I’m currently sat with my foot bandaged and elevated on a chair and some chilled rice in a bag tied to my ankle with a tea towel. I think that means I’ve got 20 minutes to write this before the rice has to go back into the freezer. So, I think it’s only proper that first mention goes to Lori and Neil Brighton who arrived about 10 days ago, survived through last week’s Training Week with a thankfully short-lived re-introduction to the local microbial life. I’m particularly glad that Lori was the first to pull through so that she could expertly bandage my ankle when I got a bit over-excited in the Training Week Women v. Men football match yesterday afternoon. Aside from that all that, the Training Week went pretty well and the gauntlet is down for a re-match in November.
If I’m honest I do struggle a little with having such a small group: the class numbered eleven. This is the smallest class I think we’ve ever had which wasn’t a one-off. In human terms, it’s hard to justify the cost of running the event, including bringing in international speakers, for such a small number of participants. But then it’s important to remind oneself that in human terms, the whole endeavor is un poco loco and I shouldn’t even be here to write this…So I fix my focus on the immediate encouraging evidences, like the four students who take a week to get here and just keep coming, high water and low; like the way I freaked everyone out by showing them the micro-organisms whizzing about in some drops of water I took from a local stream using an old microscope. Only one person in the group had ever seen a microscope up close before.
The teaching on water and basic hygiene that day had an impact I hadn’t seen before. And then the way in which the students, exhausted on the last session of the last day, perked up when an agronomist from the Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonia Peruana (IIAP) arrived to advise them on how they really should be rearing their chickens for long-term greater success. Reflecting on six years running the training program, we decided that small may in fact be more effective and inspiring the pastors to try small scale productive projects for the benefit of their families, rather than trying to launch church-based community projects, could be more sustainable, have a more profound impact and fits logically into the framework of our integral training program for pastors and church leaders.
So, I guess I’ve come full circle. A friend said she once heard a famous preacher who would speak before crowds of thousands, say that for him, if only one person out of the thousands came to know faith in Jesus through his message, it was worth it. My friend’s response was something like “Well why not just focus on the ‘ones’, then?”.
Blessings and peace friends.
P.S. Last month we finally got the dormitory roof fixed (see last blog!). It’s a bit hard to picture as we basically built a second roof under the first, but the second roof is a metal roof. No more leaks, stays quieter when it rains and cooler when it’s sunny. I’m thinking of moving in.