Missionary appointees to Argentina David and Patti West write this month:
Dear Prayer Partners,
I recently had an interesting question asked of me that really got me to thinking. We were enjoying a family function of some friends of ours. One of the family members asked, “how were you able to get time off to attend this function?” (the get together was on a week day). Now, when I was a pastor, many of our folks thought it was funny to chide me on my work schedule which consisted of working only one day a week. They thought it was funny. I thought it was funny – most of the time. However, this inquirer at the family meeting was in earnest (and yes, they knew we were missionary appointees). It got me to thinking, “do all of the people we come across picture us as one day a week workers?” True, many missionary appointees work a secular job while on deputation, but the majority of them must travel a great deal and be away from home enough to not be able to work a steady “paying” job. Does this, then, imply that most of us are just “idle?”
In our ministry we are occasioned with much work time as well as down time. Our down time is mostly about rest and catching up on things like wash, housekeeping and a diversion or two. Our work times consist of record keeping for ourselves and our Mission, endless phone calls and emails to secure meetings, thousands of miles of travel (in our deputation we have traveled to literally every corner of the country), and so forth. That takes time and much planning.
There are two activities, however, that are beginning, finally, to take up more of our time. As we draw closer to language school we are stepping up our efforts to learn the basics of Spanish (vocabulary, phrases, simple sentences, etc.). Patti and I both have engaged a tutor to help us do this better. Patti meets weekly (when able) with a former missionary to Columbia. Melody sits with Patti for an hour or so going over Bible verses, pronunciation and general conversation. Dave does the same with an employee of his favorite Mexican restaurant. Juan meets with Dave on Tuesdays at the library. This involves daily study and weekly meetings for both of us.
In addition to stepping up our language studies, Dave has been working on the program for the future school. For the past few years he has met with different men connected with Faith Baptist Bible College and Seminary who have helped him to understand the building blocks of a teaching institution. Putting together a prospectus, developing a core curriculum and writing student learning outcomes are just a few of the many considerations that occupy a great deal of thought and effort. The net result is a nice pamphlet and a platform upon which the future school of ministry will be built.
So, no, we are not idle. Our work may not be “conventional” but it is profitable and time consuming. We love what we are doing and we look forward to the day, soon, when our efforts will land us in Argentina. We are so grateful for the partnership we enjoy with you as you pray for and support us toward that goal.
Your Partners in Christ,
Dave & Patti West