Tuesday, April 12, 2016

New Leaders

February Encounter - Our first time together
In December while most of my team was visiting their families for the holidays, I had a lot of time to think about God’s vision for my ministries and my role here in Cordoba. One of the areas God and I talked about the most was the discipleship classes. At that point, we only had one discipleship class, and it only had one student. However, God was prompting me to envision the potential of these classes. I began to see that they could be more than just training new individual leaders. These groups of people would experience their Encounters together, grow together, and spend a lot of time together.  If they were unified in vision, mission, friendship, trust, there would be no stopping what God could do with them. While I was praying and planning God was preparing people’s hearts. I only knew two of the nine people who would eventually attend the February Encounter. Eight of those attendees now meet every Saturday to grow together in God and leadership.

Wait, what are we doing?
Our Saturdays get real fun at 4:00 when we meet the Barrera family at the church for worship team practice. Enzo, Cristian, and Luca bring their guitars, and Marina brings her picnic basket full of mate supplies. After an awesome jam session, the rest of the worship team goes back to the house, and the Barreras and I wait for the other discipleship students. All the missionaries take turns teaching the classes, but I try to attend and help with each of them since I am in charge of the ministry. Laura and David always show up first and Ana and Beatha are always late, but eventually we are all together. Since we are Argentine, we continue drinking Marina’s special mate (made with yerba, coffee, sugar, and love) and snack on flaky rolls from the corner bakery all afternoon.

Partner Interviews - Every Barrera talk to a non-Barrera!

Each class has two 20-30 minute lectures with time before, between, and after for group discussion and team building games. At first I thought fun, culture-relevant games would be hard to find, but the truth is that every tired, worn-out, used-up American game or activity is brand new here. Zero of these eight people had ever done a human knot before two weeks ago. Zero. Which actually made it incredibly difficult…

After two months of classes, these leaders have shared their testimonies with each other, prayed for each other, memorized scripture together, studied, discovered, and laughed a whole lot. They love God, love our church, and they really love each other. The victory of one is the victory of all. The struggle of one is the heartache and inspiration for the others to serve and support. Knowing that these are the leaders who will lead others, the disciples who will make disciples, I trust God has a big future planned for this church. 

Slicing apples to learn that, as God's tools, we each have our own unique purpose, which is not to
slice apples. Marina with a pizza slicer, Ana with a melon baller (ice cream scooper?) and Ashley
and Beatha cheering them on 

Also the day the worship team wore soccer jerseys because we all love God, but we don't all love
the same team. Enzo with a potato peeler, Cristian with his fingernails (maybe?), and Luca with a
cheese grater

Family Sunday: Each month, we have a special themed Sunday. For April, we had Family Sunday where we asked people to invite their family members. After the service, we ate real American chocolate chip and lemon cookies (two different types, not together) and took fun family pictures. Both services had first time attenders and lots of great pictures!

First Service - We may not be photogenic...

Second Service - ...but we have a lot of fun!

The entire Barrera family: Cristian, Carla, Sol, Luca,
Marina, Enzo. Sol will attend her Encounter and start
discipleship classes in May.

Beatha and her sister, Stephanie

Ana and her mom, Ana's mom

Ashley, Sofi, Laura, and me. We are family!