October 2018

Where do the potatoes go?

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We made a 4 hour trip to Guayaquil to see the other end of our project "Nucanchik." We followed Luis and Juan Carlos to a few of the places where they are marketing the produce from the Chimborazo Province. Some are pastors who not only have churches in this poor section of Guayaquil, but who are also developing other projects such as a feeding center for children. We learned later that we had traversed one of the more dangerous parts of the city, but God is protecting Luis and others and using them in this ministry.

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Ecuadorian Survival Quiz

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I made up this quiz based on this week's frustrating experience:

You’ve registered your pickup every year for the past 25 years. Thirty years ago it was modified from single cabin to double cabin. Last year they passed a law that any vehicle that has been modified cannot pass inspection without a “certificate of authorization.”

Which is the best option:

a. Trash your pickup.
b. Spend days going from office to office trying to find someone who can tell you where to get a “certificate of authorization.”
c. Bribe an inspector to pass your truck.
d. Go for inspection to another city where they don’t care/know what the law says.

Your answer?

I'll need an answer within a couple of weeks.

Bible Study and Potatoes

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So how do we make the connection between bible study and potatoes? Does the time in the Word of God make a difference in how Luis Ortiz sows, reaps, and sells potatoes? To me, the two worlds seem miles apart. Yet they shouldn't be. A bible study developed with a Western worldview, and a brother in Christ who lives in the Andes Mountains manually producing potatoes and selling them in the market for the going price. I think Jesus' teaching was more in line with Luis' worldview. I would like very much to break out of the Western worldview and be able to see our world as Luis sees it.

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New math

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I am reminded of this formula which was proposed when I was in seminary: 1 + 1 = 3.

Forget about your math for a moment, and think about how we study something. Scientific analysis tells us to first take it apart and study the parts. Then science assumes that after putting it back together, we will understand how it works. That may work with a watch or computer source code, but it doesn’t work with people. You may know every person in a group, but as a group their behavior is totally different. You cannot predict group behavior based on individual personalities. The whole is different from the sum of the parts. It goes beyond the sum of the parts. Thus 1 + 1 = 3.

I find many bible studies use the same process. In order to understand the bible passage, we take the passage apart, verse by verse, and assume that in studying the parts, we will understand the whole. But I think we miss the beauty of the forrest by trying to study the trees. And in a bible passage we may miss the impact of the message by getting lost in the verses.

Who taught me this? The Quichua Indians did as we worked our way through the bible study book. Their confusion in answering some of the questions makes me more aware that their worldview is very different from the western worldview. This Saturday in the community of Sablog, I was consciously aware that the bible study was forcing us to dissect the Lord’s prayer into pieces. Why do we do that? Are we not missing the beauty of the prayer itself? Do we have to tear it into pieces in order for it to make sense? Who ever divided a poem into sections and put a title over each one? Is not the beauty of a poem in reading it out loud and enjoying its colors?

What would happen if we read entire bible passages in order to enjoy their beauty and absorb their messages without having to rip them apart into three point sermons? (Watch out! It could change our theology! We might begin to understand God in a new way.)

New Member in the Family

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We are thoroughly enjoying the latest addition to our family. Her name is "Bellita." Three months old and growing. Faby enjoys her company.

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