Justifying our existence

For a few months I’ve been going out to the village of Quebracho Herrado, getting to know folk, particularly families with kids who need support at school, and a couple of disabled people. Mostly I’ve done all the running, relationship building, visiting, knocking, offering. Mostly people have been polite and welcoming, but not enthusiastically enough to come to me if I didn’t arrive at their door first. However, go away for a couple of weeks, and according to the old lady next door, there has been a stream of people seeking me out, and being annoyed that I wasn’t there. It will be interesting to see if any of them come back now I am there.
I’d written a little project to offer secondary school for adults and young people, which we thought was quite a nice way of offering something to the community, and, frankly, justifying our existence. However, go away for a couple of weeks, and come back to find that secondary school for adults is about to be offered through at the local primary school, starting tomorrow night. Fantastic that it’s happening, but in terms us defining something meaningful to offer to the community here, back to the drawing board.

There are a lot of statistics available about destitution in Argentina. Quebracho Herrado has a percentage of people who are probably fairly low down the foodchain, but very few people in real need as far as I can figure out. I’m torn between Hazel’s desire to be somewhere where I can roll my sleeves up and actually do something useful, versus the church’s desire to plant a church. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive, obviously, but in this context I wonder if we are here under slightly erroneous pretences and if maybe we have to think of our self-justification exercise in terms of how close we are to planting a church, rather than how close we are to serving the community here… and of course the proper missionary would say that planting a church was serving the community… so at least some of our supporters will be happy, just not sure I agree with them all the way.

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