Wednesday, June 8, 2016

TIME for T.I.M.E

Each year our family looks forward to welcoming our T.I.M.E (Training in Medical Evangelism) interns.  Our kids love interacting with students and receiving special attention from them (and they always seems to be so gracious with our kids climbing on them and asking a million questions).  Jeff and I love the opportunity it allows us to mentor pre-healthcare students, have them shadow and learn medicine, host them in our house and in our town, share mission life with them, and do some focused teaching on various relevant topics such as culture, language learning, medicine and missions, missiology, and animism.

A week ago (Friday, May 27th) we welcomed 6 girls (yes, an all-girls group this year) to Paraguay.  It took about an hour to get their visas and an hour to get the hundreds of eye glasses they brought for Jeff’s clinic approved, and it always takes a while to get money exchanged, but finally we were able to head to the guest house.  They had little down time before Tom (our director) and his wife, Kelly, came to share their testimony.  Then Tom shared a bit of SIM’s history in Paraguay and what SIM is doing now in country.

That evening we took the girls to a cultural event center (hosted by friends of ours) for an evening of harp music, traditional dance, and yummy Paraguayan food.  

 The following morning we (18 of us) filled our 15 passenger van and hit the road.  What a blessing it was to squeeze into the van instead of our excursion like years past.  Our first stop was Ca’acupe where we showed the girls Paraguay’s big Catholic church building where most aspire to make a pilgrimage to sometime in their lifetime.  Next stop was lunch and then we arrived at the Bowen’s house.
            Andy and Lizet Bowen are always so gracious to allow us to use their home for three days of orientation.  Andy gives the students a crash course in Guarani (we’re talking like 6 hours only of instruction) and does a great talk of Paraguayan history.  Jeff and I also use the time at the Bowen's house to go over different cultural aspects.  The students are always very nervous about staying with a Paraguayan family, so a lot of our time is spent dispelling their fears and laying out expectations.  
Lizet always does a wonderful job hosting everyone – cooking and cleaning for 18 people while remaining cool, calm and collect is no small undertaking. 

            One evening we had a chance to hear the student’s testimonies – what lead them to this trip, ways they’ve seen God provide for the trip and their prayers request going into the trip.  The students also heard the Bowen’s testimony of God calling them into missions.  Another evening we had s’mores, thanks to the girls for bringing all the supplies and the third evening we watched a movie called, The Mission, which has an aspect of Paraguayan history in it.     

 meal time

 Listening to missionary testimonies

 This is the group – Andy’s family, our family, plus TIME students and Sarah who is with us for a few weeks this month.

The girl in the blue is Sarah.  She is the 16 year old daughter of a supporter.  She came to Paraguay last summer with a couple from her church and she loved it so much she wanted to return.  She is staying with us for three weeks and then she’s be another couple weeks in Asuncion with a family from her church. It worked out perfectly for her to meet up with the T.I.M.E gals in the U.S and travel down with them.  She will fly back to the states with them come July. 

No comments: