Friday I went to visit our friends the Ekstroms to get more of their story. I got their timeline filled in from '51 to '80 or so. When you've walked on earth for that long you have a lot of stories. Most of theirs are just too interesting to pass up.
I had a really hard time leaving on Friday morning. Late night. A sleepy, disorganized morning, couldn't find the key to open my gas tank - I was frustrated. But Jenny convinced me to go and I went. I only got about 2 hours talking with them becasue a Brazilian missionary came for an un-expected visit to meet Helen, whose brother teaches at a seminary in Brazil. But while I was chatting with Helen in the kitchen she started talking about college students and how difficult a time they are having here in Guatemala. No one is preparing them for walking with the Lord in college. They have never been taught about the many world views or humanism and how those things are contrary to what they have grown up believing and many, many of them are falling away.
Xela has more than a dozen colleges and a few larger universities. Don't think University like in the US. Think more the size of a community college - well, smaller - but still a university. Anyway, we live here. And there are lots of college students. And we have a lot of experience with college students and pastors here are often scared to talk to college kids because there is a huge education gap and they feel they don't know enough. And Helen put those things together while we stood in her kitchen.
So now we are looking at how we can serve all those college kids and help the pastors learn how to prepare their kids for the philosophical battle they will face in college; how they can help them remain faithful in a place where their faith will indeed be tested and ridiculed.
I thought I was just getting a story on Friday but the Lord is always working, even when we're grumpy. Meeting with two people who love Jesus as much as the Ekstroms and talking about how God has used them and brought them through almost 6 decades of ministry tends to stir things up a little. This time it gave us a new vision for minsitry. Which is pretty cool when you consider I almost didn't go.