Memories.
Here’s some questions I’ve responded to reflecting on my year here in Argentina. As I live up these last two weeks, I’ve been spending lots of time journaling on all the Lord has done and just some great times I’ve had. Here’s a few of my thoughts…
8. Describe a funny moment you shared with your team. 
            There are so many and so many ridiculous ones. I think one of the funnest and funniest times I’ve had with my team was September 11th, when we ran the half marathon. JM had the American flag painted across his chest, Cari was the statue of liberty, Ben was Abraham Lincoln and Jessica had an American flag shirt on. Whenever Tiffany was getting ready to finish, we all ran across the finish line with her in our crazy costumes. It was so fun to be able to share that moment together and to cheer Tiff on in such a crazy fashion!  

9. What new things have you discovered about yourself?
            I think over this past year I’ve realized how comfortable I can really be in America. I rarely share my faith. I always have food on the table and plenty of clothes to wear. I got to see my friends and family pretty much whenever I wanted. There are just so many blessings that I had in my life in the States and I think I’ve realized how 1. I took so many of those things for granted and 2. Many of them are luxuries not necessities. I’m hoping that on my return to the States I learn to appreciate my many blessings and even strip my life of the thousand luxuries I possess.

10. Is there anything that has surprised you within the South American culture?
            If there is one thing I admire about the culture here in Argentina it’s their emphasis on sacrifice. All the people I have the privilege of working alongside here in Buenos Aires are men and women of great faith. Many of them sacrifice daily for the ministry here and ultimately, for the sake of the Gospel and the Kingdom. They choose to live in smaller homes in often dangerous neighborhoods to share Christ with the University students instead of taking high-paying jobs as architects, engineers, or whatever else where they could afford other means. Their obedience to God’s call challenges me to check my faith everyday.

11. How have you seen God moving in Argentina?
            I think one of the coolest things I can look back and see is how He’s raised up movements on the campuses here in BA. When I first arrived in Argentina, Vida was only on the Agronomy and Ciudad campuses, with a few contacts on Law and Econ. Well, the first semester we moved to Econ full time. Through moving to Econ we met students in Medicine who formed their own movement on the campus there. Then, the next semester, Tiff and Garrett moved to Law full time. We’ve gone from two campus movements to 5!! Not to mention the movements being raised up in UNLAM and the UNQUI.

12. What has God revealed to you through His Word?
            See previous blog post. I’ve learned SO much about the Holy Spirit this year!

13. Have you identified any idols in your life?
            Every. Single. Day. I think everyday the Lord reveals to me how many things I put before him. But the greatest idol I’ve discovered in my life is myself. My own selfishness gets in the Lord’s way so often. Through prayers, time in the Word, and great community, however, I see the Lord destroying this idol in my life and causing me to yield to His control and His will.

14. Share your favorite memory.
This is probably one of the toughest questions. I’ll share one of my favorite memories from a more recent time. I really love to dance and thankfully, so do two of my best guy friends here in Argentina. They’ve taught me salsa, merengue, bachata, and more dances over the last year and I’ve learned to love them! One night a couple weekends ago, we went out to this bar in San Telmo and danced for hours. I didn’t get home until 5 or so in the morning! It was such a fun night and made discover how far the Lord has brought me in my time here in Argentina. It wasn’t a super-spiritual moment, but still meaningful because I was able to see how the Lord has truly formed a life for me here in Buenos Aires.

15. What attribute of God are you finding most difficult to grasp? Why?
            I think I’ve struggled a lot to understand God’s grace. I’m really hard on myself and I struggle a lot with accepting who I am in light of who God is. It’s hard to believe that someone so perfect can love me so much. As a result, it’s hard for me to give grace to others. This is one area I really hope the Lord will start transforming in my life.

16. Describe an embarrassing moment. 
German: Che, mira tu brazo! (putting his hand around my arm to demonstrate how small it is)
            Me: Tengo huevos chiquitos….
….
            No!!! Huesos! Huesos chiquitos!!!!
For those of you who don’t speak Spanish…. I’m sorry, but some things are just better left unsaid.
17. Has there been a book of the Bible or verses that have encouraged and/or challenged your faith?
 “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their good with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”       Acts 2:42-47
18. Describe a time (or times) where you shared your faith and saw God working through you. 
            Well God has definitely been faithful this year and I have been able to see him moving in such incredible ways. I think the coolest thing has been seeing him work through me to reach Sofia.  I had just begun doing surveys on my own, and each time was a struggle for me- not only with the language, but in taking risks and stepping out in faith. So, whenever I met Sofia on Economics I  was doubtful that the Lord would move so powerfully!  During our conversation, It was so incredible to see that light go off for her in understanding God’s grace. Since that one conversation, we’ve become such good friends, and as I walk with her, this continuous journey has been so fun! I’m constantly encouraged by how God is drawing her into a relationship with Him.  Just recently she went on a retreat with us and expressed how the Lord just made everything “click”. Now, she has returned to BA with a heart to not only seek the Lord each and everyday, but to also share Christ with those around her. She recently said at our Vida meeting, “I want to belong to the generation that makes a change in the world.” God is POWERFUL. 

