Back to Argentina

Posted By on Feb 11, 2016 | 2 comments

Before kids, married two years, half way through seminary, only 24 years old, and wondering what God wanted me to do with the rest of my life—an opportunity crossed my path to spend a year in Argentina to work with a group of missionaries in the NW part of the country. I was sensing that God might be calling us to serve on the mission field, but Debbie was not sure about that notion at all. This short term commitment seemed the perfect way to see if we were cut out for work in the third world.

We made a very important discovery—that we were better suited for doing missionary work in our own culture and country. While our year in the Southern Hemisphere was valuable, it was also difficult for two misfits trying to make a contribution while knowing this work was not in our futures. Never did I think I’d return to that part of the world…

But life has a strange way going full circle. Nearly 40 years later and I’m unexpectedly on my way back to Argentina. Admittedly, the purpose of my trip this time is far less spiritual. I’m helping a buddy complete something that’s been on his bucket list for a long time—a dove hunt in Argentina. I know—ridiculous, right? But anyone who’s into game birds knows that dove hunting in Argentina is world class. There are countless hordes of doves that feed in the grain fields of the Pampas, and the farmers welcome hunters who try to put a dent in the bird population.

And so, this trip will include some nostalgia. I will enjoy reliving what it was like when we were naïve newly-weds, seeking to follow God’s promptings, filled with the excitement of this adventure into the unknown. And then, looking back and seeing where the Lord has taken us over the past 41 years—doing things we could have never imagined.

Fittingly, I read a verse in II Chronicles this morning, one that I’ve glossed over in prior readings, but I wrote this comment in the margin of my Bible: This is one of the greatest statements in the Bible. It is about when the king and his people are about to be attacked by an enemy, and they do not know what is going to happen. And so the king prays to God, and finishes his prayer with this sentence: “WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO, BUT OUR EYES ARE UPON YOU.”

Isn’t that a fitting way to live? Not just when you are about to be attacked, but every day! Truth is, we often don’t know what to do—but God does! He has a plan, and so we keep looking to him for guidance, for deliverance, for him to show us the way. Just like my first trip to Argentina, I will be doing the same this time around.

For Reflection: Is there a situation you are facing right now where you would say to God, I do not know what to do. Would you practice keeping your eyes fixed on the Lord, knowing that he has an unseen plan that will unfold as you continue to look to him?


  1. True, and I think a lot of this goes back to trusting that God knows us best — our dreams, desires and those things that we are passionate about. We may not know how to bring some of these things about but God does. The important ingredient is time — time for us to develop and time to see when God provides the perfect timing. This has become very evident to me over the last couple of years. The movie reel continues to roll on, but the adventure is in the unwritten part of the script (always one of my favorite sermons that you gave, John).

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    • Yes, I remember that message using a movie as a metaphor for life- some scenes that we can script (have control over) and some that we cannot because we do not know what will unfold as our life-movie rolls on. Glad you are finding this true in your life.

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