When we talk about ecclesiology (our understanding of the church), there are two levels to consider. The first is the abstract, presumably universal level at which we think about what the church is. The second is the practical level at which which we think about how a local church must embody that essence. One problem that has affected many churches is the assumption that the second level, that of application, is just as universal as the first. This belief leads some to the conclusion that the forms, styles, practices, and traditions of the church universal should be pretty much uniform in the church local. The expectation that the New Testament will provide those forms bolsters the assumption.
When was the last time you visited the library? It could be the public library or the library at school. When I lived in Memphis I used to go to the Library almost every week. I would take the children I babysat for story time, and they would walk up and down the aisles and aisles of books, randomly pulling picture books off the shelf, while I sorted out which ones we would check out and which ones we would leave on the cart to be re shelved.Think about the last book you checked out. Was it a novel or a picture book? Maybe you checked out a book because you had to write a report for school. Did you enjoy it? Was it useful?
June 2008. That’s the last time I can remember us, as a team, having to purposefully raise funds for our mission work. I do not share this to boast or brag as we have many friends who have struggled to raise funds for the work they have been called to do all over the world. No, I share with you only in thanks for what the Lord has done for our team by setting us on firm ground financially.
I don’t know if it has occurred to any of you back home, but this month marks three years that we have been in Arequipa. ¡Feliz Aniversario! That is unbelievable to me. When I use the word “unbelievable” it’s not so much that I can’t believe we have been living in Peru for that period of time but what God has been able to do in that period. I step back from all of it, and I really am overwhelmed with thankfulness for you all back home.
Early on during our time in Peru, I asked a friend about how to reach out to neighbors. I learned that the responsibility would fall to me to befriend the woman of the family, whose task it is to screen newcomers before introducing them to the other members. It has been an interesting process to learn how to host others in our home in ways that communicate hospitality to Peruvians.