Memories.

Here’s some questions I’ve responded to reflecting on my year here in Argentina. As I live up these last two weeks, I’ve been spending lots of time journaling on all the Lord has done and just some great times I’ve had. Here’s a few of my thoughts…

8. Describe a funny moment you shared with your team.

            There are so many and so many ridiculous ones. I think one of the funnest and funniest times I’ve had with my team was September 11th, when we ran the half marathon. JM had the American flag painted across his chest, Cari was the statue of liberty, Ben was Abraham Lincoln and Jessica had an American flag shirt on. Whenever Tiffany was getting ready to finish, we all ran across the finish line with her in our crazy costumes. It was so fun to be able to share that moment together and to cheer Tiff on in such a crazy fashion!  

9. What new things have you discovered about yourself?

            I think over this past year I’ve realized how comfortable I can really be in America. I rarely share my faith. I always have food on the table and plenty of clothes to wear. I got to see my friends and family pretty much whenever I wanted. There are just so many blessings that I had in my life in the States and I think I’ve realized how 1. I took so many of those things for granted and 2. Many of them are luxuries not necessities. I’m hoping that on my return to the States I learn to appreciate my many blessings and even strip my life of the thousand luxuries I possess.

10. Is there anything that has surprised you within the South American culture?

            If there is one thing I admire about the culture here in Argentina it’s their emphasis on sacrifice. All the people I have the privilege of working alongside here in Buenos Aires are men and women of great faith. Many of them sacrifice daily for the ministry here and ultimately, for the sake of the Gospel and the Kingdom. They choose to live in smaller homes in often dangerous neighborhoods to share Christ with the University students instead of taking high-paying jobs as architects, engineers, or whatever else where they could afford other means. Their obedience to God’s call challenges me to check my faith everyday.

11. How have you seen God moving in Argentina?

            I think one of the coolest things I can look back and see is how He’s raised up movements on the campuses here in BA. When I first arrived in Argentina, Vida was only on the Agronomy and Ciudad campuses, with a few contacts on Law and Econ. Well, the first semester we moved to Econ full time. Through moving to Econ we met students in Medicine who formed their own movement on the campus there. Then, the next semester, Tiff and Garrett moved to Law full time. We’ve gone from two campus movements to 5!! Not to mention the movements being raised up in UNLAM and the UNQUI.

12. What has God revealed to you through His Word?

            See previous blog post. I’ve learned SO much about the Holy Spirit this year!

13. Have you identified any idols in your life?

            Every. Single. Day. I think everyday the Lord reveals to me how many things I put before him. But the greatest idol I’ve discovered in my life is myself. My own selfishness gets in the Lord’s way so often. Through prayers, time in the Word, and great community, however, I see the Lord destroying this idol in my life and causing me to yield to His control and His will.

14. Share your favorite memory.

This is probably one of the toughest questions. I’ll share one of my favorite memories from a more recent time. I really love to dance and thankfully, so do two of my best guy friends here in Argentina. They’ve taught me salsa, merengue, bachata, and more dances over the last year and I’ve learned to love them! One night a couple weekends ago, we went out to this bar in San Telmo and danced for hours. I didn’t get home until 5 or so in the morning! It was such a fun night and made discover how far the Lord has brought me in my time here in Argentina. It wasn’t a super-spiritual moment, but still meaningful because I was able to see how the Lord has truly formed a life for me here in Buenos Aires.

15. What attribute of God are you finding most difficult to grasp? Why?

            I think I’ve struggled a lot to understand God’s grace. I’m really hard on myself and I struggle a lot with accepting who I am in light of who God is. It’s hard to believe that someone so perfect can love me so much. As a result, it’s hard for me to give grace to others. This is one area I really hope the Lord will start transforming in my life.

16. Describe an embarrassing moment.

German: Che, mira tu brazo! (putting his hand around my arm to demonstrate how small it is)

            Me: Tengo huevos chiquitos….

….

            No!!! Huesos! Huesos chiquitos!!!!

For those of you who don’t speak Spanish…. I’m sorry, but some things are just better left unsaid.

