Saturday, September 25, 2010

Primera semana

It is now Saturday and I´ve made it through my first week in Argentina. I made it to the base around one in the afternoon on Monday. My twenty hour bus ride turned into a twenty-three hour bus ride after the first bus broke down, but I made it to the base none the less. So far it´s been a lot of fun even though the days are filled with class and work. During the week our schedule goes as follows:

7:00- Out of bed: Brush teeth, make bed, get dressed etc.
7:30- Breakfast: Usually two pieces of bread with a cup of coffee
8:00- Intimacy time: The students spend this hour alone praying, reading the bible, and meditating on the word
9:00- Devotional/Intercessory Prayer: Depending on the day we´ll spend this time with a guest speaker's devotional or praying in groups for whatever God has put on our hearts
10:00-1st class: This is a three hour class taught by the teacher of the day, the topics this week have been prayer, specifically intercessory prayer
1:00- Lunch: This is usually a decent size meal with rice, and some meat or noodles, and of course bread
2:00- Service time: This is the time to do the chores which can be cleaning, dishes, yard work, etc. This week for me has mostly been chopping weeds with a machete for an hour and a half or carrying buckets of water to water the trees for an hour and a half
3:30- Free time: At this time we can do whatever we want, which means the girls can do whatever they want and the guys play soccer. In other words the Latin Americans run circles around me and the other gringos for an hour and a half
5:00- Marienda (Afternoon snack): This is usually a treat similar to a doughnut and tea
6:00- 2nd Class: This is a two hour continuation of the first class
8:00- Dinner: This is usually a meat or poultry and rice or noodles
10:45- In our rooms: Time to brush teeth and get ready for bed
11:00- Lights out: Pretty self explanatory

So the days are pretty full during the week, but it´s a lot more fun than it looks on paper, and being surrounded by a different language makes everything a lot more interesting. Having simple conversation with a class mate about what life is like at home quickly becomes a game of charades and everyone laughing at your "Forest Gump" accent. But the people are extremely nice and patient. If they don´t understand you they´ll work with you until you figure out how to say it or until one of the translators walk by. But I´ve learned more Spanish in this one week than in the two years of Spanish class I took in school. By the time we travel to Peru in late December the teachers are confident that the three of us Americans will be able to communicate with the locals effectively.

The weekends are really nice though, lunch starts at 9:00 and we have the whole day to ourselves unless it´s our time for guardia, which is one weekend day out of every month that we dedicate to service at the base (it´s my turn tomorrow). Right now I´m at a computer store, but earlier we had enormous hot dogs, and then we went to the pier and saw whales literally twenty feet away from us. The only trouble is that it takes an hour to get to town since the bus doesn´t run on the weekends, and the base has no vehicles. During the week the bus comes out to the base about two times a day, and if you don´t make the bus to get to town you either walk or hitch hike. The missionaries are currently saving up to buy a bus so that they can be more effective with their inter city mission work, but the cost is $80,000 pesos (about $20,000 USD) and the base doesn´t have much financial sponsorship. And seeing as they minister to the poor the offering aren´t too large. But despite all of this God has provided so far. But if anyone reading would like to donate to help the missionaries feel free to donate through my site or visit the YWAM home page and get the information to donate directly to our base in Patagonia Argentina.  

This is an incredible experience and I feel so blessed to be here. I am praying for the churches in Norwood constantly and I can´t wait to come back and share my experiences. God bless.

                                                                                     Joshua 1:8
                                                                                    Matt Hursh

Saturday, September 18, 2010

2 days running

So I am currently sitting at the Airport in Covington waiting for my flight to D.C. where I will have a six hour
mark layover until my eleven hour flight to Buenas Aires where I will take a coche to the estacion de autobus (I really hope I'm saying that right) and from there I will take a twenty hour bus ride to meet the missionaries who will take me to our base camp. And even though this is my first time truly being without my friends or family to help me out I can feel the spirit by my side, so I am far from alone. And as I'm sitting here I can feel the prayers of all my brothers and sisters pushing me forward and carrying me. I can't describe how excited I am to be on this journey, and how ready I am to let God take the reigns in my life. I feel like there's so much to learn on this trip and it's going to be incredible. I'm so thankful for all the support I've gotten from family, friends, and my brothers and sisters. I can't wait to update everyone from Puerto Madryn.

                                                                                                           Mark 10:29-30
                                                                                                             Matt Hursh

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Getting ready

      Hello, my name is Matt Hursh, and I'm an international missionary from Norwood, Ohio. I have been serving in international missions since I was sixteen when I started going to Haiti. Haiti was the first time I really got to see a new perspective of the world with my own eyes, it was the first time that I could look around as a christian and see that the mission was clear. Here are people with a need, fill that need, and teach them about what they never even knew they needed. I only spent a week in Haiti on each of my three separate trips, but in that short amount of time I felt a huge connection to the mission field and to serving God wherever he asks me to go, which has led me to where I am today.

      Right now I'm getting ready for my next mission to Puerto Madryn, Argentina which is in the southern region of Argentina. There I'll be working with a group called Youth With A Mission(YWAM). I'll be in Argentina for three months and then we'll move to Peru for two months. This will be the longest I've ever been away from home and I don't know anyone that I'll be staying with, but while I'm a little nervous I'm also extremely excited to start the discipleship course and spend time developing my faith while working with others to spread the word, because while I'm in Puerto Madryn I'll be taking a three month course called Discipleship Training School(DTS), and this course is designed to challenge students to dive deeper into their faith and to ask the right questions about God, while still working towards furthering his kingdom. This is one of the reasons I chose to do missions through YWAM, they'll help me get to wherever God calls me and they'll train me to do the work that he puts on my heart.

      I'm extremely blessed to have this chance to serve God,who has been so faithful to me that even with the cost of this trip being so expensive, totaling about $5,000, he has provided people in my life to cover that cost. Between the generous donations of Grace Untied Methodist, Zion United Church of Christ, and friends and family I'm only spending a a couple hundred dollars out of pocket.

     My hope is that on this trip I can develop a closer relationship to God while leading others to discover their own path with God, and that I can come back even more ready to serve. God bless.

                                                                                           2 Tim. 1:7
                                                                                          Matt Hursh