Posts Tagged With: jesus

Chao Cordoba!

Heading out of Cordoba to Santiago Chile! The past few days have been so uplifting as I reflected back on my time here as well as sad turning the page to the next plan God has for me. Last night, I had a conversation with Diego about missing friends here and moving on. He had great advice to give and told me to not worry, as there comes a time to move on so we can grow. He could not be more correct as we have to move on in order to grow. If not, we would all be complacent and never continue to rely on the Lord for His provision. 

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Me and my great friend Julio during my last night on the street. He has grown tremendously and has started to come to church! Praise God!

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Selfie with the team on my last night at the street!

So many great memories that I will take with me for the rest of my life. Christ for the City had a huge impact on my heart and I know He will continue to teach me lessons from this experience. The trip may have ended with this stage, but the relationships don’t have to. I look forward to continue growing friendships that were started during this phase!

Here is a video from one of my last nights in Cordoba. Absolutely beautiful sunset!

Well, I have to go as I quickly wrote this post during my stay in the airport in route to Santiago. I will be there for 5 days with the Alcance Urbano team over there. After, I will return back to Argentina to do some world class dove hunting and relax for a few days. I hope to post in updates while in Chile as well. No matter where I am, I can and will be a light for HIM!

God Bless!

-Justin

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Video Project

Hello friends and family!

I am excited to let you all know that the video I’ve been working on for Christ for the City Argentina is finished! Check it out below and I hope you are inspired by it!

In other news, German has left for the states, so it was the last time I will see him for a while. Although it was sad to part ways, I am so thankful for his friendship and the time we shared together. He has a huge heart for the Lord and his life reflects that. I am excited to see him again soon (in this life or the one to come).

Me and Scott Jackson during our Muster here in Cordoba.

Scott Jackson and I during our Muster here in Cordoba.

This week, Texas A&M had Muster’s all around the world. Here in Cordoba, me and Scott Jackson ’99 had our very own Muster celebration. I cherished getting to catch up and talk about A&M and the Aggie Spirit. Very refreshing to have had this time!

The past few days I have been sick with a sinus infection, but am improving with rest, herbal tea, and this medication called “Qura Plus”. Pastor Ruben gave it to me and it is doing wonders! I wish we had this Qura Plus in the States.. I may have to bring some back.

As my time here is winding down in Cordoba with Christ for the City, 2 weeks left, I am in a state of great reflection. Life has been so simple and relaxed here, very refreshing. The people I have met have been great blessings as my friend group here is a supportive group of strong Christians. Life long friends in whom we can keep up wherever life takes us. Also, the Ricca family has been so special to live with. They are such a close family and so welcoming of me. I am greatly thankful for them and the countless delicious dinners, in depth conversations, and exchanging of cultural practices.

Pastor Ruben and I after Easter Church service.

Pastor Ruben and I after Easter Church service.

This past Easter service was fantastic at my church here! This church has such a radical and passionate way of worship the Lord, which is highly energizing. One of my friends, Alejandro, asked me to edit a video for him. I worked on it last week, while thinking it would be shown at youth group. Then on Sunday, they showed it on Easter in front of the whole church! The video ended and they finished acting it out in real life. It was a fantastic service and an Easter, or Dia de Pascuas here, to remember.

One of the best friendships I have had has been with Pastor Ruben (the head of the house I live in). He devotes so much time to pursuing the Lord and encouraging people in the church to do the same. He stays up late in the night discipling others or learning about the Lord. He has a contagious personality full of joy, joking around, and a strong spirit. He will be visiting Dallas in September and I look forward to seeing him over that visit! I highly respect this man and am thankful for his hospitality and being able to learn from him every Sunday and every day living at his house.

Tonight is the second to last Friday Street Ministry I have here, so I am excited to make the most of it! This is one of my favorite nights as I get to just spend time with the homeless here and love on them.

Besos y abrazos!

-Justin

Categories: Argentina, Jesus, Travel, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Just a Glimpse and Updates

Here is the video from weeks 4-6. I made the clips a little longer so one could get a better grasp of the shot. Hope you like it! Read after for a short post about life here the past few weeks!