17. Has there been a book of the Bible or verses that have encouraged and/or challenged your faith?

 “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their good with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”       Acts 2:42-47

18. Describe a time (or times) where you shared your faith and saw God working through you.

            Well God has definitely been faithful this year and I have been able to see him moving in such incredible ways. I think the coolest thing has been seeing him work through me to reach Sofia.  I had just begun doing surveys on my own, and each time was a struggle for me- not only with the language, but in taking risks and stepping out in faith. So, whenever I met Sofia on Economics I  was doubtful that the Lord would move so powerfully!  During our conversation, It was so incredible to see that light go off for her in understanding God’s grace. Since that one conversation, we’ve become such good friends, and as I walk with her, this continuous journey has been so fun! I’m constantly encouraged by how God is drawing her into a relationship with Him.  Just recently she went on a retreat with us and expressed how the Lord just made everything “click”. Now, she has returned to BA with a heart to not only seek the Lord each and everyday, but to also share Christ with those around her. She recently said at our Vida meeting, “I want to belong to the generation that makes a change in the world.” God is POWERFUL. 

Unfulfilled.
Frustrated.
Struggling.

These 3 words are an accurate description of my journey over the last decade in my relationship with the Lord. I’m a perfectionist by nature and my walk with the Lord is no exception. In high school, I was arrogant, trying to prove myself to others, to myself, and even to the Lord by making sure I didn’t “screw up” in front of others, especially non-believers.  I was legalistic, judgmental and secretly frustrated in my inability to achieve perfection. In college, I went through my own version of rebellion- abandoning many of my previous standards out of exasperation and desperation for change. I was no longer the pedantic Christian, but had instead transformed into an apathetic bystander in my relationship with the Lord. It wasn’t until this past year on STINT that the Lord started to reveal to me the cause of my malaise.  
Naturally, Argentina has cultivated my spiritual growth in a lot of ways, but probably the most valuable thing I will take away from my experience is how the Lord has revealed his very nature to me in such a fresh way. Over the past year, I’ve become more acquainted with the person of the Holy Spirit and as a result have been able to experience more intimacy in my relationship with the Lord.
I just recently finished reading Forgotten God by Francis Chan, which deals with this third identity of God, whom is often neglected.  As Chan describes his sin struggles and the disconnect they caused between himself and the Lord, it was easy to connectwith his sentiments: “I wanted to prove that I was sorry for what I did by being faithful for a period of time… I wanted God to see that I could be a good servant… But God didn’t want a good slave that tried really hard. He wanted me to see that He was a good Father. He wants intimacy” (emphasis mine).
So many times I think that the end I’m striving for is this state of perfection: never sinning, always doing the “right thing”, and with total and complete humility. Easy enough, right??
As I read this book and as the Lord began to reveal to me the power of the Holy Spirit, I was reminded that this is not the goal. The greatest error I was committing was not the fight against the sins in my life, but it was that in trying to overcome these sins, I was taking complete control of everything. I was trying to work things out in my own strength to prove that I was a “good servant”. Christ’s mission, however, in going to the cross was not because He wanted us to lead these perfect lives in response. Christ went to the cross because He loves us and desires intimacy with us that was only possible through His sacrifice.
“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7)
And now, God, by giving us the Holy Spirit, desires for us to experience that intimacy daily by surrendering complete control to Him and allowing Him to transform us.  The frustration I was experiencing in my life wasn’t caused by my failures, but by my control.
I wish I could say this was an easy learning process, but it wasn’t. Giving up control can be painful and scary, but there is nothing greater than seeing the Lord work through our lives in the ways that He desires. When I think about the fact that the same God I serve is the creator of the Universe, who understands the complexities and intricacies of the Human body, who is the same God who called the galaxies into being, and is the same God who controls the storms, I’m suddenly left with a different perspective. If God left His Holy Spirit to live and dwell in me, WHY would I not claim that gift?! Romans 8:9 states “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” So then, the question for those of us who believe is not: “Do I have the Holy Spirit?” but rather, “Am I allowing the Holy Spirit to work powerfully in my life?”.
As we read through scripture, there is great evidence of God moving because of how the Church was relying on the power of the Holy Spirit to heal and to save the lost. These famous verses in Acts 2, just shortly after the Pentecost, are just one example of this:
“And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together, and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:43-47)
Francis Chan concludes his book describing how different the Church would look if we were consistently guided by the Holy Spirit in this same way. As Chan reflects on his own story, he states, “I don’t want my life to be explainable without the Holy Spirit.”
 How would you explain your life if someone asked? Is it even possible to tell your story without mentioning the Lord or is there a necessity for supernatural power? As we reflect on these challenges, my prayer is that we would surrender all things to the Lord and allow Him to work mightily in our lives for the sake of His glory and His Kingdom.  

Unfulfilled.

Frustrated.

Struggling.

These 3 words are an accurate description of my journey over the last decade in my relationship with the Lord. I’m a perfectionist by nature and my walk with the Lord is no exception. In high school, I was arrogant, trying to prove myself to others, to myself, and even to the Lord by making sure I didn’t “screw up” in front of others, especially non-believers.  I was legalistic, judgmental and secretly frustrated in my inability to achieve perfection. In college, I went through my own version of rebellion- abandoning many of my previous standards out of exasperation and desperation for change. I was no longer the pedantic Christian, but had instead transformed into an apathetic bystander in my relationship with the Lord. It wasn’t until this past year on STINT that the Lord started to reveal to me the cause of my malaise.  

