Many times I don't feel like going to church here. I don't glean much from church here as it can be hard to focus in spanish after a week of spanish classes and the messages are generally quite simple as we are dealing with baby Christians in most cases. But these are not excuses, there are no excuses, I should want to go to church to be with these people and think about them and not myself.
So God hit me smack in the face with my selfishness this Sunday. My partner, Francisca, was preaching Sunday night and where she goes, I go also....literally. So, even though I didn't want to go to church Sundy night after spending most of the day Saturday at a baptism and went to church Sunday morning, I didn't really have a choice. So at first, when we got home from church on Sunday afternoon, Francisca told me we needed to leave at 5pm to go to church again. I was bummed I didn't have more time to rest especilly since I literally had no more underwear so I HAD to do laundry by hand!
Before I fell asleep for a nap, Francisca told me we would leave at 6 instead of 5. I thought she just misjudged how early we needed to leave so she pushed it back and I assumed church started at 6:30. (Let me also explain, that on Sunday nights at 7pm we have a Puno group Bible study and time to be together. This time is very needed each week for my mental health and to strenghten our group bond. So I was especially frustrated that I had to miss the Bible study because Francisca cannot travel to the church alone.) Back to the story....I took a nap and woke up a few minutes before 6 to brush my hair and make sure I look decent. I was running a few minutes late and saw my cluster dad, Chad, on the way out of the house and expressed how Francisca was really bothering me that day.
We headed out to the street and caugt a taxi. When we were in the taxi, Francisca told me she decided we should leave at 6 to give me more time to rest and that the service actually started at 6 so they were probably waiting for us since she was the one giving the message! Francisca put me first! She gave me more time to rest up even if that meant she had to run into the church late to give the message she spent all week preparing! And more....she knew how important it was to me and to our parents to be at the Bible study so we got to the church at 6:30 and everyone was still singing praises to our Lord. Then Francisca preached for about 20-30 minutes and when she was done we immediatley walked out of the church, caught another cab, and went to our parents house (Chad and Amanda's) for our weekly Bible study and time together. And we were only 15 minutes late!
Oh how God loves to slap me in the face sometimes, to wake me up out of my selfish little world! I was grouchy and annoyed when I should have been supportive and joyful. Francisca and I have many, many differences. And sometimes its hard to work together and sometimes our differences frustrate me. But she cares so much for me and I see this clearly in her actions this past Sunday. God has reminded me I need to be more loving and caring toward her. I need to stop being so selfish because, "If you grasp and cling to life on your terms, you'll lose it, but if you let that life go, you'll get life on God's terms" Luke 17:33 MSG
And then, on Tuesday I read a devotional online from Oswald Chambers (revised into contemporary english). And this quote hit me, "A missionary is created for the purpose of being God's servant, one in whom God is glorified." We are ALL missionary's. Even though I don't like that word, I am a missionary. Even if I was in the states right now, I am a missionary. Even if I'm not ready with the knowledge, I am a missionary. Even if sometimes I don't want to go to church, I am a missionary. This life is not for me, I need to give up my life and my selfishness in order to gain life on God's terms and to glorify Him.
So this has been my slap in the face this week. Francisca was a servant to me, a missionary to me, when I didn't deserve it. She showed me God through her selfless actions, she was a servant washing my feet. I hope you can be reminded as well that YOU are a Servant and Missionary too!
"And since I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other's feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you." John 13:14-15 NLT