In the next blog I will write about the work and physical aspect of our trip. This blog I will just relate about what God did with our time in Quchumi.
We entered Quchumi the 13th of June trying to find a Man of Peace to stay with, work with, and eat with in order to earn our keep while we studied the language and culture and built relationships.
There were many hardships that we encountered. The suspiciousness of the people at first, the food, and the work. We started working for several different people in the community, which turned out to be a blessing in itself allowing us to get to know more people in the community. We, however, finally ended up with our Man of Peace in the last seven days of our stay, which we worked really hard for him all those days. He was, by God´s design, the owner of the house we had been staying in the whole time, but did not find this out until the end.
The greatest hardship was the language barrier. Many of the inhabitants of Quchumi spoke enough Spanish for us to get by, though most of the time our limited Spanish exceeded their level. We had few chances to practice the language but heard it a fair amount. The temptation was great to begin telling the Gospel in Spanish, but to keep the Gospel pure we refrained. It was quite difficult to stay for such an extended time without engaging in any time of ¨Evangelistic Outreach¨ or even start storying. We strongly believe, however, in our method of learning the language and teaching the stories, God´s Story, from beginning to end if not to cheat or rob them of truly understanding His Message.
At many times it just felt like we were surviving. We would get up and work, some days for over ten hours with little conversation (when eating with the Quechua in their homes they usually serve guests outside while they eat separately inside their house). I believe even with the barriers of language and limited fellowship we were still able to build valid relationships. At times long days of work were made all the worth it when a five minute conversation somehow came through revealing their interest in hearing the Gospel. Upon many questions we found out the people have a general idea about God, almost nothing of Jesus, but all have the interest to learn the Word. We have received an invitation to come back any time to stay with them and to start teaching.
At times it was extremely difficult to keep looking down the road to when we could start storying. This is such an important process and during days of hard work, eating a million potatoes, of being the outsiders for so long, we had to keep saying to ourselves, ¨we are doing this so they can hear.¨ Though through this work we aren´t able to see any ¨results¨ yet, we believe it will lead to something beautiful. As the saints of old greeted the unreceived promises from afar we too greet the promise that the Quechua will hear and we continue in that hope.
¨…not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar…¨ – Hebrews 11:13