Thursday, June 28, 2007


The term "chaos theory" describes systems that appear to be random and disordered, but in reality posses an underlying order. Chaos theory also describes a lot of what takes place here in Puerto Viejo. On the surface, things can appear to be quite disordered, especially to someone that is not familiar with the culture and the people. However, whether it’s a session at the skate park or a day in the classroom at the collegio (high school), there is usually an underlying order to things that might not be readily recognizable at first glance.

The past few days, the visiting mission team from Calvary Chapel Jupiter (Jupiter, Florida) has been hosting ESL classes at the local high school. The high school is a one room building with acoustics that seem to magnify even the slightest sound into a roar equivalent to a jet taking off. It can be really difficult for someone that is not used to it to maintain focus, but it’s not as much of a problem for someone that is used to the underlying order.

The first day was got pretty crazy as kids were coming and going throughout the lessons and a few scuffles even broke out. It was quite an experience and I think was a little overwhelming for the team but things worked out and despite the craziness, the kids really enjoyed the interactions. They are used to learning this way as it is often the way things are. Anyway, the second day was much smoother and things really seemed to take on a good flow. The interactions were good and the kids and the team really enjoyed their time together.

At the end of the week, will the high school kids be fluent in English? No, but that’s not really the point. The purpose of these classes is to build relationships in order to gain an opportunity to really pour into the lives of the students over the long run. Visiting teams are only here for a week or two at most, which isn’t really a lot of time, but they add so much to the long-term work we’re doing. Through their sacrifice of time and effort, they help us to build and establish relationships with people and institutions that would be next to impossible for us to do on our own. Missions work truly is a partnership as the different parts of the body come together and work as one to share the hope of Christ to people that are searching. While it might seem like madness at times, there is an underlying order to things… it’s all a matter of perspective.

1 comment:

Sam & Lisa Skielnik said...

The chaos was a good experience for us. It helped us begin to understand a bit more of the culture in Puerto Viejo. God can certainly use chaos to bring about his order -- it just may not look quite like what we expect at home in North America.