Chile: March 18-26, 2010
Chile: 15 hour seminar on the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
3/18-19: We landed in Dallas as the sun was setting. It was as if the sun was telling us the precise moment to touch down. The forty-five minute layover was barely enough time; walked right onto the plane. Great flight—slept seven hours with the help of a little blue pill; landed at 8:15 a.m. It is idyllic here in the fall in the southern hemisphere. Jake was a sight for sore eyes and his coffee imported from Peru was a god-send. Dropped off my bags at Jeff Phillip's, met the family and walked to the open market. Picked up mangos for lunch.
3/20: This morning we got up relatively early (8:00) and hustled off to the teaching forum. We arrived a few minutes before 9:00 and began welcoming people. The teaching began in earnest at 9:30 and went to 1:30 with two short breaks. Lots of good questions. Wonderful group to teach. After 4 hours I had not actually completed my first lecture (which is designed as a two hour lecture). My translator is fantastic. Jamie is the daughter of an American missionary and speaks in both languages without a trace of an accent. After lunch in a "supermall" we came back to the house and I took a nap. I wrote a sermon with the help of one of Jake’s lattes and now I'm preparing a message for a college group that will meet between 9:00 and 11:30 p.m. Could be another late night.
3/21: Sunday, the Lord’s day—somehow being in church makes me feel at home—safe. These are people who share with me the Eucharistic celebration of the risen Lord. Here, I belong, despite my linguistic deficiency. Despite our cultural, political, and economic disparities, here we are one global body under the rule of a single king. I thank God for Jeff Phillips who followed God’s call thirty years ago and created this environment in which Christians can incorporate all sorts and sundry into a celebrating community, reconciled to a loving father, through a wooing Spirit, by the blood of a Suffering Servant.”
I taught from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Then we all went out and played soccer from 10-11:30. We just got home now and are getting ready to eat something. The teaching is going very well. In fact, it is affirming that I need to write this book on A Biography of the Holy Spirit. Tomorrow I'm hoping for three open hours so I can get some writing done. Tuesday I will have Q&A for pastors in the a.m. and then teach in the evening. I am happy and very healthy. My Spanish is growing. If I had a month living here I think I could be conversational.
3/23: It is just lovely here. Yesterday I stayed at the house all day. Another pastor came from the US. He is a systems analyst kind of guy so he is here to coach the teams of workers from the Institute. We went to the teaching time 8-10:45 p.m. then about ten of us went out for a snack. Got home at 1:00 a.m. and I read for 30 minutes before falling asleep. I'm pleased with the conversations and questions during the teaching on the Holy Spirit. Their love for the word and the person of God is obvious. This morning I'll grab a piece of fruit and then run to a pastor's Q&A time where they can pick my brain for two hours before eating lunch. I don't know that I have much wisdom to offer these brothers, but I'll be delighted to soak in their fellowship. Jake and I have had hours together talking and sharing. It's been really good and hopefully will add some clarity to his future. So today should be a pretty packed day. Now that we are coming to the end the few remaining lectures are set. So my mind can rest a bit.
3/24-25: Finished with the teaching. We concluded with an anointing service with oil I imported from Israel. The Holy Spirit, of whom we had lectured all week, showed up in person. Tears were flowing and lives were being blessed. The Spirit is a welcomed participant in this place and it has been a joy to share my life with these dear saints this Spring Break. Tomorrow I head home to family, familiar language, and my own bed. Part of me is sad to leave this place…a part of me will remain.