Naturally, Argentina has cultivated my spiritual growth in a lot of ways, but probably the most valuable thing I will take away from my experience is how the Lord has revealed his very nature to me in such a fresh way. Over the past year, I’ve become more acquainted with the person of the Holy Spirit and as a result have been able to experience more intimacy in my relationship with the Lord.

I just recently finished reading Forgotten God by Francis Chan, which deals with this third identity of God, whom is often neglected.  As Chan describes his sin struggles and the disconnect they caused between himself and the Lord, it was easy to connectwith his sentiments: “I wanted to prove that I was sorry for what I did by being faithful for a period of time… I wanted God to see that I could be a good servant… But God didn’t want a good slave that tried really hard. He wanted me to see that He was a good Father. He wants intimacy” (emphasis mine).

So many times I think that the end I’m striving for is this state of perfection: never sinning, always doing the “right thing”, and with total and complete humility. Easy enough, right??

As I read this book and as the Lord began to reveal to me the power of the Holy Spirit, I was reminded that this is not the goal. The greatest error I was committing was not the fight against the sins in my life, but it was that in trying to overcome these sins, I was taking complete control of everything. I was trying to work things out in my own strength to prove that I was a “good servant”. Christ’s mission, however, in going to the cross was not because He wanted us to lead these perfect lives in response. Christ went to the cross because He loves us and desires intimacy with us that was only possible through His sacrifice.

“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7)

And now, God, by giving us the Holy Spirit, desires for us to experience that intimacy daily by surrendering complete control to Him and allowing Him to transform us.  The frustration I was experiencing in my life wasn’t caused by my failures, but by my control.

I wish I could say this was an easy learning process, but it wasn’t. Giving up control can be painful and scary, but there is nothing greater than seeing the Lord work through our lives in the ways that He desires. When I think about the fact that the same God I serve is the creator of the Universe, who understands the complexities and intricacies of the Human body, who is the same God who called the galaxies into being, and is the same God who controls the storms, I’m suddenly left with a different perspective. If God left His Holy Spirit to live and dwell in me, WHY would I not claim that gift?! Romans 8:9 states “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” So then, the question for those of us who believe is not: “Do I have the Holy Spirit?” but rather, “Am I allowing the Holy Spirit to work powerfully in my life?”.

As we read through scripture, there is great evidence of God moving because of how the Church was relying on the power of the Holy Spirit to heal and to save the lost. These famous verses in Acts 2, just shortly after the Pentecost, are just one example of this:

“And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together, and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:43-47)

Francis Chan concludes his book describing how different the Church would look if we were consistently guided by the Holy Spirit in this same way. As Chan reflects on his own story, he states, “I don’t want my life to be explainable without the Holy Spirit.”

 How would you explain your life if someone asked? Is it even possible to tell your story without mentioning the Lord or is there a necessity for supernatural power? As we reflect on these challenges, my prayer is that we would surrender all things to the Lord and allow Him to work mightily in our lives for the sake of His glory and His Kingdom.  

