We shared our vision for Athentikos with Joel VanDyke, Director of Center for Transforming Mission Latin America. Joel is directly connected to most of our potential stories in Guatemala City and is very excited to partner with us in this project. Many of these stories focus on ministries with incredible accomplishments in very difficult places despite little or no substantial financial backing. We all hope that these ministries will gain greater support through the publicity of our project.
As we examined stories and discussed logistics, we were reminded that Latin America runs very differently than we are used to. We will not have finalized production schedules until right before we travel because the average person in Guatemala doesn’t plan that far out in advance. Although this might seem unusual, I have experienced this before on trips to Guatemala, Peru, Costa Rica, and Mexico … Life is not as “controlled” as it is in the USA. That isn’t a value judgement, just merely a fact.
As Americans, we live in an “efficiency oriented / time is money” society. Perhaps this is because as Americans, we have more time AND money than most other countries throughout the world. With greater opportunities at our disposal, we have tasted financial success and found it to be “delicious”. We focus our efficiency on the product of our work … we have evaluated, theorized, and repurposed ourselves to be producers – many times at the expense of other “valuable commodities” – the greatest of which is often relationships.
This is not to say that Guatemalans (or citizens from other Latin American countries) are inefficient or lack in the ability to produce; nor is it to say that Americans completely de-value relationships. Guatemalans are quite productive and resourceful especially considering the very limited resources available to them and Americans have a lot of friends despite the fact that we spend so much time “working”. The difference is in the details which are missed unless we take the time to notice them.
I look forward to exploring these details in January.