What is typical?

What does a “normal” “or “typical” week look like for us as we minister in Colombia? This is a great question that we are often asked. And my answer is often, “there truly is no typical day or week.” As I imagine the same goes for other missionaries serving in other parts of the world, every day/week/month/year looks different.

And while I am generally a routine person, someone who like consistency and a schedule, God has taught me to also enjoy the flexibility of change and contrast. To balance my desire for order, with a willingness to be open to what is needed in the present. We do not have an office or a local church that we go to during the week to work. Discipleship, leadership development, mentoring, and theological education all take on different forms and happen in different places. Many times we work out of our home, hosting meetings or gatherings. We may attend meetings at some of the local Covenant churches or visit the local social ministries of the Covenant located throughout the city.

This morning our kids got out the door by 6am for school (this is a typical day for them) and we will be attending a breakfast meeting with friends. This weekend, a few teenagers came over to make cookies to share in the 20th anniversary celebration of Fuente de Salvacion Covenant Church. And Saturday evening we were privileged to be a part of the anniversary celebration. One of the things that also factors into ministry is that we live in a very urban setting, which means traffic is a factor as we navigate to different ministry settings that are located from one end of the city to the other. Thank goodness for the Metro and good public transportation.

Worship at the 20th Anniversary Celebration

However, many times ministry takes us out of our city and into other contexts that are quite different. Take for example the past weekend, when Julio went to spend time training church planters in the Departments (States) of Cordoba and Sucre. The areas he visited tend to be more rural, as well as hot and humid because it is inland coast.

He started in Monteria, a smaller city than Medellin, with a group of leaders and church planters in an air-conditioned church. The next day he took public transportation to spend a day in a very rural town, where the church planters training happened under a thatched roof. The architecture of the church is very typical for this setting and no one is bothered by the heat. They all engaged in learning, sharing their own experiences and stories. Together they enjoyed a typical soup for lunch, called “sancocho,” which includes chicken, potatoes, yuca, plantain, as well as a full plate of rice, salad and fish.

Again, not a “typical” day for Julio, and yet in other ways it was. It is a context that Julio loves to serve in. This is what we brings us joy in ministry, the opportunity to be with people in their context, to listen, encourage, teach, and learn. Whether it’s here in Medellin or in a small town in Sucre, our prayer is that God would use us to accompany others on their faith journey. This is what normal looks like for us.

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