Hello friends and family!
Today is my eleventh day in Cordoba and I have been soaking up every minute of being here. From late nights, great steak, perfect weather, to a diverse culture, I could not be happier. The first few days were spent with some visiting Chilean missionaries. It was such a pleasure getting to know them, even though they speak the fastest Spanish I have ever heard. We stayed at a mission and over the course of a few days helped lead a church service at a prison, played with kids at the Galpones (poor area of town), and walked around at night praying and talking with people in Cordoba about Jesus. We also went to the mountains last Monday and it was gorgeous! These Chileans have a radical faith that has inspired me and challenged me to grow my own!
Oscar (chilean friend) and me at La Montana de Cordoba
They left on Tuesday night and I will miss their company as I had some great talks with them about life, faith, and future goals. They all have dedicated their lives to telling others about Christ and I am very thankful for the short time with them… I am now living with Ruben Ricca, who is the pastor of the church I attend here. An amazing man with a deep voice and passionate way of preaching the Gospel. He is the father of German Ricca (the head of Christ for the City) who is my “boss”. His family is wonderful and it is a packed house with his wife Graciela, son with wife and little 9 month Pedro, uncle, and the abuelita (grandmother). Meals are so fun as we all eat, share matte (a type of communal way to drink hot tea), and have an intriguing life discussion. I am learning great amounts of Spanish out of necessity as no one in the house speaks English. I love the challenge as after 3 months, I hope to have a strong grasp on the language. Meals are typically bread, potatoes, and some type of meat. Also, their time clock is very different from the States as they eat dinner at about midnight, stay up later, and wake up around 11. I kind of like it, but it is hard to not feel lazy waking up that late. That is not the case as the day picks up from there.
The program I am with, Christ for the City International, has been great so far. Two times a week, we go into the city and give coffee or food to the people and just talk with them. We tell them about Jesus, have a short Bible lesson, and pray. It has stretched my comfort zone as I approach strangers to strike up a conversation and trust the Lord will guide me to bring Him up. Most people here are non practicing Catholics, so they know they Jesus, but do not live for Him every day. Each conversation and interaction I have with someone else is another opportunity to show them Christ’s grace and love. These opportunities are all around, I just need to seize them every chance they come up.
We also visit the Galpones (poor area of town) on Saturdays. It breaks ones heart to see the conditions they live in and I pray they can find Jesus as their Savior, not drugs or what the world wants. Other than those plans, my time is fairly flexible. I plan to fill my days with studying Spanish, God’s Word (with my Spanish/English Bible), and heading to the city to talk with people and tell them about the Jesus. Very simple, but I am excited for the times of solitude and times of pouring out into people.
The city of Cordoba is unique with 17th century buildings that look very well-kept. It has such rich history and at night, it is beautiful with all the lights! I am going to enjoy living in this city, spending time with the Lord, and telling other’s about Christ’s love. Also, I am going to buy a bike to go into the mountains when I can and spend some time riding around. Would be a shame to not take advantage of them!
Thank you for you prayers and support. I will post this week a video update of the trip so far, as I have clips from each day to make a monthly video of my time here.