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Monday, February 08, 2010

Silver Platter

Jan 20/10

I am sitting here at my computer scratching my head, wondering what I've gotten myself into. I've had a number of interesting twists and developments happen within the last little while that are making my time here all the more interesting. Simply stated, one thing led to another and then another and before I knew it, I found myself on the verge of a new horizon with new possiblities. It all started Friday Jan. 15th. By this point, I had several casual chats with people at church about the idea I had to teach people a little bit of english they can use with foreigners who will one day pass through their doors. Everyone I have spoken to, has responded enthusiastically. And as I would find out, the pastor of the church would be no exception.

For awhile now, I had been thinking about writing to the pastor of the church and saying "hi, I've been a Canadian who has been attending one of your churches for awhile......" So I did, I first wrote to him on facebook introducing myself and letting him know that his church has really impacted me and that I'm telling all my buddies in North America. Then I wrote a 2nd note to let him know that the i think that the people at Centro are full of love and I want them to be able to express their love to people who cannot speak spanish. And I mentioned that I was an english teacher and I wanted to help out.

The pastor's response to me was beyond what i ever imagined. Firstly he said how honored and happy he felt to have me among them and the next time he was at Centro, to say hi to him. Then he replied to my email about wanting to teach english. I thought he would say "oh, that's sweet, God bless you." It went way beyond that. He started out the reply by saying to me that he really liked my disposition and thought the idea was great. He then gave me the emails to the co-pastors who run a college that the church has which has english classes and other courses and he wanted me to connect with them. Meanwhile, he told me he was forwarding this conversation to those co-pastors. So within 20 mins, I had a lovely letter in spanish typed up and email to the 3 addresses that he gave me. Everything was moving so fast but I was loving the speed that this was going! Later on in the week, one of the co-pastors got back to me and said they would love to chat with me about my vision and my heart. Apparently the other co-pastors are on vacation but they will be back the beginning of Feb and when they come back, we will have a talk about working together to get the people at Centro learning english.

But in dealing with this church, I can easily see the reason why they are so successful. There is no lazing around and no having to trend on "niceties". The pastor of the church was just like "OK, you have a vision to do something. Well then, what are you waiting for? Let's DO IT!!!!" He wasn't like "OK Angelina, let's have a nice cup of tea and get to know each other first shall we" And 6 weeks later, after 3 cute little socials with the pastor where we sit and have superficial conversations, he'll be like "Angelina, I was wondering if you you are up to it, if you might possibly want to send an email to some of our co-pastors. But only if you want to. There is no pressure. Take your sweet little time. It's even OK if you email them in a few weeks." If that scenario had happened, things would be progressing at the rate of a snail. But thank God that that is not how this country works and not how this church works! The pastor knew I was already there mentally and wanting to see this happen.

So that was the first event that took place that threw a real curveball at me. I never expected the church to be taking me seriously the way they are going about it. But there is a 2nd portion to this story. With the possibility that I might have some serious involvment in the church, I began to look around for apartments to rent. Here in Argentina, one of the best modes of accomodation is a furnished apartment. You can get studios or one bedroom apartments for $750 USD and it comes with a whole whack of things like maid service (seriously!!!!), internet, cable, gas, water, electricity, fully equipped kitchen. Furnished apartments are one of the most popular modes of accomodations down here and it is become fast preferred over hotels or hostels.

Anyway, the story goes that I was looking on the website of one of these agencies that you can book furnished apartments through. And after much searching, I narrowed it down to a few apartments that seemed interesting to me and fit my needs and my price. I made an appointment to see them the very next day. The first one I didn't really care for too much so I hoped I would have better luck with 2nd one. It would be while visiting the 2nd one that a few surprises and unexpected turns would await me. After I left the first building, I began making my way to where the 2nd building was. It was about 15 mins away walking. The address was scrawled on a piece of paper with my writing on it. Before I knew it, I found myself standing in front of a "Moroccan" style building. I seriously thought that the way the building was designed, it was some kind of arabic restaurant in the midst of the city.

