Monday, February 28, 2011

Last day

So it's been two months since my last post, and it's been a crazy two months. My team has been all over the place ministering, preaching, evangelizing, leading worship, performing skits, and doing everything else under the sun to make his name known. We went through Sierre Grande, Rio Colorado, Choelle Choell, Lamarque, Viedma, Dolovan, Playa Union, and Rawson. We also spent two weeks at the base in Puerta Madryn working with teenagers from all over the country, helping them to deepen their relationships with God. But these past two months have been incredible. I've experienced an amazing amount of growth in so many areas, in my relationship with God, in my relationship with my team, with my Spanish, with my knowledge of the bible. I've stepped out of my comfort zone so many times that I'm not even sure what my comfort zone is anymore. I've learned a ton about this people and this culture and I've grown to love them so much.

So I'm just going to cover a few highlights of the outreach. I was really excited because I got to preach three times, and lead two work shops which was awesome for me. I had to use a translator because even though I can speak in Spanish, I really sound like a five year old when I talk, but even so I had a lot of opportunities in evangelism to talk to people one on one and we were really able to go deep. On one occasion there was a drunk man who claimed that me and my team were the dwarfs of God and insisted that he saw us when he was working in the mines. We still aren't sure what he meant. But he was definitely not the only drunk we ran into, we had encounters with them so frequently that Philip once said to me "Matthew, why is that people can always find us when they're drunk like this, it's like they know where we are."

On a few occasions I was called a Yankee (pronounced shankee in the Argentine accent). I found that there are a good number of people who do not like Americans, and insist that we should not call ourselves Americans because Argentinians are Americans too since they live in South America. I had to stand and listen to a lot of people talk about why my country is terrible, and I couldn't fight back since I was really there to try and present the Gospel to them, so God worked a lot on my patience.

For the first time in my life I was able to preach to a very firm Muslim. He was a man from Sinagal, of which there are many who come here to sell merchandise on the beaches. So we talked to him and let him talk to us about his faith and beliefs and we asked him a lot of questions and by the end of the conversation we could tell that he was thinking a lot about what we were saying, but experienced missionaries have said for a long time that the only way to convert true Muslims for them to see the way you live your life. But it was an incredible experience and a completely different way of evangelizing.

Truthfully there are too many stories to try and talk about all of them here but finally the time has come for me to go home and share what I've learned with my church an the people in my city. I'm two days journey away from my family and friends and it's exciting but sad. I know that I'm going to come back to this place because God has so much work for me to do, but I'll miss it while I'm gone.

                                                                                                                  Mark 16:15   
                                                                                                                 -Matt Hursh

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