Friday, September 30, 2011

Something is brewing in Sampedrana

Each time we go to Sampedrana, I always get at least one surprise. 

This time there were a few in store.
Today we went to see the road going in to our new/future coffee property way up the mountain with the bulldozer that was most generously provided by a donor. That was cool, and a little overwhelming to try to have the vision to see what the road will look like when actually done.

As we made our way up to where the road was beginning, we noticed that the second bridge is now being built in Sampedrana! For those that have been there, this would be to cross the river just past where the soccer field is located. As we drove through the river which was “slightly elevated” I can tell you...the bridge, while small and seemingly undersized, will be most welcome, for vehicles, but also for pedestrians including all the children trying to get to school crossing a 1’ wide log otherwise to traverse the rather scary looking river after anything such as a slight rain. 


Standing in the middle of a beautiful, foggy mountains looming in the near distance, cool breeze hitting me, along with the gentle roar of a diesel engine...view, it hit me just how wonderfully odd, weird, and just overwhelming the whole thing was.

The owner whose property our road is crossing was guiding where the bulldozer should go, all we had to do was stand and watch. 
Those around tried to point out to me where the road would go, how nice it would be, how wide, and how (with the route they selected) we would avoid any major hills or problem areas, but all I could see was a road being made...and no road in front of that. I really lack that vision that road builders need apparently.

We met with Alfonso again, who is going to be Gender’s co-pastor and also overseeing the work on the new ~30 acre coffee property we have to use. He will start on Tuesday. We are hoping to find some investors to help us get at least half of the property planted with coffee as soon as possible, as it will take three years to start producing. Having that property producing coffee will mean opening quite a few doors for the mission...helping the Church help itself in terms of supporting its pastor, providing for future building needs, and helping the mission in some of our construction and Church planting goals as well. We have some ideas...but at this point those are just ideas how we would use those funds as soon as that property will start contributing.

Getting back to Sampedrana and talking with Gender we were noticing the chain link fence that is only up on the fence next to where he parks the Land Cruiser. I asked why...people throw stones, and continue to break the windows. I asked how he was doing, how the Church was doing...he said the Catholic Church just down the street came again to complain about the Church services they hold on Sundays...they are too loud, and if necessary they plan to go to complain to the civil government because that is just too much noise at 9:00AM on a Sunday. We asked what happened, and I believe he said he gently reminded them of Acts 5:29 and is waiting to see what else might come of this. I suggested that if they can not make a joyful noise inside the building, perhaps go on parade every Sunday morning. Hmmmm

I thought our Church service was long in Teguc...he reports that although he only preaches for 25 minutes, the services are regularly 2.5 hours long, because everyone wants to be there, to keep singing, to keep the service going, spending time together (sound like any other place you have heard about?) They have a service on Friday nights that is just for teaching, and that goes for two hours...and no one sits in their chairs yawning, that in fact most of the two hours is because everyone has so many questions and wants to talk about what they are learning. Gender has been focusing on the family unit and fortifying and strengthening that as a basis to those Friday evening times.

Despite what all of us would say are challenges (I won’t list all those here) God’s Kingdom will not be stopped. The Church continues to add to its numbers, from the teaching those in the Church receive they go out and put it into practice.

The new Church building just finished last month? They don’t have enough chairs. They bought more chairs, and moved the front row closer to the stage...and still, not enough chairs, it is standing room only in the back. Already some are talking about how in a year they will need a bigger building, or what will they do? Good problems to have, good problems indeed. Just sitting together today, Gender was talking about how having the new coffee property will be great because eventually all the coffee on the property will have to go...needs for Sunday school rooms, counseling rooms (he briefly touched on the huge need there) a small area for a clinic...what a vision.

And speaking of visions, as we left back for Teguc, between the rain and the sun....this picture does not do justice to what God was painting, the sin bathing our current coffee property, the river, the greater Sampedrana area all in sun while we were in the shadows. Quite often if we are looking for it, God has something for us to see. Sometimes in how we should react with our hands...but this time I got the idea and just smiled, said thanks Dad, snapped the picture, and kept driving.

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