"Interesting" I murmured to myself. An elderly gentleman who is probably in his 50's and 60's greeted me and let me in. I confirmed I was the girl who was booked to see the apartment. He kindly gestured for me to follow him so I did. After a brief elevator ride to the first floor, he took me to where the apartment was. I opened the door and my eyes went huge. I thought I was in heaven. Things looked just as good as they had been on the website but seeing it here live, it was way better. It had everything I could ever ask for, including a private outdoor patio that I could sit outside and have breakfast or tea. It has two single beds that are set up head to head so they serve as couchs but you can put them together and they can turn into a double bed. They say that a picture is worth 1000 words so I am taking that literally today and sending you some photos of this place that I got off the agencies website. A place like this in the middle of BA for a price of under $750 USD is such a rare find and I am giving it serious thought, prayer, and consideration. It is conveniently located close to downtown, 15 mins walking from church and conveniently located near all the shops but yet tucked away on a humble street so I wouldn't have to live with the disadvantages of being directly downtown.

Right at the moment I write these words, to say that I feel blessed would be an understatement. I don't think there is a word in the english language or even in the spanish language for that matter that I can truly use to convey my feelings. I'm in a country that I adore. I am in a city that love. I am in a church that I cannot get enough of. At church, the amount of friends that I have are multiplying like bunny rabbits! I've discoved a job that I am good at and have actually found a community of people who could very much use what I have to offer. And now I am looking at a gorgeous apartment that I can rent create a home and a space that I can call my own. The added twist to this story is that the gentleman that opened the door for me happens to own the apartment I looked at as well as 2 others in the city. He has given me his business card. Now I have a personal contact in this city that I can always talk to about getting a place to stay.

All this may sound sweet but it is more than that. You see, before coming to BA, the one thing that I have never had in my life is roots. I sort of envy people who can take out photo albums and show me the pictures of where they've lived and their friends and family and a life filled with stability. I wasn't so lucky growing up. Coming from a background of abuse, I was grateful every morning what I had lived to see the very next day. But I remembered times when the abuse was so extreme that I while other little children were praying for a doll house and a 10 speed bike, I would pray for God in his mercy to let me die. Having to live another day almost seemed like a cruel joke. But there came a moment in the middle of my tormented childhood that I cried out to God in the midst of all the torture and things I was being subjected to and said that if he ever rescued me from this situation, I would live my life to the absolute max. By this I meant that I would never forget others in their pain and need and that I would live my life to the max. Never being afraid to take a risk and person, place, thing or project that came my way, I would give the royal treatment to. I would never dwell in mediocrity and just want to live in the safety of my comfort zone ignoring other's cries for help. After all, I knew the experience of what it was like to cry out to others to rescue me only to be met by silence.

Words cannot express what it is like when you are in a desperate and dangerous situation as a child and what it is like for an adult you are crying out to tell you that you are just being silly and you just need to be good at home and you only think it's abuse but it's not. I liken it to the feeling of someone handing you a death sentence and being told that you are going to die. The hopelessness that you feel in that moment to know that your screams of torture and anguish go unheard by people who already have a relatively comfortable lives with good strong functional families sit in lovely houses making sunday dinner while you remain in hell not knowing if you were going to make it to the very next day.

I am not writing all this to you to get you upset. I am writing this to you so you see the significance of all that is going on. You've sat here reading for the past couple of months about all these wonderful things that have happened. But I want you to see the bigger picture and why everything that is happening is so meaningful. Because for the very first time in my life, I actually have things that I have only dreamed of for so long. For so long I have peered through the window watching other people have lives of comfort and stability handed to them on a silver platter. And for so long I never thought I would ever know what it is like to look at a silver platter with something beautiful on it that is just for me that has no strings attached to it and can never be taken away. But now I find myself staring down a silver platter that is sitting in front of me filled with things on the plate that I never thought I would live to see.

There are people in this word who come out of painful situations or experience poverty beyond anything that you can imagine. But once they come out of it and escape, there are some that forget how painful or scary it was to be in that place and then soon begin building a comfortable life for themselves while ignoring the cries of pain that go on all around them. That will never be me. As I gaze upon this silver platter in front of me with all the good things that have been placed upon it for my pure delight and enjoyment, there is only one thing missing that is keeping me from experiencing full satisfaction from the things that have been set in front of me. So before diving into all that waits for me, I do one thing. Just to my right there are hundreds if not thousands, perhaps millions and billions of blank invitations that are completely untouched. I grab a pen and ever so daintly begin to fill out each one of these invitations. Sometimes the invitation contains the name of someone that I know. But many of the invitations go to names I will never know this side of earth. Regardless, each invitation says the exact same thing. They all begin with "This is a personal invitation from me to you. Your presence not only has been request but is desired. A silver platter awaits to be shared by you and many others...."

Amorous Alpacas

Amorous Alpacas