You know those people in your life that are just AWESOME? I have some friends that give the rest of the world a lot to live up to- they’re caring, wise, gentle, hilarious, and above all things, passionately in love with the Lord. 
Well, before I left for Argentina, one of these great girlfriends of mine gave me a journal with some questions to ponder during my year on STINT. Throughout the past 7 months, I’ve slowly answered a few of them.. but I thought it might be fun to share :)
1. In what ways do you want God to grow you over the course of this year?
 (Answer from 9/15/10) I think the biggest way I want God to grow me is in my humility and overall need for Him. I’m praying that the Lord will break me of my pride- how I think I’m better than others, that my desires come first, and just my overall obsession with myself. I want to learn to love others more deeply and more than myself! I also want to grow in my daily time spent with the Lord. I want to read more Scripture and learn how to make my time with the Lord fruitful.
2. In what areas of your life are you trusting God?
(Answer from 10/19/10) think STINT so far has been a time of truly trusting God with EVERYTHING. You don’t fully realize how reliant on yourself, friends, family, and so many other things you are until they’re all stripped away. Everyday I feel a little out of place. I’m trying to trust the Lord in my identity, my worth, and my strength. My pride is torn down a little more each day as I struggle like a 3 yr. old to produce coherent sentences. I don’t want to find my value in how well I speak Spanish. My value is in Christ, because He values me. Easier said than done. I need Him so much. Praise Him for never abandoning me. 
3. Do you have any fears or unbelief that have become evident in your life?
 (Answer from 10/19/10) Wow. Everyday. This ties in so well with the other question. I doubt everyday that God can use me. As if it has to do with what I have to offer… I just want to believe that He will and see Him do it! I think I’m also realizing that I fear not loving God enough. Like, if I’m not doing this, this, and this.. I don’t really love Him. But, I know that this isn’t from the Lord. I know Satan comes in and tries to distract from what god is doing in me. I know that I love the Lord. I know that I need to grow in that love, but it isn’t dependent on what I do or don’t do. Just on the condition of my heart.
4. What was your first impression upon arriving in Argentina?
 (Answer from mid-November sometime) Honest first impression- it was dirty. I think one of the first things I noticed was the brokenness. there was trash all over the streets, people everywhere, and overall just really overwhelming. 
 … (Let me add a little..) I don’t think what struck me was just the physical filth of the city, and I’m not saying big cities in the States are any better… if anything probably worse, but I think it was just realizing how many people live in this city and how many are just utterly LOST. I couldn’t believe that I was really in Argentina. And that God wanted to use ME to bring the news of Salvation here. What a great God I serve!
5. What are you having the hardest time adjusting to?
 (Answer from mid-November) Good Question now that I’ve been here for a little over 2 1/2 months. Now that I’m starting to have a little more of a life here, living in an apartment, making friends, etc, it has definitely been getting easier to adjust. One of the hardest adjustments has been how long everything takes- spending so much time to run errands is frustrating. Also just figuring out ministry here has been difficult. Trying to find my place and learning how things work.
6. How are your personal times with God?
 Looking back at the first question and thinking about how I wanted the Lord to grow me in this area, I think it’s been cool to see Him answer that prayer. I definitely feel like I’ve learned to connect with the Lord in different ways and on a more consistent basis. It’s a constant process, and a constant struggle, but I’m so thankful for my “Day with the Lord”, once a month, where I can really re-examine my times with Him and the areas I want to grow in.
7. How would you describe your team dynamic?
 Our team is AWESOME. 4 girls and 3 guys… we’re basically the FRIENDS series, plus one… and without all the relationship drama. I am constantly reminded that they are the Lord’s provision for me here and I couldn’t ask for a more unique, special group of people to spend my time with. My 3 roommates, Cari, Jessica, and Tiffany are all very different, but beautiful girls. Jessica is the team leader, the hard-worker, but yet also the crazy one, breaking out her Nacho Libre mask whenever the moment calls for it. She also has an incredible heart for prayer that I think inspires us all to fall on our knees more. Cari is the relational one. She loves being with people and lives in the moment. You can count on her to be 100% present, not just with physical presence, but really engaged in what’s happening around her. I’ve learned a lot from how she takes advantage of every opportunity to be with people and KNOW people. Tiffany is silent, but deadly :). She’s often really quiet, but once you get to know her… the spice comes out! She’s got the biggest heart  and I learn a lot from her gentle spirit and how she always puts others needs before her own.
As far as the boys… John Mark is the clown. 90% of our conversations revolve around making fun of each other… but the 10% that isn’t is always really challenging and encouraging. He’s definitely an honest, inspiring person to have around and I’m so appreciative of the work He’s doing here. Ben is the talkative one. He can talk to anyone, at anytime, in any place. He has a great memory, not only for random facts, but also for what people tell Him. As much as He talks, I also feel like He listens. He’s taught me how to be a better conversationalist, not just with small talk, but engaging in conversations and really getting to know people better. Garrett is the intellectual. Although convinced his twin sister is the smarter one, He’s one of the smartest people I met… that’s also really normal. He loves challenging him in different areas, and I’ve learned to take more risks and challenge myself more just by watching Him grow. 
Enough questions for now… I’ll finish the other half another time :)

You know those people in your life that are just AWESOME? I have some friends that give the rest of the world a lot to live up to- they’re caring, wise, gentle, hilarious, and above all things, passionately in love with the Lord. 

Well, before I left for Argentina, one of these great girlfriends of mine gave me a journal with some questions to ponder during my year on STINT. Throughout the past 7 months, I’ve slowly answered a few of them.. but I thought it might be fun to share :)

1. In what ways do you want God to grow you over the course of this year?

(Answer from 9/15/10) I think the biggest way I want God to grow me is in my humility and overall need for Him. I’m praying that the Lord will break me of my pride- how I think I’m better than others, that my desires come first, and just my overall obsession with myself. I want to learn to love others more deeply and more than myself! I also want to grow in my daily time spent with the Lord. I want to read more Scripture and learn how to make my time with the Lord fruitful.

2. In what areas of your life are you trusting God?

(Answer from 10/19/10) think STINT so far has been a time of truly trusting God with EVERYTHING. You don’t fully realize how reliant on yourself, friends, family, and so many other things you are until they’re all stripped away. Everyday I feel a little out of place. I’m trying to trust the Lord in my identity, my worth, and my strength. My pride is torn down a little more each day as I struggle like a 3 yr. old to produce coherent sentences. I don’t want to find my value in how well I speak Spanish. My value is in Christ, because He values me. Easier said than done. I need Him so much. Praise Him for never abandoning me. 

