“Ahi viene la güera!” “Here comes the blond girl!” As one of only three white, blond people in San Pedro, I hear this, or some variation of it, every time I set foot off the property. When I walk down the street, cars slow down and people turn around and stare – and not just a quick glance, but until I’m not in sight any more. Often people will be walking in one direction while staring in the other – I fully expect to witness some sort of horrific accident one day because someone’s not watching where he or she is going. Usually this attention doesn’t bother me too much, but some days it irritates me to no end. It’s tempting to do or say something rude in return, to let the world know that yes, I can see you looking at me, and yes, I can understand what you’re saying about me. But I know that if I did do something, people would remember for precisely this reason – I stand out. Stephen likes to comment that in San Pedro there’s no way he could ever sin – too many people know him and would find out about it. One day Stephen and I went downtown to run a 10 minute errand, and it turned into a 30 minute excursion because every 5 steps another person would stop and greet him. In the New Testament, Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matt. ). In other words, as a Christian you need to be so radically different that people know who and what you are without you having to say a word. I may not like being noticed, but as I walk around the city I am reminded of Jesus’ words. This in turn helps me accept, and perhaps appreciate, being different – in living here, I’m not representing myself, but my family, my work, my church, and ultimately God.
Templo Libertad update: Tonight is the first night of our new weekly service format. We still have regular Sunday morning and afternoon services, but in response to requests from the congregation, we are consolidating our weeknight meetings instead of holding them on separate days. Every Friday we will meet for a time of corporate worship and then break off into groups for men's, women's, youth, and children's services.