Standing on the Toes of Angry People

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This Bible was printed to be distributed in Ushuaia. They managed to distribute half of the Bibles that they had. There were thousands. The rest of the Bibles can not be distributed. They break a very important law.

You see, here in Ushuaia you cannot just talk about this city, or this province. We belong to a bigger vision than just here. This whole area is part of a living protest seeking to regain ownership of the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands.

As a result, any document, book or other propaganda must include the full name that belongs to this part of the world. That means that anything which mentions of Ushuaia or the province of Tierra del Fuego, must also include the Malvinas islands, and the Islands of the South Atlantic as well.

This Bible didn’t.

That is why it can no longer be distributed. Not having this full name is an insult to the ongoing protest. In the words of the city mayor, “It is treating the [Malvinas] islands as if they don’t exist, and as if we agree with the British occupation of them.”

It is like stepping on the toes of an angry man… something that you should never, ever attempt.

Starving Yourself Can Be Healthy

No foodIt started from a feeling that God was asking me to fast… after all, fasting is talked about all through the Bible. Then it continued with a realisation that most of the food I was eating was not really good for me. Finally, it all came to a head when I received a book I had purchased about fasting that turned out being all about health. It showed me that a fast was what my body needed to re-establish itself, allowing me to begin a new, healthier diet.

So now I had two reasons for fasting. The first was to seek more of God, and the second was in search of improved health. There was only one condition though… it had to be a pure water-only fast. Nothing, not even juices or drinks, could be included if it was going to be for health also.

It seemed easy. Just stop eating.

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100 Years from Now

A poem by Warren Parker

It will not make much difference friend, 100 years from now
If you live in a stately mansion, or a floating river scowl.
If the clothes you wear were tailor made or just pieced together somehow
If you eat big steaks or beans and cake, 100 years from now.

It won’t matter what of your bank account, or the make of car you drive
The grave will claim all your riches and fame, and the things for which you strive.
There’s a deadline that we all must meet, noone will show up late
It won’t matter all of the places that you have been, each one will keep that date.

We will only have in eternity, what we gave away on earth.
And when we go to the grave, we can only save the things of eternal worth.
What matters friend, the earthly gain for which some men will bow?
For your destiny will be sealed you see, 100 years from now.

House of Prayer

It has been a long time in coming, but finally we have finished building the prayer house. The bathroom area still awaits completion but will be waiting a while. The important thing is that we can now use the house.

For what? Well, obviously for prayer, but also for meetings, counselling, and as a place apart from everything else where you can study and think. Of course, being a House of Prayer, it is prayer that always takes precedence over the other activities.

The House of Prayer
The House of Prayer finally finished

COP - Looking at the side where the bathroom will be
Looking at the side where the bathroom will be, with the cesspit in the foreground

COP Inside looking at the front door
Inside the Prayer House, looking towards the front door

COP Inside looking toward the wood heater
Inside looking toward the wood heater

Our home-made wood heater that works wonderfully
Our home-made wood heater that works wonderfully

Carlos Anacondia in Puerto Madryn

Carlos Anacondia came to Puerto Madryn to run an evangelistic campaign in the city. It was amazing to see the number of people turning up each night at the location which was quite a long way out of the centre.

Each night he preached on the love of Jesus and each night thousands of people came forward to commit their lives to following Christ.

Poster for the campaign
The poster for the campaign – Jesus loves you

The stage, crowded with people
The stage, crowded with people wanting to commit their lives to Christ

People pack the stadium to hear Carlos Anacondia
People come from all over the region to hear Carlos Anacondia speak about Jesus’ love for them

Waving banners during worship
During worship the people waved banners with the music

Oh The Wind

Oh the wind. Today is a very windy day with strong gusts lifting up everything that is not tied down. My big bottle of Coke is wobbling precariously on the table beside me as I stare out at the impenetrable clouds of sand and dust moving along with the gusts. It is a good thing that I am on the protected side of our main building.

Dust
The dust thrown up on a still day

It is days like today that I realise clearly that I am living in the middle of a desert. A patagonia desert, but one with lots of dust and sand and very little green.

One day when I was travelling in a bus northward, I remember waking up to trees and grass and being astounded at how pretty it was, staring out the window for hours. There is very little green and hardly any grass here where I am living.

But life is not bad. It was just today. When the wind pushed dirt under the door jams and through window gaps. When walking outside meant being covered in dust and dirt whipped up by the wind. It was just today that had me wondering why I was here, in the middle of the desert, on a little YWAM base.

Now the wondering did not remain too long, and another gulp of Coke and some delicious food that was generously placed in front of me soon helped me to forget all of this pondering. Then another gust of wind came. Dust lands in my food. Crunch. Ow. Nasty.

I get up and wander back inside. Here is everyone else, all of us locked inside, as though it was a fierce storm outside. Here is lots of action, people chatting, cooking, laughing, and enjoying life. Here I forget about the wind, forget about my ponderings, and enjoy my food.

