, still we gathered together…a few from the ecclesia in Santiago de Chile and a few from Córdoba to laugh, learn and encourage each other even more as the day is approaching. One of the sisters and her son joined the group from Córdoba as we returned. Always lovely, but not surprising in the slightest, the ecclesia here welcomed them with open arms.
No matter the distance, culture or language spoken, brethren in the Truth are brethren indeed. In a continent where it is typical to have ecclesias of less than 10, it is delightful to witness and participate in new brethren meeting and instantly recognizing the love of God in each other. In a continent where the brethren often feel so alone and in such a minority, how lovely is it to know that there are others where the hope has not grown dim, who also clearly watch and patiently wait for the return of the son and the healing of the earth. As I was reminded by a recent CYC class that I had pleasure to Skype into: it is nothing with the LORD to help by many, or with them that have no power. Therefore please labor in your prayers with us, for the harvest is indeed great, the laborers are few, and we are of those who lift up our eyes to Him who is mighty to save.
Written by Sis. Colleen Uiga, Spanish Truth Corps