3. Do you have any fears or unbelief that have become evident in your life?

(Answer from 10/19/10) Wow. Everyday. This ties in so well with the other question. I doubt everyday that God can use me. As if it has to do with what I have to offer… I just want to believe that He will and see Him do it! I think I’m also realizing that I fear not loving God enough. Like, if I’m not doing this, this, and this.. I don’t really love Him. But, I know that this isn’t from the Lord. I know Satan comes in and tries to distract from what god is doing in me. I know that I love the Lord. I know that I need to grow in that love, but it isn’t dependent on what I do or don’t do. Just on the condition of my heart.

4. What was your first impression upon arriving in Argentina?

(Answer from mid-November sometime) Honest first impression- it was dirty. I think one of the first things I noticed was the brokenness. there was trash all over the streets, people everywhere, and overall just really overwhelming. 

… (Let me add a little..) I don’t think what struck me was just the physical filth of the city, and I’m not saying big cities in the States are any better… if anything probably worse, but I think it was just realizing how many people live in this city and how many are just utterly LOST. I couldn’t believe that I was really in Argentina. And that God wanted to use ME to bring the news of Salvation here. What a great God I serve!

5. What are you having the hardest time adjusting to?

(Answer from mid-November) Good Question now that I’ve been here for a little over 2 1/2 months. Now that I’m starting to have a little more of a life here, living in an apartment, making friends, etc, it has definitely been getting easier to adjust. One of the hardest adjustments has been how long everything takes- spending so much time to run errands is frustrating. Also just figuring out ministry here has been difficult. Trying to find my place and learning how things work.

6. How are your personal times with God?

Looking back at the first question and thinking about how I wanted the Lord to grow me in this area, I think it’s been cool to see Him answer that prayer. I definitely feel like I’ve learned to connect with the Lord in different ways and on a more consistent basis. It’s a constant process, and a constant struggle, but I’m so thankful for my “Day with the Lord”, once a month, where I can really re-examine my times with Him and the areas I want to grow in.

7. How would you describe your team dynamic?

Our team is AWESOME. 4 girls and 3 guys… we’re basically the FRIENDS series, plus one… and without all the relationship drama. I am constantly reminded that they are the Lord’s provision for me here and I couldn’t ask for a more unique, special group of people to spend my time with. My 3 roommates, Cari, Jessica, and Tiffany are all very different, but beautiful girls. Jessica is the team leader, the hard-worker, but yet also the crazy one, breaking out her Nacho Libre mask whenever the moment calls for it. She also has an incredible heart for prayer that I think inspires us all to fall on our knees more. Cari is the relational one. She loves being with people and lives in the moment. You can count on her to be 100% present, not just with physical presence, but really engaged in what’s happening around her. I’ve learned a lot from how she takes advantage of every opportunity to be with people and KNOW people. Tiffany is silent, but deadly :). She’s often really quiet, but once you get to know her… the spice comes out! She’s got the biggest heart  and I learn a lot from her gentle spirit and how she always puts others needs before her own.

As far as the boys… John Mark is the clown. 90% of our conversations revolve around making fun of each other… but the 10% that isn’t is always really challenging and encouraging. He’s definitely an honest, inspiring person to have around and I’m so appreciative of the work He’s doing here. Ben is the talkative one. He can talk to anyone, at anytime, in any place. He has a great memory, not only for random facts, but also for what people tell Him. As much as He talks, I also feel like He listens. He’s taught me how to be a better conversationalist, not just with small talk, but engaging in conversations and really getting to know people better. Garrett is the intellectual. Although convinced his twin sister is the smarter one, He’s one of the smartest people I met… that’s also really normal. He loves challenging him in different areas, and I’ve learned to take more risks and challenge myself more just by watching Him grow. 

Enough questions for now… I’ll finish the other half another time :)

