Good thing Venezuela and Mexico tied 1-1 because my friend, from Mexico, is married to a lady from Venezuela. Peace reigned that night over their house, and nobody had to sleep on the couch.
Ramon saw me in the open area of the apartment complex I manage and called me over. I thought “a moment” meant there was another problem to fix. It turned out it was the chance to watch the America Cup and eat pork ribs afterwards.
I unwisely started making observations about soccer quality. But since her family — all Venezuelan — jumped all over me for praising any Mexican player, I feared for my life and decided it was better to be quiet.
For most of the game, Venezuela — never before a soccer powerhouse — was winning from a stunning bicycle kick off header across the goal. My Venezuelan friends were cooing and clucking happily because Mexico has had a very good tournament was unbeaten for 21 games. But then with a mere 15 minutes to the final whistle, Corona single-handedly dribbled past five defenders to slot left.
Ramon erupted. I ventured a non-commital comment that the game was going to get good now, and the two teams battled to a draw.
Then the pork chops.
This is ministry. Don’t stress about getting people to church. Get yourself to people.
They asked me to pray for the food. It’s a small step, but in this guarded generation given to opposing the gospel, it was not insignificant.
When I was first a pastor, I felt uncomfortable with people giving to me or to the church. Now I understand better: any gift represents an investment. When people invest in you or your church, they are more committed (or closer to commitment) than you might imagine.
So yes, eating their sumptious pork chops is ministry.