Thursday, April 25, 2013

MOVING!

Today is a big day.

Today is the day that I will be handed the keys to my new apartment!

Actually, its an old apartment. A beautiful old apartment. High ceilings, hard word floors, and french doors that lead out onto the quiet street. And best of all, its a full 2 minute walk to my favorite street in Santiago, Lastarria.

When I first came to Chile, almost 8 years, I had no idea that I would fall in love with this country. I had no idea that I would someday call this country "home".

But then I did.

And those four years that I was out of Chile, heartbroken and homesick, made my return to Chile all the sweeter. None of my family doubted that I was returning to Chile for the long run. Not only did they understand, but they were happy for me.
Funny enough, people here didn't understand that. When you are a foreigner here, people always ask the same questions. Where are you from? what are you doing here? and How long are you staying?

I told people time and time again that I would God-willing be staying for the rest of my life. And they were all so impressed. But it just seems obvious to me.

But when I bought this apartment, people had funny reactions. They all were surprised. They made comments like, "So, you're really staying?" or "Wow, so this means you're going to be here longterm."

 So here you go Chile! I'm officially a homeowner here! I am the proud owner of a little piece of my beloved country.














Wednesday, April 24, 2013

And then I stopped for a moment to breathe

I really do have intentions to write more. Life just moves a bit too quickly these days. But then again, haven't I been saying that for years?

I'm finishing up my third month working in (more than) full time ministry. I say more than full time because between my three jobs, I am actually contracted to work a total of 49 hours a week. Here in Chile, the work week is 44 hours so I'm not that far off. But having three ministry jobs, in a foreign culture that doesn't worship time management like we do in the US, has been quite a challenge. I have to say that my bosses have all been very flexible with me, letting me more or less decide the when and where. And my office is literally a 30 second walk from my apartment building. And I have lots of resources to make things happen. And I work with incredible people who love Jesus.
But more than anything, the key to making this whole three crazy jobs fit into one schedule, is that I love my jobs. My jobs are literally a sweet combination of my deepest desires (to disciple women) and my gifts (administration and coordinating).

My "outdoor" office
One of the lessons I have learned in ministry is to be flexible. Time after time, in the gospels Jesus is on His way to do something, and someone comes and interrupts Him. Needy people tend to not care about others plans and schedules. And statements like "I am to save the sick, not the healthy" make it very clear that our ministries are all about needy people. So while I make plans and schedules, I have to be willing to put people before that. I have to be willing to sacrifice my perfect schedule to deal with a pastoral situation.

My "indoor" office
And there is more than enough of pastoral situations. I wonder if all my churches have been like this, but since I was just a participant, I didn't see it. A guy in my small group last week who is a newer christian and still has on his rose colored glasses, asked me if there was ever conflict in our church. Hahaha. I literally laughed. And then I controlled myself and calmly explained and yes there was conflict. Not more than normally expected when dealing with a community of sinners, but still, we are far from conflict-free.

Now, before I go getting a slew of comments about how I should still be responsible with my time, let me say that I tend to be very "gringa" with my time. After all, time is money, right? But not here in chilean culture. Latin cultures would probably say something like relationships are money, so putting your time restrictions on a person, would harm your relationship. Which is bad. So what do you in cross cultural pastoral ministry? You put love first. Sometimes for the greater good, you have to move on with the schedule and deal with a pastoral situation later. But more often than not, it means putting my own agenda aside and caring for those very ones that Jesus has placed in my life.



Saturday, April 06, 2013

Cafe Review: Interludio

There is nothing quite like sitting at a cafe, with your computer in front of you, and the smells of yummy coffee enveloping you like a warm blanket.

That's my Saturday.

I've made my way over to Interludio cafe in Lastarria. I've passed by it quite often and wanted to try it out. It's a bit on the expensive side (a small cappuccino for $4.50?) But the atmosphere is just right. Funky but warm decorations, light music in the background, and of course, handsome waiters who are much nicer than the average chilean cafe worker.

Interludio 
Merced 316
Selection of food: A-
Selection of coffee: C
Prices: C-
Service: A
Overall atmosphere: A+

I don't usually do a cafe review on this blog, but I want it to be a part of my story here. I hope to open a cafe here someday and till then I need to do my "research". Keep your eyes open for these reviews, so that when you come down here you'll know exactly where to get the best latte with the cutest waiters!