Cordoba has been wonderful the past few weeks as I have been improving my Spanish, cherishing time with my Argentinian family, and soaking up the whole experience. Every day looks different as the ministry is evolving and adapting to new projects and people. About a month ago, a new missionary came to Cordoba from Colombia and his name is Diego. Diego and I have become great friends as we both live in the same house and generally have the same schedule. He makes me laugh so much with his little dichos (sayings) and overall humor. He is studying to be a dentist and we have talked about one day doing missions together in the Amazon area! Who knows what the Lord has for our friendship, but I know we will be life long friends.

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Diego and Me hanging out after dinner

Every day looks different here, but the typical day is as follows. Wake up around 9am, have some breakfast (bread that is called criollo with a carmel-like substance called dulce de leche) and a cup of coffee. Thankfully, the Ricca family loves coffee as much as I do! I normally read, write in my journal, and spend time praying the hour that follows. Then, me and Diego will head to the office down town (which is about a 30-50 minute trip depending on if you get the bus at the right time). There, we work on anything from PR work, planning, cleaning, and brainstorming ideas to further CPCI. Currently, I am working on a fundraising video and have loved having the time to film and edit!

We may come back to our house for lunch or stay at the office, depending on the work. Afternoon work depends on what needs to be done, but I am always looking to go on an afternoon run to the nearby park while listening to a podcast. These have been some of the most relaxing times for me! Nights also vary, but we have plans Wednesday-Sunday night normally. They include “Street Ministry” which is a time to fellowship and feed the homeless people in Cordoba. I look forward to these reunions every week, as I am humbled through my interactions with them. Being friends with them and respecting them is one of the best ways to share Christ’s love with them. They are no different from me, just have had some unfortunate life circumstances that have put them on the street. Even if their sin put them there, I could easily be in their shoes had the Lord not graced me with knowing Him and saving me. He is the only reason I have the life I do (shelter, food, and security), so I have learned not to take pride in anything of me or what I have done. Such a humbling and rich experience to have spent so many great nights with my homeless friends enjoying some coffee and talking about faith.

Time has flown by here and I will make a greater effort to frequent more to this blog and write about the experiences down here and what the Lord is teaching me! Look for a post at the end of the week with more photos and stories (didn’t want to overload this one).

Chao!

-Justin

Categories: Argentina, Jesus, Travel, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Settled in Cordoba

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!

Chilean Missionaries

Chilean Missionaries

Oscar (chilean firend) and me at La Montana de Cordoba

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!

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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.

Nos vemos!

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The Trip Begins

The time has come for my departure to Argentina. I feel ready for this trip and am excited to see what the Lord is going to do through me. After a stressful and hectic day yesterday taking an emergency trip to Houston to obtain a visa (which should have been ready a week ago), I am slightly tired of the planning and ready to just be in Cordoba. A suitcase, two backpacks, and a gift bag later, my luggage and me are ready to travel. Hopefully they follow me underneath the three planes traveling to Cordoba!

Months of preparation, prayer, encouragement, and following God’s plan for me have led me to this journey. My heart is so full of joy as embark on this trip! He has given me a spirit of strength, love, and self-discipline and I charge forward from now through all of life with this spirit; never looking back at the spirit of fear and timidity I once had (2 Timothy 1:7). I am refreshed with his spirit, which has freed me from the bondage of sin. I desire to share this Good News with people wherever I may be.

I praise God for giving me a purpose to live this life with. He not only saved me with the greatest sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for my sins, but also freed me to live this life with a greatest purpose imaginable. A purpose to live for the life to come and tell others about this grace Christ gives freely to all who trust Him. I don’t have to be destined to a meaningless life where all I do is for not or leave some insignificant fingerprint on this broken world. Jesus gave me and every other believer a purpose with His great commission in Matthew 28:18-20 where we are told to “go and make disciples of all nations.” One does not have to go on a trip to do this; Christians are missionaries every day in every conversation, interaction, and location. They are needed in the work place, schools, and social activities just as much if not more than in foreign lands. The past few weeks, I have lived with this mindset and have received great joy from doing so. I pray every Christian can capture this mindset wherever they may be in the world.

I hope this blog encourages those who read to strengthen their walk with the Lord, to live with the great purpose of spreading the Good News, and to be a light to those they come into contact with. Thank you for your support and I will post again in the next few days after getting settled into my house in Cordoba. If you are curious about my plans, read the “South American Trip Overview” page (see tab on the main menu bar).

Chao!

-Justin

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