When we got to the seminary my first stop was to Andreas the “storekeeper.” There he sat at his extended desk (part desk, part store) busily working on his thesis which he hopes to finish by July. He showed me pictures of his nephew, now a year old and we talked of his prayers for his family. He is going to be one of the primary ones working on the library once the shelves get in. The number of books is 1,000, so it’s going to be a big job. He is also helping in a church in a nearby town (I’ve only asked the name of it about three times, so I’m not going to ask again), about 20 minutes from the Medellin. The church is a plant of Gracia. So he’s a pretty busy fellow.
Now my conversation with Marco, the chef-
Next was a long talk and request for prayer with Marco, the student/ chef. He too is working on his thesis. He is 6 weeks married and promised to bring his wife, and pictures of the wedding tomorrow. They both possess a big streak of creativity. She bakes and decorates cakes, is a photographer and graphic arts designer. He cooks and is a painter. Painting pays well (15 times minimum wage), but is not steady. I see his handiwork all around the seminary. He learned the trade while in the US for a year.
He and another student help out at a young church in the same town as Andreas, not associated with Gracia. The church presently has a pastor who is bi-vocational and just coming to the reformed faith. It is boggling to see how God works in these fledgling churches. The pastor just “wings it” on Sunday mornings and is often at a loss for content. He cares for and about the people, visiting them and helping them, but has little time (and I’m assuming no formal education) to prepare a sermon. There is no church government, no accountability, no liturgy, no structure. . . . Andreas, who himself has a humble spirit, said that the pastor has a humble spirit and is willing to learn. So Andreas and the other student are sharing with him what they are learning at the seminary and helping by teaching on Sunday mornings.
Now for the prayer request part:
There was a pastor in Santa Marta who recently died, leaving his church without a pastor.
The pastor from the church that Marcos helps at and another pastor from another small church are going to Santa Marta to check out the situation thinking that one of them will take over the Santa Marta church. There are several possibilities: The two small churches could join together at a midway point between the two towns and keep one of the pastors and send the other to Santa Marta. Or the pastor that Marcos is helping could go to Santa Marta and Marcos could take church after he is ordained (I don’t know how that happens). Or God may have totally different plans. At any rate, he and the situation need prayer. It’s all beyond me.