A couple of days ago our family boarded a plane from Boston to Buenos Aires and our 2.5 month home assignment came to an end. As we now reflect on what this time back in the United States has meant to us, the image of the medieval pilgrimage comes to mind. Medieval pilgrims usually set out toward a specific destination in light of a particular event. They traveled to be eyewitnesses of sacred events and places. They went seeking first-hand knowledge and experiences of a particular way God can “break into” human lives and transform us for God’s own purposes. In our case, the destination has been into the heart and hearths of congregations and homes. The event has been the celebration of our shared faith in Christ and our connection through global mission.
As with the medieval tradition of showing hospitality to pilgrims and wayfarers — who were warmed by the glowing embers of the hearths of inns and homes along the way — we were generously received in congregations and homes. We were welcomed with potlucks replete with delicious food as we gathered around tables for joyful fellowship. We helped complete the circles around Communion tables and joined our voices in prayer and songs of thanksgiving and praise. We were privileged to be invited into the intimacy of many homes to swap stories over cups of tea and coffee.
The hospitality we experienced sustained us along the way and strengthened us for our journey back to our ministry in South America. Visiting local missions and ministries energized us with a renewed sense of passion and purpose. Like the pilgrims who returned to their ordinary lives with so many tales from afar, we return with all the richness of the life and faith stories that you have shared with us.
Tomorrow we leave for a camping retreat with the Young Adults in Global Mission (YAGM) volunteers who are serving in Argentina and Uruguay this year. It will be like the crossroads where the paths of several pilgrims meet as we share tales of our travels with them and hear their stories from these months that we have been away.
In Christ, Kate and David
¡Vivamos en la sorprendente gracia de Dios!