Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Argentina, Day 2

Saturday, September 29, 2007
Dear Friends and Family,

Ever see the movie The Santa Clause with Tim Allen? Remember how he packs on the pounds, seemingly overnight? I have a feeling that we are guinea pigs for just such an experiment. The breakfast we were served was almost overwhelming. Fruits, egg thingies, ham, steak, bacon, pastries, breads, cheeses, cereals, juices, brownies, cookies, and (best of all) a most delicious cup of coffee. I was cautious and kept to a high fiber cereal and fruit (I know… boring) and it’s a good thing I did. Just 2 hours later we were again treated to a large meal at a restaurant near the Los Olmos prison. These steaks were only ½ an inch thick.

By now, some of you may be thinking, “Did we send Jim and Tammy all the way to Argentina just to pig out?” Well, kind of. There’s a real sense that all we do is spiritual and the Lord is inhabiting all of it. The conversations around the tables during the meals are sweet, enlightening, deep and trivial and a great blessing to all. A key aspect of the Lord’s agenda in these days is ministry that flows out of relationships and fellowships. We’ve already heard testimonies of divine connections opening doors for the Kingdom to advance. And this is a great opportunity for me to see what’s in my heart. Will I tally in my head the expense of everything? Or will I joyfully accept it all as a marvelous gift from my extravagant God?

This day, Saturday, all 450 of us boarded buses for the Christian prison. (The testimony of this place is amazing… we’ll fill you in on the details later.) Greeted at the gates by smiling guards, prisoners, and staff, the atmosphere was electric. We could hear lively worship coming from a courtyard surrounded by barbed wire. Many times during the worship and prayer I found myself in tears. The men in this minimum security prison have been praying for us by name for the last 30 days. A sweet older gentleman who was a recent inmate played “How Great Thou Art” on the harp. A young man shared his testimony of coming to know Jesus at another prison, getting transferred to this place, and meeting his father who abandoned him as a child. When we left, the men lined up and shook our hands and blessed us in the Name of the Lord. Simply Amazing!

Tam (humbled by God’s extravagant grace ….)

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