It’s pretty crazy how the Lord works.
Most of you know that my STINT year consists of 14 months total. I arrived in Buenos Aires last September and will continue my ministry here until this coming November. But, what you may not know is that each STINTer has to decide by April 1st if they would like to return for another year (well, 10 months to be specific). If we do decide to return to Buenos Aires, we’ll spend two months in the States until New Year’s, and then come back to Argentina in January of 2012. 
Making this decision hasn’t been any easy one. I voiced my thoughts to most of my closest friends and my parents, but all I can say is it’s pretty crazy how the Lord works.
Before I tell you my decision, I need to say, the past 6 months of my life have been some of the most rewarding times I’ve ever had. I’ve been able to experience the Lord in really incredible ways and see Him changing lives, literally on a daily basis. Each day, my heart is becoming more and more intertwined with the culture here and I know that no matter where God might take me, Argentina will always be a part of me. 
After praying about this decision and talking it out with the people around me, I finally felt like I had made up my mind. 
 I am not planning on re-STINTing. 
I think the weight of that sentence is still sinking in. I love being here so much, but I believe the Lord is just calling me in a different direction. 
Those of you who know me also know that I have been involved in ministry since I was about 15 years old. I started leading small groups my sophomore year of high school, planning big events by the time I graduated, and was later part of Crusade’s “Student Staff” Team at FSU. That being said, I think I just need a break. I never thought I would feel that way, but maybe that means it has to be from the Lord. 
Don’t get me wrong… there’s plenty of ministry to be done outside of the church and outside of Christian organizations, and I don’t plan on neglecting the call to “Go and make disciples”. Nor do I plan on neglecting my involvement in the church or Crusade, but my role will look a lot differently.  All I really know is that I believe He’s calling me to “Go” somewhere new.  I know that Argentina is part of the great adventure that the Lord is leading me on, and I’m so blessed to have this opportunity… and am looking forward to what God wants to do in the next 7 months here!! I feel really at peace about my decision, although it breaks my heart to think about leaving. 
Now, you’re probably asking… what next?
Great question… 
Although I don’t have any solid plans at the moment, I have been tossing around ideas of returning to school for a master’s. To my own surprise, I’ve found a lot of joy in writing these blogs and newsletters and have been exploring the idea of pursuing a career in journalism or some other form of written communication. As of now, it’s nothing more than an idea, but it’s definitely something to be praying about. 
Above all things, I want the Lord to be glorified in my life and for His will to be done. I believe He has given me desires and passions that I shouldn’t neglect to pursue, but ultimately, I want His plans to be my plans, and go wherever He’s leading. 
Thanks to all of you for being a source of truth, reminding me to hold onto the Lord’s promises, as well as a source of encouragement- to believe in myself and the gifts that the Lord has given me. Please continue to pray for me and for clarity as I begin to move in a new direction. 

((Also, if you’re wondering about the photo, it’s from a place called Colonia in Uruguay. I felt it appropriate considering the Lord is closing one door and I’m waiting for Him to open new ones!))

It’s pretty crazy how the Lord works.

Most of you know that my STINT year consists of 14 months total. I arrived in Buenos Aires last September and will continue my ministry here until this coming November. But, what you may not know is that each STINTer has to decide by April 1st if they would like to return for another year (well, 10 months to be specific). If we do decide to return to Buenos Aires, we’ll spend two months in the States until New Year’s, and then come back to Argentina in January of 2012. 

Making this decision hasn’t been any easy one. I voiced my thoughts to most of my closest friends and my parents, but all I can say is it’s pretty crazy how the Lord works.

Before I tell you my decision, I need to say, the past 6 months of my life have been some of the most rewarding times I’ve ever had. I’ve been able to experience the Lord in really incredible ways and see Him changing lives, literally on a daily basis. Each day, my heart is becoming more and more intertwined with the culture here and I know that no matter where God might take me, Argentina will always be a part of me. 

After praying about this decision and talking it out with the people around me, I finally felt like I had made up my mind. 

I am not planning on re-STINTing. 

I think the weight of that sentence is still sinking in. I love being here so much, but I believe the Lord is just calling me in a different direction. 

Those of you who know me also know that I have been involved in ministry since I was about 15 years old. I started leading small groups my sophomore year of high school, planning big events by the time I graduated, and was later part of Crusade’s “Student Staff” Team at FSU. That being said, I think I just need a break. I never thought I would feel that way, but maybe that means it has to be from the Lord. 

Don’t get me wrong… there’s plenty of ministry to be done outside of the church and outside of Christian organizations, and I don’t plan on neglecting the call to “Go and make disciples”. Nor do I plan on neglecting my involvement in the church or Crusade, but my role will look a lot differently.  All I really know is that I believe He’s calling me to “Go” somewhere new.  I know that Argentina is part of the great adventure that the Lord is leading me on, and I’m so blessed to have this opportunity… and am looking forward to what God wants to do in the next 7 months here!! I feel really at peace about my decision, although it breaks my heart to think about leaving. 

Now, you’re probably asking… what next?

Great question… 

Although I don’t have any solid plans at the moment, I have been tossing around ideas of returning to school for a master’s. To my own surprise, I’ve found a lot of joy in writing these blogs and newsletters and have been exploring the idea of pursuing a career in journalism or some other form of written communication. As of now, it’s nothing more than an idea, but it’s definitely something to be praying about. 

Above all things, I want the Lord to be glorified in my life and for His will to be done. I believe He has given me desires and passions that I shouldn’t neglect to pursue, but ultimately, I want His plans to be my plans, and go wherever He’s leading. 

