What does the word guano mean? Ok, some of you may be thinking…well, that’s a Spanish word, and I don’t know Spanish. Turns out guano is used for the same substance in both English and Spanish. Still no guesses?
Guano is bat poop. Ok, it can be used in a general way for all bird poop, but usually it’s bat poop. I’m sure you’re happy you just learned a new word.
Guano enters into our ministry story because I just took 15-20 lbs of it to Oaxaca. Guano, it turns out, is super-duper fertilizer. Through contacts here in Ixtapaluca, we were able to acquire guano and an assortment of seeds to take to Oaxaca. Radish, cilantro, pumpkin, spinach and carrot seeds to be exact. Friend and pastor Gaspar is amazing in his knowledge of anything agricultural. Seeds open doors to rural communities. Seeds are full of life. In fact, they have to die in order to reproduce exponentially. Seems to me there’s a lesson in there somewhere.
There’s another lesson there also…one that Gaspar and I understand, but lots of Christians apparently still do not. The gospel makes far more inroads into a community if accompanied by some other sort of assistance, whether that assistance be medical, social, agricultural, educational or recreational. We need to be holistic in our approach, all the while being intentional in sharing the gospel. Duh. Duh. Duh.
In a couple of hours we’ll be doing our third eye glass/hearing aid event in as many weeks. So far we’ve distributed free of charge somewhere around 138 eyeglasses and 14 hearing aids. We sing. We preach. People hear God’s word, new people that we’ve never seen before.
This week I finished teaching four hours of English class a week, two hours on Tuesday, two hours on Thursday. We’ve formed a community together, an oikos, people that I did not know before, and they did not know me. But now we know each other. We get along. We joke, and greet each other with affection and appreciation. About 35 people who study English in the same building that we meet in for our Sunday service. We’ll renew our friendship when English classes start back up again in May.
Have any of them, after 2 1/2 months, come to church. No. But just like those silly videos on Facebook…you have to wait for it. Give it time. Not all seeds bear fruit, but some do. Some will.
Seeds and fertilizer. They go together. Death and life do too.
Among other items taken to Oaxaca…14 hearing aids, two more boxes of dialysis solution, several boxes of donated clothing and a box of donated medicine.