Full of Farewells
I am told that time passes faster as you get older. Although I don’t feel any older than I was when I first arrived in Córdoba six months ago, the time has passed more quickly than I could have imagined. I feel that just now I am beginning to understand the culture, beginning to know the people. It’s the little things, like hoarding small bills because you know that half of the people won’t be able to make change: learning which stores have the best croissant-like medialunas; and knowing which of the hundreds of buses that pass every day will lead to where you want to go, that really make a foreign country feel more like home. It’s the chance to connect, to build bridges that haphazardly span the language and culture barrier, the really makes you feel blessed. I am often reminded of the apostle Paul’s statement, how he planted, Apollos watered, but God grants the increase as I leave Córdoba, with their small but lovely ecclesia, to move on to Bolivia. And somehow, like so many others who have travelled, I find myself coming away feeling richer, knowing that I have been given so much by my time here.
On my way out of Córdoba and into Bolivia, I had the pleasure of stopping by for visits, always too short, in Santiago, Chile and Lima, Peru. I have decided that I will never understand why a flight between Argentina and Bolivia, that share a border, is so much more economical if I travel through two other countries first. I don’t understand, but am more than happy to have a chance to greet your brethren from other parts of the world. They send their love and wonder when you are coming for a visit, maybe to stay for a month or six? With the brethren in Chile, we shared some lovely fellowship with our brother Robert Alderson from New Zealand, and he encouraged us and exhorted us. We welcomed Eva, just moved to Santiago from La Paz, and explored the city a little bit.
Lima was a bit of a whirlwind visit, but in my day there I had the pleasure of breaking bread with the small ecclesia that meets in a second floor room of the house of one of the members set aside for that purpose. That evening, one of the families with their three children and I met for a lovely dinner and bible readings, and then I was off early the next morning, always wishing for more time, but happy to see the fruits of the faithful work of local and foreign brethren over time.
Right now as I write this, once again I’m sitting in an airport, watching the people pass by, thinking back on my past experiences and wondering what adventures will be coming next. Good-byes are always sad, but in our faith they are less so, as I look forward to the day when all the faithful will be gathered from the four corners of this round earth to meet the son at his appearing. May we all be found faithful in him at that Day. Until next time, God be with you until we meet again.
Written by Sis. Coleen Uiga, Spanish Truth Corps