Our family is in Peru for two years to serve with Extreme Nazarene. We are living in the jungle city of Puerto Maldonado supporting our team of 8 missionaries as 12 churches are planted here in 18 months! Please keep checking in to keep up on our our ministry and adventures in Peru!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Jair Post 1: Hopefully of Many

I want to share a cool story of redemption in my life and a huge answer to prayer. As you know our number one priority is to serve the 40/40's and provide for their needs so that they can more effectively focus on reaching the lost in Peru. That has been our main objective here, but I really felt the Lord calling me to pray for my own mission field in addition to serving the 40/40's. One evening I went out for a walk to our local stadium and sports coliseum which was open for the night and there happened to be a city league basketball game going on. I figured I'd inquire more about the possibility of playing and was told I could try out for "team juvenile." As I left I was excited for the opportunity but continued to pray about a mission field. I was not sure if this was it but I definitely wanted to walk through this open door. My thoughts at this point were on how much time I've put into basketball over the years; practices, camps, playing, coaching and that don't know of any eternal results from those efforts other than personal lessons. As a Young Life leader in College, I coached for 2 years at Lynden HS with the goal of reaching the basketball guys, knowing that most if not all were lost. However, my focus was so intently on reaching them that I neglected that there were other students ready and willing for me to lead them. In my opinion I lost out on an open door on those that I could have made a significant impact. So my prayers is that I would not make the same mistake and that I would see clearly whether this is going to be worth my time and not just because it's fun or that I could use the exercise. The last thing I want to do is waste any time here if it's not going to produce fruit. My prayer is for clarity here in Iquitos specifically, knowing that we're not living here for very long. So they told me to come for a try out, which is a funny story in its own right. But, yes...God allow me to make the team which was the first step in the right direction and step 2 was that they were okay with the fact I could only practice 1 or 2 nights a week.

My first practice with the team turned out to be a very poorly run high school practice, but there were a good amount of college and beyond aged kids. Suffice to say, I felt very welcome and following the practice I received many pleasant grettings. Which in itself was reason enough to go to the next practice.

My second practice was at the Coliseum which is about 5 Peruvian (larger than normal) blocks from our house. I was told it would begin at 9pm but didn't start until 10pm and we didn't get done until around 11:30pm. I learned my lesson about showing up on time for practices. Anyways, as I was walking home I got about a half block from my house and I notice a kid sitting crouched near a doorway with his head in his hands and it was raining quite steadily at this point. I asked if I could help in anyway and he just motioned with his hands that he was hungry. I quickly went home grabbed some money, picked him up off the ground and we went to the Chifa restaurant (Peruvian Chinese food) near our house (that I'm beginning to think is a 24 hour joint). Jair is his name and for about 45 minutes Jair ate and we chatted about boxing, (which he does. and thank you parents for the name), family, American football, school, etc. I learned that Jair is 16 years old and has never known his Dad. His mother lives in the jungle and visits occasionally, but he is currently living with his aunt who he has been having problems and is why he was on the street that night. He was very gracious with my Spanish and I asked him if we could meet again in the next few days to grab a bite to eat again. So we set the date for Monday night 9:00pm after our 40/40 Monday meals.

I couldn't believe it, I just felt like I had been the best gift ever. It was like God answered my prayers using basketball as a legitimate desire to pursue and for the right reasons. Yet He had something totally different in mind and something so much greater. It was beautiful. If you've taken the time to make it through this quite lengthy blog entry, please be praying for Jair and our time together.


Anonymous said...

Tyson, I will be curious to hear more about Jair...It is the small sucesses that keep it realLOVE MOM JULIE

T-spoon's Spanish Adventures! said...

Tyson, that's amazing, how cool. i love how your truly seeking where the Lord wants you!! I miss you and love you.
Sista spoon

Vicky said...

Tyson, when we walk with eyes wide open and look through his eyes, any moment is a divine appointment. I will be praying for your "appointments" with Jair and his heart to meet his Heavenly Father!
Blessings, Vicky