Thanks to all of you for being a source of truth, reminding me to hold onto the Lord’s promises, as well as a source of encouragement- to believe in myself and the gifts that the Lord has given me. Please continue to pray for me and for clarity as I begin to move in a new direction. 

((Also, if you’re wondering about the photo, it’s from a place called Colonia in Uruguay. I felt it appropriate considering the Lord is closing one door and I’m waiting for Him to open new ones!))

Well, It’s official. I. live. in Buenos Aires!! (Actually, this picture is taken from my window!!!)
Between the jet lag and the shock and awe of being in a new continent, culture, and country… I haven’t quite sorted through all my thoughts.
Here’s a breakdown of the day… We arrived at about 8:30 this morning. We were picked up by the current STINT (Short Term International) team who were so warm and welcoming. We piled in the car and drilled them with questions about the culture.  It took us a little over an hour to get to our (myself and my teammate) apartment from there, and we pretty much just unloaded all our stuff and then headed to the team’s apartment. They made us an AWESOME traditional Argentine breakfast/lunch consisting of all different assortments of pastries and fruit from the market off the street. We relaxed and spent some time enjoying each other’s company. Then, around 2, we ran some much needed errands and headed back to our own apartment to relax and shower. Later that night we had dinner together.. again, traditional Argentina style meat and potatoes, and discussed what the rest of the week would look like. 
All in all.. definitely a fun-filled, yet task-filled day. I’m anxious to get a good night’s sleep and start again tomorrow getting to know my teammates a little better and go through some necessary training before the job begins. It looks like Wednesday and Thursday will be mostly training on culture.. safety, money, etc, etc.. along with some job training… evangelism techniques, etc… And on Friday… It’s time to hit the ground running!
Here’s a little rundown of my team:
ME!!, from FSU… first year STINTer!
Tiffany, my roommate, from Nashville, TN… first year STINTer
John Mark, from Miss. State… first year STINTer
Ben, from East Carolina… first year STINTer (hopefully arriving in a few days)
Cari, from Clemson… second year STINTer (leaving in Nov, returning in January)
Jessica, from NC State… second year STINTer (leaving in Nov, returning in January)
Colea, from Raleigh, NC… first year STINTer (coming in January)
Garrett, from Clemson… first year STINTer (coming in January)
There are two other girls.. Kim and Alexis who have been STINTing here for two years, but sadly, will be leaving in November to return to the states. 
That’s pretty much the rundown of the team.. I know it’s confusing, but hopefully that will help explain the people I’m talking about for the next 14 months!
I’ll write another blog soon with some of my feelings going into the next year.. but for now.. I’m exhausted!
Chao amigos! 
Un beso, (A kiss!)
Katie

Well, It’s official. I. live. in Buenos Aires!! (Actually, this picture is taken from my window!!!)

Between the jet lag and the shock and awe of being in a new continent, culture, and country… I haven’t quite sorted through all my thoughts.

Here’s a breakdown of the day… We arrived at about 8:30 this morning. We were picked up by the current STINT (Short Term International) team who were so warm and welcoming. We piled in the car and drilled them with questions about the culture.  It took us a little over an hour to get to our (myself and my teammate) apartment from there, and we pretty much just unloaded all our stuff and then headed to the team’s apartment. They made us an AWESOME traditional Argentine breakfast/lunch consisting of all different assortments of pastries and fruit from the market off the street. We relaxed and spent some time enjoying each other’s company. Then, around 2, we ran some much needed errands and headed back to our own apartment to relax and shower. Later that night we had dinner together.. again, traditional Argentina style meat and potatoes, and discussed what the rest of the week would look like. 

All in all.. definitely a fun-filled, yet task-filled day. I’m anxious to get a good night’s sleep and start again tomorrow getting to know my teammates a little better and go through some necessary training before the job begins. It looks like Wednesday and Thursday will be mostly training on culture.. safety, money, etc, etc.. along with some job training… evangelism techniques, etc… And on Friday… It’s time to hit the ground running!

Here’s a little rundown of my team:

ME!!, from FSU… first year STINTer!

Tiffany, my roommate, from Nashville, TN… first year STINTer

John Mark, from Miss. State… first year STINTer

Ben, from East Carolina… first year STINTer (hopefully arriving in a few days)

Cari, from Clemson… second year STINTer (leaving in Nov, returning in January)

Jessica, from NC State… second year STINTer (leaving in Nov, returning in January)

Colea, from Raleigh, NC… first year STINTer (coming in January)

Garrett, from Clemson… first year STINTer (coming in January)

There are two other girls.. Kim and Alexis who have been STINTing here for two years, but sadly, will be leaving in November to return to the states. 

That’s pretty much the rundown of the team.. I know it’s confusing, but hopefully that will help explain the people I’m talking about for the next 14 months!

I’ll write another blog soon with some of my feelings going into the next year.. but for now.. I’m exhausted!

Chao amigos! 

Un beso, (A kiss!)

Katie