I am not here for the weather, nor for the pretty-ness of the place. Each time the wind picks up it helps me to remember. I am here because I believe that this is where God has called me to be.

Cindy in Brazil

A good friend of mine from my days in New Zealand, Cindy Ruakere, has brought out her third CD and is now at the beginning of a one year world tour. It starts in Brazil, and involves living in a slum and ministring to the people here.

Cindy Ministering in Brazil
Cindy Ministering in Brazil

Here is a small extract from her email that covers the part about life in the “favela” slum:

Heliopolis Sao Paulo, the place where the druglords are the ministry protection because the police will shoot you rather than look at you. Where we wear bright green vests to show that we belong to Iris ministries which is looked upon kindly as caring for the children of Brazil, so we are afforded relative safety in the incredibly unsafe streets of this the largest slum in the world. Heliopolis with 3 million residents .

Heliopolis, where we have to turn our lights off and flash them once to the druglord guards that are stationed at the entrance and along the streets of the favela (slum), where the Holy Given school is situated.

Heliopolis, where my bedroom window has to be closed at night in case there are intruders who easily climb over the roof and just as easily shoot you in your bed. Where gunshots and machine gun fire is a common enough noise.

This is the Brazil we have entered and where Jesus is walking among us. This the first stop on our world tour. What a privilege and honour to be among these people. In the city of Sao Paulo where 18 million reside and life is cheap, Jesus lives.

More information can be found on her website.

Wedge and Shirley Alman

Our second week in Buenos Aires was a week of teaching by the two people who founded YWAM in Latin America. Wedge and Shirley Alman are a couple who came to Latin America and told them that they could be involved in missions during a time when all of the traditional mission agencies were saying that they never would be.

At almost 80 years of age, this couple had many stories to share with us, but the most important thing that they shared was something called the Open View of God. More information on this can be found in the book by Gregory A. Boyd called “God of the Possible.” This challenges the traditional view of many churches that God controls all evil and uses it for His purposes.

The week was run as is any other normal week on a YWAM base, with our students involved in the daily running and maintenance of the grounds, cooking of meals and the rest. The weather was very hot and muggy with gadzillions of mosquitoes out to suck our blood at night. Sleeping was very difficult during this week especially.

During the week I had the privilege of driving down the largest avenue in the world, the Avenida 9 de Julio in the middle of Buenos Aires, where the Obelisk is located. The best part of this however was the motorway interchange that brought me down onto this avenue. The motorway is elevated from the ground and the interchange brought us commanding views over the entire city and avenue. It was worth returning for a second view. Of course the heavy traffic that is typical of such a mega-city was ever present during our time there too.

Overall the week was great, and we were thankful to have remained for this extra time in Buenos Aires, even though it meant we were away from our home in Puerto Madryn for one month.

The Time Between

Well, it has been a while since I updated this blog. What has been happening since Corrientes?

Carolina
The first and most important thing that has been happening is that I have met a beautiful girl from Colombia. Carolina was a student on the outreach in Peru that I was leading and since returning from Corrientes we have started to spend a lot of time together. More news on that shortly.

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Introducing Brodie to Carol via MSN Messenger

Building a House
That’s right, I have started to build a house. No plans, no permissions, simply find a corner and start digging the foundations. The only complication is that I have no idea how to build a house over here. The advice I have received so far is somewhat conflicting and I am still struggling with the basics of the foundations but there is progress happening.

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Digging the foundation trenches for the one roomed home

Teaching in Trelew
A couple of weekends ago I was part of a team that went to our neighbouring city of Trelew (1 hour away) to work and teach in a church there. We worked solidly for two days with the children and youth, also teaching adults in the evening services. Many of the children were impacted by the stories that we told them about our different nations (Latvia, Australia, Colombia and Argentina) and enjoyed our interactive teachings.

Translating Quickly
In YWAM we have a Discipleship Training School which is bilingual. There are two of us that translate the teachers, which normally is from Spanish into English. Most teachers pause while we are translating, which helps a lot, but some get so excited in what they are teaching that they completely forget. So in cases like this, we are both learning how to simultaneously translate so that the English students do not miss out on important parts of the message. It has been a challenge but also very enjoyable too.

So that is life down here in Patagonia Argentina. The weather is warming up now, and during the day we can normally take our coats off. Soon the beach will be filled with people as this sleepy town starts to bulge with tourists during the summer season.

Peru – Almost Robbed

Well, after two years in South America, a land riddled with stories of people being robbed and attacked and various other fear inducing things, I guess it was likely to happen to me at some point.

The Situation
It was Saturday night, walking with two of the girls in my team to the local church, when we crossed through a park on a path that we had often taken during the last week. This time there was a man in his late twenties following us.

I had noticed him earlier, but was not too concerned because he had not been following for too long. He was also whistling which put me further at ease, thinking that a thief would want to be less conspicuous. I was wrong.
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