Hey everybody! Check out my July video blog episode:
You can also find my latest newsletter here: LCMS Levi newsletter July 2016
So how has life been for me this past month? I’m glad you asked! Here’s a good story that summarizes what I’ve been up to:
The thick city air became even more difficult to breathe as I entered a combi (a small bus in Lima) and found myself packed in a very full combi—not surprising, since it was a busy Saturday afternoon. With no seats left, I had to hunch over, hold onto the rail hanging down from the ceiling, and avoid hitting people with my small (but very stuffed) backpack. As I rode along and tried to track where the bus was taking me, I prayed, “Lord, please use me to reach these people with your good news.” I had been in Peru for a few weeks already, and I wanted to get straight to work, telling anyone and everyone about Jesus and the hope that I have in him.
Just then…I noticed that I was lost! I had no idea where my bus was taking me! With great difficulty I managed to get my hand down to my pants pocket without brushing against any of the people next to me, pulled up the GPS, and found that the bus had taken a different turn than I had expected. I hastily moved toward the door and got ready to get out at the next stop. I then was lost in one of the market places in Lima (Gamarra) for a good 10 minutes before I found my way to the church that I was going to. “Dummy!” I told myself, “You have to learn the culture first if you really want God’s witnessing through you to be effective! And that includes learning how to use the bus!”
The next Saturday afternoon, after learning the bus routes to that church a lot better, I was enjoying the ride on a larger bus, which had plenty of open seats. As I was reading through the Bible passage that I would be helping to teach that night, the man next to me (undoubtedly noticing the wooden cross that I always wear, as well as the pastor’s robe that I was carrying for one of my fellow missionaries) started asking me if I was a priest. “No, not quite,” I said smilingly, while giving him my full attention so I could understand what he was saying in Spanish. Soon we were having a lively conversation about what the Lutheran church is and what we believe (that we’re saved by God’s grace alone and brought into a relationship with God through faith!), and I noted that at least one other person was listening to our conversation.
As the bus continued along, the man asked me where I would be getting off. Now knowing the route, I only had to glance out the window for just a moment to know where I was at. “So, you know this area?” the man asked me. I smiled and nodded, very glad that I had taken time to learn that one part of the culture (as well as many other things), because it had truly had had an effect on my witness—I would have been too busy following my GPS if I didn’t know the bus route! Right before I came to my stop, I handed the man a tract about the resurrection and eternal life. After I got out of the bus and started to head to the church, where I would be helping to teach kids about Jesus, I looked back to see it driving off. Waving at the man, I hoped and prayed that he would read that tract, visit our church, and maybe even come to faith in Jesus and have the hope of eternal life with God.