Miss, You’re Still Here!

Miss, You’re Still Here!

It’s Tuesday and my co-teacher and I have a free period during the day. My mind is going about 100 miles an hour about all the things that we need to do and plan. My co-teacher finally puts her hand on my arm and says, “Elise, let’s drink tea and just talk.”

It’s the first day of school 2016. A coworker that has barely talked to me before runs up and gives me a big hug saying, “Miss, you’re still here!”

A Chilean looks at me with a shocked face. I just told him the story of when my dad told me that I needed to move out of the house so that I could get experience living alone.

I finish an English tutoring session with a little boy at his house. I am packing up my things to leave when his mom lets me know that I HAVE to stay because she has dinner ready.

It’s Sunday and Bible class is going on. A member walks in late. Bible class is paused as every single person in church stands up to great that person.

What do the above things have in common?

Time.

Chileans are all about personal time. They value it and treasure it. Families and extended families often live together well into their older years. Tea and dinners are shared with all. It is near impossible to simply “stop by” someone’s house. Lunch get-togethers extend into dinners. Everyone is always greeted personally with a kiss on the cheek.

Time creates relationships and relationships matter!

Growing relationships mean opportunities to have deeper conversations, to grow friendships, to show Christ’s love, to share His grace, to encourage each other.

Recently, the Chile Kingdom Workers team was asked to put together a wish-list of our dream items that would enable us to do more mission work. While we did think of some much needed material items – we quickly stalled in our brainstorm and realized that we were all thinking the same thing. We need “time”!

The difference that one year has made is incredible; I can’t imagine what life could look like after 5 years!

  • That coworker I mentioned above now talks with me every day and is becoming a good friend. She has realized that I plan to stay and did not leave after one year like many foreigners do.
  • The bus drivers recognize and personally greet me.
  • Parents of my students are starting to have conversations with me versus a quick “Hello” and “How are you?”
  • Friendships are developing trust and now deeper conversations are happening – many about faith and Jesus!
  • Bible class attendance is becoming more consistent and members are expressing what a blessing and light bible class is in their weeks.

Time is powerful – especially in a Latin American mission field.

We are so thankful that THIS is the time God has given to us and that THIS is the place that He has given to us!

So what brought on these thoughts?

This last week we had a Fiestas Patrias (Independence Day) get-together at our house. We invited co-workers from each of our schools and overall had a wonderful time getting to hang out outside of our school buildings.

It was really special for us to think of how far these relationships have come and how far they can go.

20160910-ab1_560620160910-ab1_5635

Jon created a pretty awesome video about our Gringo BBQ for Fiestas Patrias. Click here to see it!

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s