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What Jesus is About

December 12, 2005

Elizabeth Thorne - Argentina

One week while in Argentina, I got the unique opportunity to travel north to Corrientes, Argentina, with Alejandra, the niece of the Gonzalez’s, with which I was staying. We took an overnight bus ride, which lasted twelve hours, from Buenos Aires to Corrientes, where we were met by the Medina family, Ale’s parents.

The purpose of this trip was for Ale to get to see her family, and for me to get to see more of the Disciples mission in Argentina. We visited several churches, and, most memorably, a very small town near the border of Paraguay.

It was rather difficult to reach General Videa because the roads leading to the town are not paved, and it had rained for five days straight prior to our trip. Nevertheless, the Medina’s and I loaded up in their Renault 5, and bumped along, stopping occasionally to let the engine cool off. Finally, we reached the town. At the city entrance (marked by an arch with the city’s name on it) there was a horse grazing, and the most enormous pig I had ever seen.

We followed the rutted road around a corner until we reached a small rectangular building with the Disciple’s chalice painted on the outside. Climbing out, we met the woman who runs the mission in General Videa, and she described to us the situation. G.V. no longer has a minister, but every Sunday the congregation meets to sing songs. After the worship, the women prepare a small snack for all of the children living in the area. The children are given the snack, and, more importantly, a glass of milk, and then are sent on their way.

General Videa is one of the poorest cities in Argentina. A family of four there lives on no more than $30 a month. Most families don’t have enough money to buy milk for their family, so the church members all donate just enough money to buy one glass of milk for each child in the area. That is the only milk the child will get all week.

When I talked to the woman in charge, Rosemary, she described to me how important it was that the children get that milk every month. She talked about what a hardship it was for some of the members to donate but also how important it was to them. “That’s what Jesus meant, you know,” she told me.

The people living in General Videa don’t have running water, they don’t have electricity, and they don’t have paved roads. Yet they still find a way to give more than they can spare, week after week, because they believe it’s what Jesus is about.

Elizabeth Thorne
Elizabeth Thorne served as a Short-term Volunteer missionary with the Disciples of Christ in "La Tablada" in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Elizabeth helped out at the Community Center with their ministry to children at risk. She was also involved in the youth group activities of the church.

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